380 million tons of plastic is produced each year. It is estimated that 90% of the total production is NON recyclable. So how are we dealing with the waste? Surely, since mass production of plastic started in 1940’s we would have enough time to work out ways to efficiently manage that , right?!
Wrong! It is totally shocking that around 80% of the total plastic waste ends up in the landfills, some scattered around natural environment, 8 million metric tons end up in oceans year after year! It is estimated that if we carry on this way by 2050 oceans will have more plastic then fish! Over 90% of sea birds have plastic in their stomach.
It’s not just a matter of unpleasant view but plastic decomposition poses a threat to wildlife and human. Harmful chemicals are being released into soil and seep into groundwater and other surrounding sources of water.
It can take up to 500 years for plastic to degrade! The rubbish we produce now are going to be still there, on the same field for our children, grandchildren and couple more generations after that. This is seriously wrong!!!! This global issue needs to be addresses, production of plastic strictly reduced and closely monitored and waste management urgently reformed.
Change is needed now!
I have no doubt that you agree with this statement. The statistics are shocking! We can see some positive changes happening, one of the most recent being ban on sale of single use straws, cotton buds and plastic cutlery. Single use plastics account for 50% of the total production of plastic waste. Yes, we have all used one or two in our life, we are all guilty! I’m not writing this to point, blame or shame. My aim is to open your eyes to level of this global problem and inspire you to change the way you look at the impact of our every day decisions. Its so important to make conscious choices and set example for others to follow.
The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion!
Paolo Coehlo is absolutely right! Starting with yourself, its the best place to start. The greatest thread is to believe that someone else will deal with it. The way forward is to reduce the waste we produce in our households day in and day out. By using less we conserve resources and naturally saving land. It might seem little considering the scale of the world problem but imagine the impact we all have if we all collectively take the responsibility.
3 simple ways to reduce plastic use in your home today
1. Reusable water bottle
13 billion plastic bottles are thrown away EVERY YEAR! Imagine that mountain of plastic!
Bottled water not only is adding to global pollution but also drills a hole in your pocket. Currently is UK the cost of tap water is 0.1p per Liter compare to average 0.65p per Liter per bottled water. On average you consume 2L per day so expense comes to £474.5 and close to £2000 for a family of 4! It is not only wise to stop using bottled water but also it will save you a small fortune.
Invest in a good quality, reusable water bottle that will serve you for a long time. There are many fantastic products out there and I’m sure you can find your favourite! Andkeep.com is my personal favourite place to shop for bottles. I often hear that people dislike the taste of tap water. This company covered all bases! Not only they have great choice of bottles but also offers charcoal filters! This very simple method of filtration has been used for centuries. Charcoal adds minerals (such as calcium), removes chemicals (such as chlorine) from you water and improves it’s taste. Simply pop it into your bottle and enjoy it’s benefits for up to 6 months. No jugs, plastic filters just pleasing simplicity.
2. Bags for life are a must!
It became just to easy to get yet another plastic bag at the supermarket. Plastic bags are one of the highest on the guilty list of waste. Did you know that plastic bags are made of derivatives of fossil flues like gas and petroleum? Nearly 12 million barrels of oil are needed to produce yearly supply of plastic bags just in US! Not only it adds enormously to the plastic waste issue but also drains limited natural resources!
There really is no excuse. The market is full of fun, good quality and really affordable bags made of various sustainable materials. Fabric, mesh, fordable, light weight, big or small, the choices are endless. If you just like me like to support small trade, local and independent businesses Etsy is the place to go for some unique designs at very competitive prices. Eco all the way :-)!
If you struggling to make your decision here is a guide on how to choose the best shopping bag for your needs.
3. Re-think your storage solutions
Storage containers come in many shapes and sizes and are undoubtedly very useful. There has been lot of controversy around plastic containers and harmful BPA, Antimony, Phthalates and it’s affect on our health through the chemical reaction with food, heat etc. Glass containers although might be a bit more expensive are totally worth the investment!
What are the advantages of glass containers?
- Safety – Glass is non toxic so you can be sure storing food is safe
- More hygienic due to nonporous surface and it can be washed at high temperatures
- You can re-heat your food in the glass container
- They won’t discolour or smell like mixture of last 10 meals !
- Glass generally last much longer so it’s an investment worth your while
- Fully recyclable once it’s life come to an end
Don’t forget that any glass jar that you already have in your home can be great container for your leftover soup, that delicious pasta sauce from last night, to store a salad for your lunch or any dry goods such as pasts, beans or rice.