You may have heard of the recent sky news story about ‘The Plastic Whale’ that sadly had to be shot just off the coast of Norway. The reason for this unfortunate event: the large amount of waste plastic the whale had accidentally ingested. Scientists found that the whale had swallowed over 30 plastic bags, with one sheet measuring over 2 meters long. The sad reality as that most of the fatal waste was everyday household items such, Walkers crisps bags, black bin liners, carrier bags and zipped freezer bags. Read the full story: http://news.sky.com/feature/sky-ocean-rescue-a-plastic-whale-10917187.
This story has reignited concerns amongst many companies and consumers alike to do what they can to reduce the amount of plastics they use.
“Just 14% of plastic packaging is collected for recycling globally, one third ends up in the natural environment and if current trends continue, by 2050 our oceans could contain more plastics than fish, by weight,” warns Rob Opsomer, lead of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s new plastics economy initiative.
How can we Reduce Our Plastic Consumption?
Here are ten tips for reduce the amount of plastic we consume:
- Stop using straws or buy reusable ones.
- Use products that do not contain polymer beads. Polymers can often be found in facial scrubs, soaps and even toothpaste. For more information read our previous blog post on the dangers of polymers: https://www.crystalcleanservice.co.uk/polymers-and-microbeads/
- Just one plastic bag can take up to 1,000 years to degrade so opt for a bag for life when out shopping, it will even save you a few pennies too!
- Did you know most chewing gum is actually made of synthetic rubber or more commonly known as plastic.
- Buy food with less packaging or buy items that come in boxes rather than bottles. You may save money and unnecessary packaging.
- Use a reusable mug for hot drinks, even when taking out. Starbucks and Café Nero reward their customers for using their own mugs http://bit.ly/2tW0YjE.
- Invest in a refillable metal lighter rather than a disposable plastic one, or even better kick the habit! http://bit.ly/1avJOct
- Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable ones
- Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags.
- Cut down on frozen foods because their packaging is mostly plastic. Cutting down on processed foods may also reduce your waistline!
Companies contributing to the war against plastics
Lush Cosmetics has recently announced that it will start using recycled ocean plastic in its packaging .https://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/lush-adds-ocean-plastic-its-list-eco-initiatives.html
Unilever, whose brands include Dove and Surf, has pledged to make all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/feb/02/packaging-plastics-pollution-recycling-unilever-dove-marks-spencer
Plastic Whale is the first professional plastic fishing company in the world. The social enterprise allows tourists to rent boats made of recycled ocean plastic and go plastic fishing! The company even makes ‘waste-boards’ or skate boards out of bottle caps. https://plasticwhale.com/.
How Are We Reducing Our Plastic Consumption?
At Crystal Clean Service we no longer supply or use soaps and scrubs containing plastic polymer beads. In addition, we have begun a plastic recycling initiative and aim to recycle 100% of our waste plastics. We only hope that more companies follow suit and join in on the war against plastics.
The steps don’t have to be drastic to significantly reduce your plastic.