How to give up single-use plastic
Over 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year. Only about 10% of this is ever recycled.
No, we won’t share videos about the 10 million tonnes of waste that end up in the oceans each year or show you photos of turtles and other marine life drowning from being trapped in plastic pollution. Thanks to social media the world is already aware of this issue. We hope this post will help you to follow a more environmentally humble approach to plastic use.
#SingleUsePlastic is a problem that is continuing to impact not only our oceans but our environments as a whole. S u r u n c l o u d has travelled to over 80 different countries throughout the world over the past 10 years and waste pollution is the biggest and reoccurring problem that we’ve seen in common across all countries. It’s true that some countries we’ve visited appear way cleaner than others. This doesn’t mean these countries don’t generate waste – they’re just better at ‘sweeping it under the rug’.
Fortunately, it’s not too late to make a change. There is a way to save our planet from it’s current situation. And the solution is us – you, me, everybody and anyone.
Here are a few tips on what you can do to reduce plastic and waste in your everyday life.
| SAY NO TO…
＿Plastic Water Bottles – 1 million plastic water bottles are purchased around the world every minute, producing almost 500 billion every single year.
Buy your own reusable water bottle. These are cheap, come in all shapes, sizes and colours and will save you a lot of money in the long run. Refill your reusable water bottle at home and take it with you when going to the beach, to the shops, to work or even when you go out for a meal. If you need a little extra assurance at home, install a water filter for a small cost and that extra peace of mind. Don’t forget when you are out your reusable bottle can be filled at public fountains and we are sure any restaurant would be happy to refill it for you. By doing this you will help to cutdown the average person’s current use of 170 plastic water bottles every year. This can also save your family hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the long run.
＿Plastic Grocery Bags – 5 trillion plastic bags will be consumed this year. That’s 160,000 a second and they would cover an area twice the size of France.
Fortunately, most major shopping outlets are aware of this statistic and have banned plastic bags from their stores. You can help by saying no if offered plastic grocery bags and instead use your own reusable bag. Most reusable bags cost less than one dollar.
＿Plastic Straws – 500 million drinking straws are used in the Americas every day (a worldwide statistic is unknown but you can bet it’s an outrageous amount). To put this into perspective, 500 million drinking straws would fill 127 school buses – remembering this is for a single day.
Similar to reusable water bottles, reusable straws are available in all shapes, colours and sizes. Better still, why even bother with a straw. If you are at a bar or restaurant let your waiter or bartender know that you don’t require a straw. Easy!
＿Plastic food packaging and processed foods – 78 million tons of plastic packaging are produced annually. Over 30% of this ends up in our oceans. This is the equivalent of pouring one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
By eating more fresh food and being aware of your grocery packaging selection you can help to cut down this statistic. Did we mention you’ll also be eating healthier with more fresh foods? Try to also choose cardboard over plastic food packaging wherever possible. Remember that large plastic chip packet filled inside with even more smaller plastic chip packets. We know, we’re all guilty of this.
If everyone can make a few simple lifestyle changes and help to encourage educational and cultural awareness around waste minimisation, it will lead to minimising and hopefully one day even eliminating single-use plastics from this incredible planet we live on. The world is a naturally beautiful thing. Let’s keep it that way.
We realise this post is only just scratching the surface of a massive plastic problem. There are also many other ways to reduce your plastic consumption so please feel free to add this to the comments section below. We hope we can encourage our readers to think twice when it comes to plastic use and help to inspire others in promoting a positive culture around sustainable use of waste products.
This might seem like an impossible task and easier said than done, but you can begin your contribution to making the world a better place today. Every little bit helps.