Something must be done to reduce plastic use. Experts
predict that if we don’t make an effort to reduce how much plastic we use, our
oceans will have more plastic than fish in them within the next 30 years. Each
day, over seven million plastic pieces and microplastics are released into the
world’s oceans. Evidently, it’s time to take action and reduce casual plastic
use for good. Environmental awareness has already increased and some changes
have already been implemented, for example, the plastic bag fee of 2015 and the
recent ban on plastic straws. Small lifestyle changes can make a huge
difference in the fight against plastic use.
With the year almost at an end, it’s the ideal time to start
thinking about what you can do to reduce your plastic use. Forget fad diets and
gym memberships, reducing your plastic use is both rewarding and extremely easy
to achieve. Booklet
printing specialists Where The Trade Buys explore how you can start off
2020 plastic free:
- Invest in
a reusable coffee cup and water bottle
Takeaway coffee cups are a major source of waste material and plastic
bottles take a shocking 450 years to decompose. With this in mind, it is more
pressing than every to make the switch to reusable items. KeepCups and Chilly’s
Bottles are popular brands that focus on sustainable products.
- Say no to
plastic bags and straws
Luckily, these items are becoming less commonplace in the UK today.
However, it can still be difficult to avoid them at times. When you pick up a
takeaway for example, don’t be afraid to say no to the excess plastic bags your
food is wrapped in.
- Only buy
unpackaged fruit and veg
Many supermarkets are now making switch to packaging free products. If
you have the option, choose to load up brown paper bags with fruit and
vegetables rather than choosing pre-package food. Alternatively, you could grow your
own veg in a greenhouse or allotment.
- Get your
hands on a bamboo toothbrush
Plastic toothbrushes take 400 years to decompose, and if you consider how
many you go through in a lifetime, the life span of them all is shocking. A
bamboo toothbrush on the other hand, only takes five to ten years — minimal in
- Switch to
soap and shampoo bars rather than bottles
Shampoo and hand soap always seem to come with excess plastic packaging.
There is simply no need to coat these items in plastic, as they work perfectly
well in bar form. This is another tiny switch that will make little difference
to your daily routine but really help out the environment.
- Find a
refill station for your laundry detergent and washing up liquid
Instead of chucking out the plastic bottle when your washing up liquid
runs out, hold on to it and get it refilled! Lots of sustainable shops now
offer this service, making it easier than ever to opt for refills rather than
wasting more plastic.
- Shop at
‘zero waste’ shops
Thankfully, zero waste shops are becoming far more common in the UK. The
idea of zero waste shops is that they sell produce with absolutely no plastic
packaging. Switching up your shopping routine and choosing a zero-waste shop
would be a great habit to get into in 2020. You can find a list of zero waste
shops and where to find them here.
- Cut down
on shopping and spending
This last one is essential, although perhaps not as easy as the other
lifestyle changes. Every time you buy something, especially online, it is
likely to come swaddled in needless layers of plastic. If you cut down on this
spending, you could make a real environmental change.
- Up your
sustainable Tupperware game
Along the same theme, consider switching to sustainable Tupperware. There
are plenty of alternatives to wasteful plastic Tupperware, such as bamboo,
glass, or stainless-steel alternatives. Oxfam do a great range!
- Switch to beeswax
wrap rather than clingfilm
food storage is another factor that people often forget to consider. We throw
away single use clingfilm without a second thought, because it seems like such
a necessity within our lives. Now however, there are plenty of alternatives to
use if you want to go plastic free. Beeswrap, for example, is a ‘natural
alternative to plastic wrap’ which can be used time and time again.
Once you make an effort to change your routine,
these changes will be easy to implement. They will soon become second nature!
If everyone chips in and makes an effort towards sustainability, we will see a
reduced amount of plastic pollution our oceans.