Did you know that Australians dump over 1 million tonnes of plastic waste in landfill each year?
And if you’re not concerned, you really should be. Even just enough to read the end of this blog, by which you’ll hopefully see the ramifications of our choices, and pledge to make better ones.
Plastic surrounds us. It’s everywhere- in our fridge, in our pantry, our bathrooms, even our closets (plastic coat hangers I’m looking at YOU) and if you’ve ever bought anything, guaranteed there’s some form of plastic packaging on it.
So we use it, but what happens then?
Where does plastic go? Some of it gets recycled. Some of it is reused. Most of it ends up in landfill and in our waterways.
- Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
- 50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away.
- Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. More than one million bags are used every minute.
- It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
- Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.
- Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form (with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated).
This is just mind boggling. And it doesn’t end there.
- Australians buy 600 million litres of bottled water a year.
- Over one million seabirds are killed by ocean pollution each year. Three hundred thousand dolphins and porpoises die each year as a result of becoming entangled in discarded fishing nets, among other items. One hundred thousand sea mammals are killed in the ocean by pollution each year.
- There is an island of garbage twice the size of Texas inside the Pacific Ocean: the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California is the largest oceanic garbage site in the entire world. There, the number of floating plastic pieces outnumbers total marine life six to one in the immediate vicinity. WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. F?!?!?!
You with me? Ready to do this?
GREAT. I knew you would be.
First: Take the pledge for #plasticfreejuly. Sign up here and you’ll be sent some simple information! There’s something super powerful about pledging- so make it count! Thanks for being awesome team #plasticfreejuly!
Second: Don’t freak out. I promise, it’s not hard. Start here:
- Say NO to plastic straws (grab a glass or metal straw and use it forever)
- Say NO to plastic bags (use a canvas tote or even a super cool nana trolley!)
- Don’t buy things in plastic (where possible). Most large supermarkets house produce in plastic wrapping. Seriously. Most vegies and fruit have their own wrapping, thank you.
- Buy your food in bulk, and fill up your own glass containers and jars. They look way cuter, too.
- Carry around a spare utensil set, so you can refuse plastic knives and forks (they work like shit anyway)
- Use KeepCups or similar for your morning coffee run. (I know how easy it is to forget this, I’m guilty of it- but no more!)
- Throw away, and never EVER buy any face or body scrubs with ‘Microbeads’ in it. That shit ends up in the ocean.
- Some things you just can’t buy without plastic. I get it. Unfortunately until those companies come up with other solutions, it’s going to be up to us to make a dent in the other plastic parts of our lives.
- I’m trying to work out an eco friendly way to pick up dog poo when we’re out and about. Any ideas people?
- If you have plastic containers that you use for lots of things- great! Reuse that bad boy as long as you possibly can.
- This is about what you CAN avoid and what you CAN do to reduce your plastic consumption. Focus on the positive!
- Everyone has to start somewhere. Promise.
Some great resources and information:
Never bought bulk foods before? Never fear.
While you’re at it, check out this too (relevant!)
Read more here:
Looking forward to being a part of this awesome initiative!