Plastic use has caused untold damage to the environment. Climate experts predict that the world’s oceans could contain more plastic than fish in the next 30 years if we don’t take action to reduce plastic use. Every day, over eight million tiny pieces of plastic are released into our oceans. It’s time to make a change. Even small changed to your lifestyle can make a massive difference and get started is extremely simple. Herewith postcard printing specialists Where The Trade Buys, we investigate the best ways to ditch the plastics for the new year.
1. Ditch The Plastic Bags And Straws
Luckily, these items are becoming less commonplace in the UK today. However, it can still be difficult to avoid them at times. When you pick up a takeaway, for example, don’t be afraid to say no to the excess plastic bags your food is wrapped in.
2. Make The Switch To Reusable Water Bottles And Coffee Cups
Takeaway coffee cups are a major source of waste material and plastic bottles take a shocking 450 years to decompose. With this in mind, it is more pressing than ever to make the switch to reusable items. KeepCups and Chilly’s Bottles are popular brands that focus on sustainable products.
3. Choose ‘Zero Waste’ Shops
Thankfully, zero-waste shops are becoming far more common in the UK. The idea of zero waste shops is that they sell products with absolutely no plastic packaging. Switching up your shopping routine and choosing a zero-waste shop would be a great habit to get into in 2020. You can find a list of zero waste shops and where to find them here.
4. Opt For A Bamboo Toothbrush
Plastic toothbrushes take 400 years to decompose, and if you consider how many you go through in a lifetime, the life span of them all is shocking. A bamboo toothbrush on the other hand only takes five to ten years — minimal in comparison!
5. Use Beeswax Instead Of Clingfilm
Sustainable food storage is another factor that people often forget to consider. We throw away single-use clingfilm without a second thought because it seems like such a necessity within our lives. Now, however, there are plenty of alternatives to use if you want to go plastic-free. Bees wrap, for example, is a ‘natural alternative to plastic wrap’ which can be used time and time again.
6. Ditch Plastic Bottles In Favor Of Soap Bars
Shampoo and hand soap always seem to come with excess plastic packaging. There is simply no need to coat these items in plastic, as they work perfectly well in bar form. This is another tiny switch that will make little difference to your daily routine but really help out the environment.
7. Use A Refill Station For Washing Up Liquid And Detergents
Instead of chucking out the plastic bottle when your washing up liquid runs out, hold on to it and get it refilled! Lots of sustainable shops now offer this service, making it easier than ever to opt for refills rather than wasting more plastic.
8. Shop And Spend Less
This last one is essential, although perhaps not as easy as the other lifestyle changes. Every time you buy something, especially online, it is likely to come swaddled in needless layers of plastic. If you cut down on this spending, you could make a real environmental change.
9. Switch To Sustainable Containers
Along the same theme, consider switching to sustainable containers. There are plenty of alternatives to wasteful plastic containers, such as bamboo, glass, or stainless-steel alternatives. Oxfam does a great range!
10. Buy Your Fruit And Veg Unpackaged Or Grow Your Own
Many supermarkets are now making the switch to packaging-free products. If you have the option, choose to load up brown paper bags with fruits and vegetables rather than choosing pre-packaged food. Alternatively, you could grow your own veg in a greenhouse or allotment.
Reducing your plastic use is easy if you just take the first steps in the right direction. They will soon become second nature! If everyone chips in and make an effort towards sustainability, we will see a reduced amount of plastic polluting our oceans.