12 million tonnes of plastic pollute our oceans every year. That's the equivalent of one rubbish truck full of plastic entering the sea every minute! But how does this happen?
Plastic doesn't get recycled. Only about 9% of plastic produced is recycled. The rest? Some of it ends up being transported to landfills, but in the process much of it makes its way to the ocean.
Down the drain. Tampons, clothes fibres, micro-beads and so on...
Industrial waste. Plastic which isn't disposed of properly.
Some of these reasons are out of our individual control, but there are some things you can
control that will reduce your plastic footprint on the planet. Here are our top 6 tips!
DIY beauty routine
Most beauty products come in plastic packaging: mascara, lipstick, eyeshadow, and so on. Microbeads in many scrubs also contribute to plastic pollution when they're washed off and go down the drain. Instead of buying your beauty products, you could make your own. A proportion of products in your beauty routine could actually be made from ingredients in your kitchen sink. Some of them might include ingredients that you have to buy, but at least you'll have control and knowledge of what goes into each product.
Another way you can reduce plastic from your beauty routine is by using our refill service which we have just released! Click here for more info.
Invest in a mooncup
Did you know that tampons takes approximately 6 months to decompose? (More if you include the plastic wrapper!) One way to overcome this is to invest in a mooncup (or menstrual cup). It's reusable, free from chemicals and lasts for a hella long time! While they're about £20 to purchase up front, think how much money you'll save when you don't have to buy tampons! But the biggest bonus: you'll save lots of plastic from entering the oceans.
Even more than tampons, plastic toothbrushes take around 300 years to decompose. When it's time to replace your toothbrush, buy a biodegradable one. This means instead of throwing it away when you're done with it, you can put it on the compost heap instead. There are also options made from bamboo or wood, but any cheap, biodegradable toothbrush will benefit the environment.
BYOB - Bring your own bag
And what takes longer to decompose than a toothbrush? A plastic bag. So you can understand why people preach about byob…! To state the obvious, take your own (non-plastic) bag when going food shopping. However, think about buying loose veg instead of packaged and cut out the plastic bags when buying it. This doesn't just apply to your food shop, either. Remember to byob when you're shopping for anything! After all, reusable canvas bags, for example, look a lot better with any outfit than a plastic one…
Fabric instead of cling film
Have you ever heard of Beeswrap
? It's the perfect alternative to clingfilm. Clingfilm is another plastic pollutant that enters our oceans. If you want to make your own, here's how:
- Organic cotton fabric squres
- Around a cup of grated beeswax
- An iron
- An old towel (which will get waxy!)
- A few sheets of grease proof paper
- Lay down the towel and turn on the iron
- Place several sheets of greaseproof paper on the towel, then one cotton square on top of this
- Evenly sprinkle the beeswax over the cotton square right up to the edges and corners
- Place a few more sheets of greaseproof paper on top of the beeswax and iron over it
- Carefully peel back the paper to make sure that the wax has melted evenly. If not sprinkle some more in areas which are thinner, then iron again
- Once evenly melted, peel the paper off the waxy cotton square and let it cool on a cooling rack
- Simply use as you would cling film and re-use after washing by hand.
This could be the easiest and trendiest thing to do to reduce plastic use out of all our tips. Invest in a reusable water bottle and keep-cup if you drink coffee too. Use them every time you go to buy a bottle of water or hot drink instead of using a single use cup or bottle.
If you're partial to a fizzy drink or two, buy it in a can or glass bottle instead of a plastic one. These are recyclable!
are our favourite go-to for reusable containers, but many different shops and brands make them!