Plastic on your food, plastic in your house, plastic in your clothes, plastic everywhere! Did you know that 88% percent of the Earth’s ocean surface is polluted with plastic? (Collective Evolution) Did you also know that a trillion plastic bags are used around the world each year? The average Australian uses 170 plastic bags every year. 150 million of these end up as litter, only 3% of them are currently being recycled and 200,000 bags are dumped in landfill every hour. Now they’re some big statistics to wrap your head around!
While our environment is being polluted with this toxic plastic waste, there is still time to do something about it and although the statistics are staggering and it may seem like an overwhelming amount, those numbers are only going to keep growing if we don’t take action. I’ve complied a comprehensive list of steps you can take and alternatives you can use so that you can do your part in ending plastic pollution.
1. Say NO to plastic bags, probably one of the easiest steps of them all! It requires practically zero effort to take your own bags to the shops
2. Metal straws! You may have heard that the latest trend is taking and using your own metal straw wherever you go. This trend is here to stay so go and do the environment a favour and buy one. Did you know that plastic straws are one of the biggest polluters? Alternatively, if you don’t want to buy a metal straw, just opt to not use a straw at all!
3. Most people are coffee obsessed and that’s why taking your own reusable cup to get a takeaway coffee is such a great idea. They’re super affordable and there’s tonnes of cute designs available
4. Just like the reusable coffee cups, next time you order takeaway, take you own containers with you so that they can be washed and used again. I know you probably order takeaway so you don’t have to worry about washing the dishes but if you own a dishwasher, you’re in luck! Dishwashers actually use less water than it takes to fill a sink and wash them by hand. Double bonus!
5. You know those horrible little grocery bags that you get at the supermarket for your fruit and veggies? There is now an awesome alternative option, reusable produce bags! They are super affordable and you can use them over and over again!
6. If you haven’t already, invest in a quality reusable water bottle that isn’t made from plastic. A cheap and brilliant option are Voss water bottles which you can buy from nearly any supermarket for around $4! They’re super stylish too!
7. I have an actual phobia of gladwrap but luckily aluminium foil is a better option. Did you know that aluminium can be recycled indefinitely? An even better alternative to using a single use material is to place items in a reusable container!
8. Many everyday items are often overlooked as plastic and one great example of that is the humble toothbrush. Did you know that the average person uses 300 toothbrushes in their lifetime? By switching to a bamboo toothbrush, you’ll cut down on waste AND be able to contribute to your compost pile!
9. You may not know this but your exfoliating facewash probably contains plastic! If the product you are using contains microbeads, these are made from tiny little pieces of plastic and these are washing straight down you drain and into the ocean. These tiny microbeads are quite often mistaken for food or are accidentally ingested by a whole array of sea life. Opt for a natural product and do our oceans and yourself a favour
10. Buy in bulk! Introduce yourself to organic and bulk food shops such as Flannery’s or The Source allow you to take your own containers and jars or use their paper bags. This type of grocery shopping cuts down on waste an incredible amount!