Haunted by Plastic!

30th October 2017

A blog by Host Karen, with some handy information on how to reduce the amount of plastic you use

When I was asked to write a blog a few ideas sprung to mind. Perhaps a Halloween blog about a spooky deep-sea creature? But after much pondering, I decided on something closer to my heart and a lot more terrifying…

Plastic is everywhere. A lot is single-use, used once and thrown away. I seem to be on an eternal mission to reduce my plastic footprint, which is tricky at times (especially when you’re addicted to little humus pots). I try hard to make a momentous change and feel pretty chuffed, then buy a shirt only to realise it has twelve pointless plastic tags. You walk into a bar and order a drink, only to find it comes with a straw as standard.

Frustrating as this is, we CAN make a difference. Approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the sea every year (equivalent to a garbage truck full per minute). By 2050, it’s predicted there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. Creatures get caught in our rubbish and eat it by mistake. Even more worrying is that plastics and the chemicals they contain are working their way up the food chain and onto our dinner plates!

So what to do? Well, if you thought reducing plastic was inconvenient, expensive and time consuming you’re about to be amazed. A few changes into your routine and it becomes much simpler. I am far from perfect, but living a plastic free lifestyle is a journey where every step makes a difference. I have made a few changes to my routine recently which I would love to share with you:

  1. Get organised! Get into the routine of having the following in your bag or car at all times. So, when you’re about to leave the house, make a mental note to take phone, wallet and…
    • A reusable water bottle: These are great to carry and refill. I got mine for £2.50 so it won’t break the bank!
    • Reusable shopping bags: Did you know a plastic bag can take 1000 years to degrade? Have reusable bags in your car or bag just in case you need to swing by the shops.
    • Bread bags: The next time you buy bread, keep the empty bag and store it with your reusable shopping bags. You can use it to store fresh rolls, fruit and veg before taking them to the till. This way, you won’t need to take the little plastic bags on offer or fruit wrapped in plastic packaging.
    • Cutlery and straws: I’m not too fussed about using straws personally, but if you are a fan of straws you may want to consider picking up a bamboo cutlery set. I’ve found handy little packs for around £10 online.
    • Reusable coffee cup: I recently purchased both a toothbrush and reusable coffee cup both made of bamboo and together they came to less than a tenner!
  2. Consider swinging by the market or green grocers before your weekly food shop to purchase vegetables. They are likely to be cheaper, fresher and have no packaging.
  3. Ditch the disposable plastic razors and get one with replaceable blades instead.
  4. Shampoo bars and soaps are a wonderful way to reduce the amount of plastic in the bathroom.
  5. Recycle, recycle and then recycle some more!
  6. On my way to work, I often see bits of plastic on the floor. Picking up a few bits a day takes seconds and can make a dramatic difference.
  7. Beach cleans! Taking a trip to the beach can be enjoyable in so many ways, and taking a bin bag and rubber gloves to clean up your community is surprisingly satisfying.

Every single one of us can work together to make a massive difference. Since the 5p plastic bag charge was introduced in 2015, we have reduced the usage of plastic bags in England from 7 billion a year to 1 billion. In just one year we saved 6 BILLION carrier bags from going to landfill or ending up in our seas! That’s equivalent to the weight of 300 blue whales. During the Big Spring Beach Clean in April this year, almost 17,000 people helped to clean up our beaches and prevented 55 tonnes of litter ending up in the sea. This goes to show how incredible individuals can really be!

Thank you so much for reading it. Let’s see how many more inspirational stories we can all be a part of over the next few years!


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