8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year. Many of the sea creatures we love – birds, fish, turtles and whales – die because of the plastic that’s suffocating our seas. Microplastics are consumed by animals like plankton, passing the problem back up the food chain – to us.
If we don’t change the way we use plastic now, by 2050 there might be more plastic than fish in the ocean.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
Need inspiration? Here below the 10 easy plastic-free life hacks.
FIND OUT 10 EASY PLASTIC-FREE LIFE HACKS
1. SAY NO TO STRAWS
The UK throws away 8.5 billion plastic straws a year. These straws end up in our oceans and on our beaches, littering the area and injuring countless animals. Be a part of a new generation of clean oceans and say no to straws.
Sign up the #PassOnPlasticEmoji petition now to get rid of the plastic cup with straw from the emoji keayboard because if we don’t, one day we'll have to remove fish, whales and marine wildlife emojis from our keyboards.
2. INVEST IN A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
The UK uses about 13 billion plastic bottles every year, with about 5.5 billion of those ending up in landfills or in our oceans. By simply refilling a reusable bottle, you’ll prevent many of these plastic bottles from ending up in landfills and oceans. Join the Refill campaign and volunteer with Semble – Find out more here>>
Have you got 2 minutes? Of course you do. The 2 Minute Beach Clean project challenges you to take two minutes of your time to devote to cleaning up a beach near you. You can do it anywhere and anytime. And the 10th of June is the 2 minutes beach clean day! Join the conversation on Twitter.
4. BUY BOXES, NOT BOTTLES
When shopping look for laundry detergents, cat litters and other products that have the option to come in boxes rather than plastic bottles. Cardboard and paper can be recycled easier.
5. DON'T USE PLASTIC CUTLERY
Say goodbye to disposable plastic chopsticks, knives, spoons, forks and even sporks. Keep a pair at your desk for lunch and be prepared to carry your own silverware if you know your favourite restaurant only carries plasticware.
6. STORE IN GLASS CONTAINERS
Storing your leftovers in glass containers rather than plastic ones is not only better for your health, but better for the environment as well.
7. BRING YOUR OWN SHOPPING BAG
About 1 million plastic bags are used every minute, and a single bag can take up to 1,000 years to degrade. Next time you are heading to the store to buy some groceries, invest in reusable cotton or paper-based bags to avoid the plastic ones at the stores.
8. BRING A TRAVEL MUG TO THE COFFEE SHOP
The UK currently uses 7 million disposable coffee cups every day. By bringing your own from home to the coffee shop and simply asking to have yours filled can save millions of cups from polluting the oceans.
9. USE LOOSE-LEAF TEA
Tea bags contain plastic, and take thousands of years to decompose once thrown away. To avoid such pollution, switch to loose-leaf tea brewing. You may have to invest in some new equipment, but many do say that loose-leaf tea tastes better.
10. DITCH THE LIGHTERS AND GO FOR MATCHES
Always opt for matches over disposable plastic lighters. These cheap plastic devices sit in landfills for years. Matches are less expensive as well. But, if you cannot bear to part with your lighter, pick up a refillable metal one to help combat plastic pollution.