Say no to Single Use Plastics
The single biggest contributor to the plastics problem is single use plastics. You can easily make an impact on this issue by refusing single use plastics.
-Take your own grocery bags to the store.
-Buy loose fruit and vegetables rather than pre-packaged
-Buy your meats from the butchers or deli counter
-Avoid purchasing any items pre-packaged in plastic
-Avoid using items like plastic drinking straws, disposable plastic cutlery and plastic sanitary goods.
Recycling the plastic items we use goes without saying, but for those of use who already have municipal recycling schemes in place, do you know what plastics they can actually process? Plastics that cannot be recycled generally end up in landfill sites, and of those plastics that can be recycled, it is estimated that only 9% end up getting remade into other products. So only buying plastics that can be recycled locally is essential
Looking for alternate local recycling schemes is also good idea. Check to see if there is a Precious Plastics initiative in your area or if there are any community schemes to collect certain plastics. If there's not, maybe consider starting one of your own.
Buying items made from recycled plastics is also a great way to ensure that we are promoting a circular plastics economy. So look out for products made from recycled plastics the next time you shop.
Instead of recycling things we can also repurpose them. For example:
- You can use clear plastic drinks bottle as mini greenhouses to raise seedlings.
- You can make plarn (plastic yarn) from soft plastics that you can then weave into new items
- You can make fused plastic canvas from old carrier bags that you can then make reusable bags
- You can even turn some plastic items into new plastic items using 3D printing
Unfortunately we live in a disposable era. It is cheaper and easier to discard and replace something rather than repair it, and this is a real shame. Prior to advent of cheap plastic items, similar items would have been repaired and their service life extended rather than simply discarded in favour of another plastic replacement.
So rather than throwing that item out, why not repair it.
Whilst plastics do provide convenience for many things, there was a time before plastics when alternative solutions were used. It's time to bring some of these back into every-day life, and time to find alternative solutions for others.
- Swap your dish sponge for a dishcloth
- Swap your plastic sandwich bags for paper bags
- Try waxed cotton wraps for storing food
- Buy wooden handled brushes instead of plastic
- Use reusable containers instead of wrapping food in cling wrap or freezer bags
- Swap your disposable coffee cups for a reusable one
- Buy yourself a reusable drinking straw
- Get your milk delivered in glass bottles
- Get a vegetable box delivered
- Use a handkerchief
- Use a metal razor or cut-throat
- Use a pencil
We're pretty sure you will be very surprised at your plastics footprint and are quite confident that you will start making some changes to try and reduce it but that's only half of what we are trying to achieve here
We want you to tell your friends and colleagues about the challenge. We want you to try and get them on-board too. Getting your workplace or school involved in the challenge is also a great way to generate interest. The more people that we can get to take the challenge, the more we will raise awareness and the more progress will be made towards a completely circular plastic economy.