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Plastic is everywhere. From the wristband placed around your wrist at birth to the mouse your hand is resting on right now, you can’t get away from it. It’s fantastic stuff. When used well.
We’ve grown a bit of an addiction lately though, using it like its going out of fashion in the most ludicrous way. From individually wrapping bananas to encasing a stick of glue in an unbreakable plastic case, to single-use carrier bags, our use of plastic has gone wild.
And it’s not without it’s consequences.
Landfill and recycling
Thankfully, not all plastic waste ends up in our trees and seas. Over 3/4 gets buried in our landfills, which are rapidly filling up, and 19% is recycled1 - down cycled, we should say. Plastic recycling is nowhere near as efficient as glass or aluminium can recycling; it dramatically reduces the quality of the plastic and uses lots of energy (although not as much as making new plastic from scratch).
But it’s far better just to use less in the first place.
Plastic is made from oil, and making it uses a fair whack of energy: for every kilo of plastic six kilos of carbon dioxide is released2.
By just taking your own cotton bags to the supermarket you can save 23Kg CO2 a year3.
We’ve all seen plastic bags stuck in tree tops and empty bottles lying among the autumn leaves, but not many of us have seen the great pacific garbage patch for ourselves – a plastic soup in our ocean twice the size of France.
Our waste manages to find its way into every corner of our world, but unlike most other waste, plastic does not biodegrade.
The trash vortex in the Pacific is the size of Texas, with an estimated six kilos of plastic for every kilo of natural plankton
Every piece of plastic ever made is still on the planet somewhere.
Spend less time cutting through layers of plastic and emptying your overflowing bins, and more time living.
Avoid buying insanely over-packaged goods
Use a reusable shopping bag
Buy loose veg/fruit instead of packaged produce
Check out Lexy's blog for even more creative ideas!
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Got other tips or great resources to share? Please email them over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
1 - Plastics - WRAP
3 - Rubbish and Shopping (Global Action Plan)
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