Eco Annie’s Earth week Solutions #6 Changing consumer mindset on plastic pollution.

PLASTIC POLLUTION and Earth day 2018.

Decades of single-use plastics usage by us have accumulated in the massive amount of plastic pollution we have created.  Many plastic items are used only once and then thrown away – That’s crazy!! In the UK only 10% of coffee cups are recycled. Plastic is a byproduct of the production of petroleum from oil and takes hundreds of years to break down. It breaks down into tiny pieces called microplastics.

“According to a study by Plymouth University, one-third of the fish caught in the UK had plastic inside”    Source: http://www.earthday.org 

Studies show that marine life consume microplastics by mistaking it for food and the results from this contamination is not fully known yet. If you eat seafood in your diet, you have probably also consumed microplastics. 

In the North Pacific Ocean, tiny pieces of plastic and chemical sludge have created something called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  It is hard to know how big it actually is as the pieces often float below the water level.  It is estimated to range in size between the size of Texas and the size of Russia. 

SOLUTIONS

 

22nd April  –  Earth day this year is focusing on taking action to cut down plastic pollution and end single-use plastics. Last week, Matt Manfredi and I took 2 challenges to help with plastic pollution.

Many of the items we found were:

  • Lighters
  • Plastic toothbrushes
  • Single-use smoothie cups and plastic straws
  • Single-use water bottles
  • Plastic body care bottles

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Although it is a little bit inconvenient, it is such an easy step to take to cut down on your overall plastic use. We must change consumer mindset so that we can push the big companies to produce alternatives to single-use plastics.

You can make better choices!!   I have pledged to reduce my plastic use.  I carry with me: a reusable bottle, a bamboo straw, reusable cutlery and a reusable tin for takeaway food.  I also use a bamboo toothbrush.

 

I use Refill station Bangkok for my household cleaning products and some body care products. I also learned how to make my own body products from Bangkok Soap Opera This has two plus points:

  • reduction in plastic bottle use
  • the products are chemical free and paraben free which means it is kinder to your body and kinder to marine life when the products are washed into the waterways

 

I use toilet paper from UK who gives a crap  USA who gives a crap It is made from 100% recycled paper and they donate 50% of their profits to build toilets for those in need.  Now, what’s not to love about that? You can also get creative with the toilet paper wrapper!

 

Change how you get your milk.  Many people are now turning back to use glass bottles! Here is Ann, who has pledged to change 5 things within her daily habits to reduce her carbon footprint and plastic use.

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Choose to drink your coffee/tea at places that have changed to use compostable cups and utensils.

 

Fast fashion these days is causing tonnes of pollution in the form of clothes so if you can try to shop for second-hand items. Certain types of Clothing are also causing ocean pollution.  Many fibres such as polyester and fleece are made from plastic and when they are washed in the washing machine the small microplastics break off and filter into the waterways.  Watch this excellent video that explains it in more detail:

Take your plastic pledge today by using the Earth day toolkits https://www.earthday.org/yourjourney2018/

  • Step 1: Learn about plastics
  • Step 2: Use the calculator to find out how much you consume and then create a personal plan to track your usage.
  • Step 3: Take the plastic pledge and share it on Facebook and then take action in your community.

 

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