PLASTIC FREE JULY
The month of July saw many a campaign calling for "Plastic Free July". But now we are in the month of August, what does that mean now?
Well hopefully, for those newly getting involved in these campaigns, they have realised how simple the swaps can be, and will continue swapping out single-use plastics for re-usables. And hopefully everyone will have learnt something about just how disastrous single-use plastics are for the environment, and will choose to take action!
Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to ocean recovery. According to 'Surfers Against Sewage', "It's estimated that over 12 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the ocean every single year. Countless fish, birds, turtle, wales and marine creatures are killed each year by mistaking plastics for food or getting entangled in discarded fishing gear across the world."[1.]
As we know, plastic never disappears, it just breaks down into smaller pieces, and has shown to enter ocean wildlife and also found inside human bodies.
The production of single use plastics relies heavily on fossil fuels. The combination of plastic production to its breakdown affects the environment terribly, and all mainly for single-use purposes.
So never underestimate the contribution towards the fight of plastic by using reusables:
- Always carry a reusable bag with you
- Carry a reusable water bottle at all times, and remember to rehydrate!
- If you have a regular routine of grabbing a coffee/tea, carry a reusable cup
- If you have lunch away from home, always pack a set of cutlery. Even better would be to pack your own lunches, all in reusable containers of course!
- Carry reusable straws with you if you prefer drinking with them
- Use reusable cotton pads over disposables
- Use reusable sanitary towels or other alternatives for your menstrual cycle
- Use washable towels to take off make up at the end of the day over disposable wet wipes
- Use clay powder face masks rather than disposable sheets
- Wear clothes more than once where possible to eliminate microplastics shedding in the wash
- Use soap bars over liquids within your beauty regime
- Use detergents sheets over liquids in your laundry
- If you prefer using liquids, buy in bigger bulk bottles and decant into a refillable glass bottle
- And generally reuse everything you possibly can!
Encourage friends to do it together, and let them think about the impact it has. Never force, abuse or cause offence to someone who refuses to make the change. They may have reasons that are not immediately obvious to you. In particular, many people with disabilities still require single-use products for a variety of reasons, so never discriminate and make them feel bad for having to do so.
Change is a collective effect, so as individuals we have to take action where we can. We also need to apply pressure on the bigger corporations who have the power and the finances to make change. Our environment needs us, and we need it more.
Find out more about Plastic Pollution in our Oceans with Surfers Against Sewage at: https://www.sas.org.uk