Has your heart not sunk when you’ve seen this image widely circulated on social media? We are destroying the world, one plastic discard at a time. I came to realise that I can not wait anymore for anyone else to start doing something – supermarkets, manufacturers, retailers, government don’t care or can’t be in the position to change things. They have large businesses which need to bring consistent profits to shareholders, so their formula of ‘spend less – extract more’ will remain. And government is too busy with more important projects, like war and dealing with the results, like the unfolding tragic refugee crisis.
It’s up to you and me and us, individuals, to do something.
Amazing organisations and initiatives like Ocean Clean Up or Plastic Bank or MBA Polymers are in their early days and have not yet achieved the same scale that solar energy is achieving now. We can help them grow by campaigning for them and helping them crowdfund, we can also use them as an inspiration to act.
I am starting with the amazing tips on how to reduce plastic in your life here. Thanks Treehugger! It’s all in the little things. I got a reusable water bottle for work and a reusable plastic cutlery set as we get disposable cutlery in the canteen (next level – non plastic cutlery). I am campaigning at work for having an alternative to plastic salad containers – just putting china bowls next to them would already reduce the plastic consumption.
When I buy food outside of the home, I ask not to give me tissues or cutlery, which is always plastic. I moved my family to bagless groceries deliveries. Tired of campaigning with my local supermarket for using paper bags and selling veg and fruit loose, I just got 100 brown paper bags and will use them for shopping, instead of plastic bags. I am also getting string bags (they are so retro in a cute way!).
Less plastic is also healthy. A while ago I replaced soap bars in my bathroom with a soap dispenser. Even though I use Method and Ecover, green brands, I will now reverse this back. I replaced shampoo with a soap bar. Or how about getting rid of the skincare products that contain plastic beads? I am sure these babies are not doing any good for your skin and definitely not for the ocean wildlife. Leave no stone unturned. Did you know that tampons and pads contain plastic? (that explains why liners do not stay bent!) Natracare is a brilliant, plastic free brand that is only slightly more expensive but will be better for your health and consciousness (just imagine ocean wildlife choking on your tampon!).
I am a long way from the inspirational Zero Waste blogger or this guy but hey, we all need to start somewhere right? If you are looking for the next small step to reduce plastic in your life – look at your office, your groceries deliveries, your bath and skincare products, your shopping. £3 is the price of 100 paper bags on Amazon and you can pick up string bags for peanuts on eBay. If you are conscious of what people will think, reframe – being green is nigh to being hipster these days. And of course, think of the ocean and the wildlife you are saving by not consuming plastic. 1 turtle, sea bird, dolphin at a time… What are you waiting for?