Unscrewing the lid on plastic

Upon starting your day in the 21st century, before you have even finished your morning tea or coffee, it is likely that you’ve already used something that is contained in, or made of, plastic.

Toothpaste, shower gel, packaging from your breakfast or warm beverage… these are just a few possible plastic products you may have encountered in your daily routine so far.

Becoming aware of how much plastic we really use in our day to day life is the first step in helping to reduce it and unwraps the question: is it really necessary?

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In a time of great technological advancement there are many ways that we can reduce such misuse of a man made substance that is slowly contaminating our entire planet; including its ecosystems, its natural beauty and its overall well being.

This dangerously destructive disregard was outlined perfectly by none other than the great David Attenborough in Blue Planet 2, in which he showed how overly obsessive our behaviours towards plastic really is and its devastating effects on marine wildlife.

Recycle Now's Plastic Planet campaign aims to encourage people to recycle plastic correctly by further visually depicting the impact to our natural environment - it is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean!

Some of our everyday problematic plastic products may be fairly obvious such as water bottles and shopping bags, but what about those pesky plastics that are less obvious or that we may not give a second thought to? Such as:

  • Plastic-covered toilet paper
  • Plastic hidden in coffee cups 
  • Shampoo, conditioners and shower gels
  • Toothbrushes 
  • Cling film
  • Plastic straws at bars, restaurants and fast food spots
  • Plastic-wrapped vegetables at the grocery stores...

You may think, well I’m not obsessed with plastic. However if you take the time to consciously collect together every time you use plastic throughout your week and lay it all out, you will see that there is a problem.

A problem that may not even be worth the hassle...but by understanding the issue we can work toward a solution.

Not only are various types of plastic harmful to human health (in particular the toxic chemical BPA), but they absorb more toxins as they decompose.

An estimated 5 million tonnes of plastic waste is generated each year in the UK, and around 40kg of plastic per household is thrown in the bin rather than being recycled. 

 

So what is being done?

There have been a range of interesting and engaging initiatives to raise awareness of the plastics problem and find solutions, including:

England introduced a 5p plastic bag charge which saw our use of them in England decline by 85% !

Artists including Ed Sheeran and Beyonce have contributed to Artists Project Earth's "Plastic Oceans Album" with donations utilised to tackle the issue of ocean plastic

Fairy launched a Fairy Oceans Plastic Bottle - made with 100% recycled plastic, including plastic recovered from the Ocean 

Supermarkets are pledging to remove plastic from their stores where possible

Environmental lawyers ClientEarth are trying a #plasticfreelent

 

What can you do?

1. Opt for long-lasting, sustainable alternatives to single-use/unnecessary plastic where practical

Just some ideas:

- Take your reusable bag with you every time you shop!

- Choose the unpackaged fruit and vegetables

- Remember your reusable water bottle and coffee cup when you leave the house

- Say no to plastic straws when eating or drinking out

- If possible, buy food in bulk using your own containers

- Invest in a few good tupperware containers and plan ahead (no more relying on sandwiches on-the-go or ready meals)

 

2. Understand how to correctly recycle any plastic products that you do utilise.

An average of 16 million plastic bottles are not making their way into the recycling bin and are instead being thrown out EVERY DAY

Recycle Now have created a handy guide to help combat confusion around the topic. 

 

Some companies worth mentioning:

Who Gives A Crap? - recycled toilet paper in cardboard boxes delivered to your door and 50% of their profits are used to build toilets in developing countries!

Chilly's bottles - on a mission to accelerate the adoption and everyday use of reusable products. Their bottles, tumblers and food pots come in a range of colours and are BPA free!

 

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We love a fine choice ! They are a UK distributor for a range of sustainable alternatives to everyday plastic-containing items - from shopping bags and straws, to shampoos and toothbrushes.

Use discount code KLOOKER10 to enjoy 10% off!

 

 
 
 Shampoo bar  BPA-free and 100% vegan

Shampoo bar

BPA-free and 100% vegan

 Glass straws  BPA-free

Glass straws

BPA-free

 Bamboo toothbrush  BPA-free and vegan

Bamboo toothbrush

BPA-free and vegan

 
 

Tree Bee - an award winning not for profit Community Interest Company (CiC) 

"Tree Bee products are hand crafted using wax and honey from our rescued bees. We are 100% committed to the conservation of British Bees"

Their aim is to: "help our customers seriously cut down on the amount of plastic wraps like cling film and food bags that are used while helping us to rescue and save more bees!"

Tree Bee's Cling Food Wraps are an environmentally-friendly alternative to cling film wraps. They are made from a mixture of beeswax, tree resin and the ends of material rolls from the haberdashery.

Enjoy 30% off your own Cling Food Wraps with discount code SaveTheBees

 
 
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