Single Use Plastics - Refuse, Reuse and Reduce - Activfirst
We all lead busy lives, juggling home and work commitments. As a result eating and drinking for convenience has led to an increase in single use plastics.
Plastic bags, plastic bottles and take away coffee cups are all a major concern when it comes to protecting the environment as only a small percentage of them end up being recycled, which means the majority ends up in landfill. They are made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which doesn’t biodegrade, instead it takes hundreds of years to break down into smaller fragments.
These toxic fragments then end up in our water systems, polluting land and oceans and poisoning marine life, wild life and humans over time.
When the plastic bag charge was introduced back in 2015 there was an initial reluctance to it as people realised they would have to change the way they shopped.
It took a while but most people got to grips with carrying reusable bags and Goverment data indicates that the 7 main retailers issued around 83% fewer bags (over 6 billion bags fewer) in 2016 to 2017 compared to the calendar year 2014 (for which WRAP reported data).
This is a great success and has also had a massive impact on reducing the number of plastic bags in landfill!
Our next focus must be on reducing the number of plastic bottles and disposable coffee cups that we use daily and all it takes is a little bit or pre-planning (like we now do with our carrier bags). People are encouraged to carry around their own reusable coffee cups and drinking bottles.
There is also talk of introducing the 25p coffee cup charge to encourage consumers to use their own cups instead of using the disposable ones.
Carrying a reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled water will go a long way to reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in the ecosystem and it would also save you money, who doesn’t want to save the planet and save money at the same time?
If we all make these small changes today it will lead to everyone having a more positive tomorrow!