Plastic has taken a real hammering lately in the press – plastic bags, plastic bottles and plastic in general have been blamed for a huge global waste problem. The problem can’t be ignored but it really needs people to change their attitudes towards waste in general and to see it as a collective problem. Waste removal has to be done responsibly and with the Government pledging to put £61.4 million to help tackle ocean plastic waste it is also something that needs to change at source too to prevent further build up. Here are some ways householders can reduce their plastic usage:
Use plastic alternatives – by no means an easy task at this point but looking for glass bottles, zero waste options in shops when replenishing drink and food supplies is an option that is growing. Even small changes like getting milk delivered in bottles helps to reduce plastic waste.
Take your own bags – since October 2015 large shops have had to charge for carrier bags. Taking your own not only saves money but also reduces the volume of new bags being used.
Use reusable drinks cups/bottles – the UK is responsible for discarding 35 million plastic bottles a year. Taking a resuable cup for hot drinks or a reusable bottle for water etc could start to impact his figure.
Take cutlery to work – when eating on the go the only cutlery on offer is often plastic – planning ahead by taking some with you or keeping some at work may mean being able to say no to plastic options in future.
Say no to straws – consider whether you need to use a straw at all for drinks and either use an alternative that isn’t as damaging to the environment or is reusable (paper or stainless steel).
Consider how you shop – convenience food including ready meals and prepared vegetables are usually accompanied by lots of plastic wrapping. Even committing to just 1 main meal a week where you use fresh ingredients could help reduce your plastic footprint.
Thinking about how you use or re-use plastic could make a big difference to the overall impact. Even if the changes you make seem small the collective change could be huge.