Plastic is everywhere – quite literally and not for any good reason. Every day it seems we’re being bombarded with images of plastic strewn all over our beaches and oceans. All this despite the fact that efforts to recycle are higher than ever before with many UK households having plastic recycling bins and collections as standard.
Quite why this is happening we’re told is down to the type of plastic itself. In the UK we don’t have the technology or enough of it in order to recycle particular types of plastic on a large scale. So regardless of our efforts to recycle we are still falling short and our plastics aren’t quite being recycled and repurposed as we had imagined.
Whilst pressure is being put on manufacturers to provide packaging that could be recycled, so too is pressure being laid at the door of consumers to find alternatives to using plastics. In some cases this may be unavoidable in the current landscape but there are ways to cut down on plastic consumption which we will discuss here:
Refuse plastic straws and plastic cutlery: Using a straw for drinks might be second nature. However switching to paper straws or just not using one altogether could be much better for the environment. Taking your own cutlery might be harder to remember but could be well worth doing.
Take a reusable cup: Hot drinks cups have come under fire most recently with a so called 25p coffee tax being considered in parliament in order to try and cut down on this waste. Taking a reusable cup with you could be an easy way around this big waste problem, especially when considering 2.5 billion cups are thrown away in the UK each year.
Remember your reusable carrier bag: The 5p tax on carrier bags has been introduced already with an estimated 85% drop in usage. Carrying a bag with you at all times could prevent being caught out.
Get milk delivered: It might seem like a thing of the past but using a glass bottle delivery and re-use service could cut down on plastic bottle consumption.
Reduce plastic packaging purchases: It might be harder to avoid but using less packaging could reduce plastic consumption. Buying loose fruit and vegetables and avoiding or substituting products that are heavily packaged in plastic could be a good alternative.