Plastic waste is a huge problem. The one time wonder material is so robust it barely degrades over time. In addition, most plastic even if it is recyclable is not actually recycled.
This means that lots of plastic makes it way to landfill sites or, worse, our rivers and oceans. From there tiny bits of the stuff, known as microplastics, make their way into the water we drink and the food we eat.
So what can we do? As an individual here are three easy ways to reduce your plastic consumption, which in turn reduces plastic waste.
1. Switch your soap to bars.
Stop buying those plastic liquid hand soaps. Instead, buy bars of soap, which come in cardboard. They do the same job, they’re just as hygienic, anti-bacterial, tend to last longer and they’re often cheaper too.
2. Switch your milk and condiments to glass.
You may be surprised to learn that in most parts of the UK you can still get milk delivered by the pint in glass bottles. McQueens is one such supplier, but there are loads of others. Yes, milkmen still exist! You can choose your milk type, ensure it comes from a local dairy and cut out the supermarkets.
This benefits local dairy farmers and the environment. Your milk doesn’t need to be transported by road over long distances and the glass bottles are usually collected and reused several times before being recycled. The milk will keep for 2-3 days and, if you prefer, you can place a cork in the bottle to keep it extra fresh for longer. The going rate for milk in glass is about 85p per pint delivered.
When buying tomato ketchup, mayonnaise and other condiments opt for ones that come in glass bottles or jars instead of those squeezy plastic ones! They are readily available, cost only slightly more, but again the glass is totally recyclable. Plus, I think food and drink products taste better from glass than from plastic.
3. Don’t buy fruit & veg that’s wrapped in plastic.
Whatever happened to buying mushrooms in paper bags? Opt to buy your fruit and veg loose, rather than those wrapped in plastic bags or film. It’s unnecessary packaging and as an added bonus loose veg is usually cheaper, which will help cover the extra cost of milk and comdiments in glass!
Better yet, if you have a garden then why not grow your own organic veg?
There we have simple changes, which are easy to make without negatively impacting on quality of life. If everyone makes a small change, the positive effects will be huge.
Vote with your wallet and help make the change you want to see in the world.