Eight million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans every year, killing and harming marine life.
We can put an end to this plastic surge choking our seas by cutting out small, everyday plastic use. Here are ten tips to help reduce your plastic waste.
1. Fix your caffeine fix
Carry a reusable coffee cup or flask. Around 2.5bn coffee cups are thrown away every year in the UK alone – that’s seven million a day! Less than 1% of these can be recycled, meaning most spend up to 50 years in landfill, after lasting just minutes in your hand. Lots of coffee outlets offer a discount when you use your own cup and there are many eco-friendly options out there. Why not go for a WWF keepcup?
2. Bring your own bottle
Plastic bottles are one of the most frequently found items on beach cleans globally. The lids commonly end up in seabirds’ stomachs.
3. Say no to plastic cutlery
By carrying a spork, reusing your plastic cutlery or going for a compostable alternative, you could personally save 466 items of unnecessary plastic every year. It’s thought that we use plastic cutlery for just 3 minutes before throwing it away!
4. Straws suck
Straws are sucking the life out of our oceans. But there is an easy fix to this one, if you don’t need one, don’t use one. Plastic straws and stirrers can take up to 200 years to decompose. Opt for paper straws or ditch them altogether and try the age-old sipping technique. Is it really worth taking a plastic straw with your Strawberry Daiquiri when the straw could remain in landfill long after your 100th birthday?
5. Ditch the cling wrap
Unlike cling film that cannot be recycled, foil is recyclable. So if you are using foil, make sure you put it in the recycling bin after use! Another alternative is the new Beeswax Wraps. Made using 100% cotton, Pine Resin, Jojoba Oil and local Beeswax they are 100% natural and environmentally friendly. This means no nasties will leach into your food whilst it’s stored, they’re reusable and compostable. Plus, they come in fun patterns!
Use loose leaf tea with a tea strainer instead of teabags that are sealed with plastic. Or give plastic free tea Pukka Tea and Teapigs a go! Disposing of teabags ultimately leads to microplastics entering our waterways and eventually our food chain. Things are changing, though: PG tips are bringing in biodegradable teabags this month, and we hope other brands will soon follow.
7. Give up gum
Britons are the second biggest consumers of gum in the world, chewing an estimated 130 sticks per person each year. Chewing gum (made from plastic itself) can be swapped for plastic free alternatives such as Glee or Chewsy!
8. Glitter, the one member of the party that NEVER leaves!
Glitter is made from plastic of such a small size it’s especially lethal to our oceans. This microplastic can eventually end up in our food chain as plankton and shellfish can ingest it. But don’t worry, you can still sparkle guilt-free! There are many ranges of eco-friendly, biodegradable glitter out there.
9. Bring back the milkman
Consider getting your milk delivered in glass bottles which are reused and recycled instead of your usual plastic pint. Many milkrounds also offer fruit juices too. Join the 4% of the British population who still get their milk delivered!
10. Become a wine bottle sommelier
What’s more satisfying, popping a cork or the modern screw top? Choose wine bottles with natural cork stoppers instead of plastic stoppers or metal screw caps (which contain BPA, an industrial chemical used to make certain plastics). Visit recork.org to explore the range of wines using cork stoppers.