The plastic bottles, bags and takeaway containers that we use just for a few minutes use a material that is designed to last forever.
- break up, not break down – becoming permanent pollution
- are mostly downcycled (made into low grade product for just one more use) or sent to landfill
- ‘escape’ from bins, trucks, events etc. to become ‘accidental litter’
- end up in waterways and the ocean – where scientists predict there will be more tonnes of plastic than tonnes of fish by 2050
- transfer to the food chain – carrying pollutants with them
- increase our eco-footprint – plastic manufacturing consumes 6% of the world’s fossil fuels
Choosing to be part of the solution, you can act by:
- Avoiding products in plastic packaging (choose alternatives)
- Reducing where possible (opt for refills, remember your reusable shopping bags)
- Refusing plastics that escape as litter (e.g. straws, takeaway cups, utensils, balloons)
- Recycling what cannot be avoided
Tips for making a change: Use What You Have
- Save your glass jars and bottles for purchasing bulk food and for storing leftovers.
- Store leftovers in a bowl with plate over the top instead of using plastic wrap.
- If you have plastic containers in the cupboard – use them until they wear out.
- Store vegetables in reused plastic bags, wrapped in damp tea towels or glass containers.
- Wrap sandwiches in fabric or paper.
- Herbs keep well in a slightly damp tea towel in a glass container.
- Wrap cheese in an old linen tea towel.
- Freeze leftovers in heat stable glass containers eg Pyrex.
- Use a clean shower cap to cover a bowl.
- Line rubbish bin with several layers of newspaper.
- Wrap in baking paper
- Check charity/op shops, ask family and friends and look on Buy Nothing groups before buying anything new.
- Choose glass or stainless steel food storage containers.
- Buy reusable products from companies who care about the planet rather than big box stores.
- Try to find local stores in your neighbourhood to support before buying online.
For more ideas and to join the choose to refuse campaign click here.