HOW TO #REBELAGAINSTPLASTIC
- Refuse single-use
Here's the situation. Our planet is currently polluted and exhausted of its resources. It takes over 400 years for plastic to biodegrade, and even then the residue micro-particles never fully disappear. We mindlessly over-consume single-use plastic as part of our everyday lives without a thought for the impact on the future of our environment.
Plastic is a substance the earth can't digest.
From littering out beaches and overloading our landfills, to damaging our marine life and affecting human hormones, the overwhelming production of plastic is taking its toll on the longevity of our planet. The issue of single-use is becoming more mainstream with big players in the industry paving the way to sustainable change. Waitrose and McDonalds are removing disposable coffee cups and straws whilst Pret a Manger are rewarding customers for bringing their own reusables.
However it’s not just up to industry leaders to make the waves, becoming individually responsible for the way we use and consume plastic has to start now. Here’s some of the HARD facts and our EASY solutions.
THE HARD FACTS.
PLASTIC NEVER DISAPPEARS.
Plastic is made to last forever. From the moment it’s produced, it can never fully biodegrade. Instead, it simply breaks down into smaller pieces, infiltrating into our ecosystems. 33% of all plastic is used only once and then disposed of through littering or into over-flowing landfills.
PLASTIC KILLS MARINE LIFE.
8 million tons of plastic enters out oceans annually and by 2050 it's estimated that there will be more pieces of plastic in the ocean than fish. This is a figure that hasn’t got any indication of slowing down.
PLASTIC AFFECTS OUR BODIES.
It’s not just the planet that’s being affected, it’s our health. Plastic contains phthalates (DEHP) and the chemical BPA, which studies have shown are harmful to human hormones and our reproductive systems. Plastic Tupperware and containers used to store food allow the transfer of these damaging chemicals into our bodies.
We don’t live in a zero-waste, plastic-free world, and we aren’t going to anytime soon. But our individual efforts form big strides in the movement to protect the planet for our future generations.
THE EASY SOLUTIONS.
RECONSIDER THE BIG 3
Stay clear of the 3 big single-use offenders; bottles, bags and coffee cups. The investment is small but the long-term result is big.
BOTTLE IT UP
Purchase a reusable stainless steel water bottle that you can carry with you at all times and say goodbye to contributing to the 500 million plastic bottles that are disposed of annually.
Carry a canvas shopper with you in case of a last minute run to the supermarket so that you can refuse those single-use plastic bags. Most supermarkets have purchasable shoppers in store.
Don’t be fooled by thinking a coffee cup without a lid is plastic-free- paper cups contain a plastic lining. Instead, invest in a reusable coffee cup and ask your local coffee shops to dispense into that Keep Cup and E Coffee Cup do some great options.
REFUSE THE UNNECESSARY
Say no to single-use. Help to decrease the demand to eventually lessen and stop the supply.
Plastic straws and plastic coffee stirrers- let’s be real, we don’t need them. They’re little pieces of unnecessary convenience that our sea life are choking on. Ask for no straw when you’re ordering before your bartender adds one to your drink. If you do need one, invest in a stainless steel reusable here.
Say no to plastic cutlery too- consider carrying your own metal utensils so that you’re not caught off guard when you’re picking up your lunch.
REDUCE WHAT YOU BUY
Be conscious of your purchases. Buy less and start consuming what you really need.
Any sustainable act is a positive step, however recycling requires resources, time and energy, not forgetting that many of these plastics can’t be recycled and will end up in a landfill regardless of what bin they were placed in. As consumers we can’t just care about where our products end up, but also be responsible for the for the products that we consume in the first place. Think of it this way- there will be less plastic in the world and money in your bank account. Win win.
RETHINK WHAT YOU BUY
Scrub the right way. The ban on microbeads will be implemented later this year, but in the meantime purchase exfoliators that use natural elements. St.Ives and Lush use 100% natural ingredients and exfoliants. Or if you’re feeling creative, try your own DIY scrub with sugar + coconut oil + honey.
More often than not there are always alternatives to the plastic option. Even consider the next time you purchase a new toothbrush, why not opt for a sustainably grown bamboo brush.
Shop local. Avoid the fruit and veg that are packaged in plastic. Hit up your local greengrocers to pick up loose fruit and veg instead, which are usually cheaper than the pre-packaged option.
There are a few zero-waste stores starting to pop up, offering wholefoods and sustainable reusable items without the unnecessary packaging. Invest in some mason jars and check out Hetu and Bulk Market for buying nuts, grains, oils and cereals in bulk.
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow
by evading it today“
- Abraham Lincoln
SPREAD THE WORD
The more educated we are, the more responsible we have to become. Inform your friends and family and colleagues of the plastic crisis. Help them understand how plastic affects our oceans and how they can take also take the actions above to decrease their plastic use. This is a problem that impacts all of us and requires for us to work together to save the oceans for future generations.
Find out about how we’re driving the change within the fitness world through our #RebelAgainstPlastic initiative here.