As we enter 2020, the matter of reducing plastic is still a hot topic. Plastic has quickly become one of the most demonised materials in recent years, as evidence of ocean pollution becomes more apparent across the news and social media. According to some sources, if we don’t start doing something now, there will be more plastic in the seas by weight than fish by 2020.
Around 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans around the world every year, and while you might not think you are contributing to this, there are so many ways you can help to reduce this amount.
For companies to even produce plastic in the first place, so much of the world’s resources are used. For the 100 billion plastic bags used every year in the US, it takes around 12 million barrels of oil. This is why many companies are now looking for ways to eliminate or reduce plastic; particularly when it comes to plastic packaging.
So, if you want to do your bit for the environment, here are some top tips to reduce your plastic usage.
Tip 1: Look at the Packaging of the Items You Buy
Much of the world’s packaging uses some form of plastic, including your favourite foods, bath products and other household items. Consider taking a minute to look for your favourite products that are available in alternative packaging that is friendlier to the environment and recyclable.
For example, GP Batteries have recently altered the packaging of some of their rechargeable batteries, replacing the plastic with cardboard that is recyclable. With rechargeable batteries themselves already a good idea for the environment, this is another great step in the right direction.
Tip 2: Reusable Shopping Bags
Using reusable shopping bags has been a popular concept for some time, with many supermarkets offering bags for life and sturdier bags that you can use again and again. This can help to cut down on the production of new bags.
The charge for using new bags is still in place in many shops, which can act as a great little reminder to ensure you bring your own bags!
Tip 3: Reusable Drink Containers
Did you know that 7 million plastic-lined coffee cups are thrown away every day in the UK? There is a huge need for things like reusable water bottles and coffee flasks, which can help to cut down on the number of disposable cups. You often find disposable cups in places like offices, waiting rooms, hotels and other public spaces, so make sure you keep your reusable bottle in your bag at all times!
Tip 4: Avoid Disposable Cutlery
Similarly, if you often find yourself eating out for lunch, many shops will offer you disposable cutlery to eat your soup or salad with. Most of the time, these are made from plastic! While some shops are now turning towards wooden cutlery, it would be even better to buy your own set and carry them with you.
This is becoming much more common than you think, and it can save you from being caught short if your favourite food stop doesn’t have any spare cutlery!