Plastic pollution is a real problem we’re facing and the amount of waste we’re producing is devastating so many parts of our beautiful, natural world. Discarded single-use plastic is causing catastrophic damage to our oceans and wildlife, killing many beautiful species we associate with the magnificent underwater world. Species destruction doesn’t stop once above the surface, many land animals are suffering too because of our throwaway attitude to plastic. National Geographic did a talk on plastic waste last year an explained that nearly every species of sea bird on earth is eating plastic. Mothers are feeding their offspring minute pieces of plastic mistaking it for food and, unsurprisingly, those chicks aren’t surviving their first year of life. One study recorded the population of sea birds from 1950 to 2010 and numbers decreased by 67%. That’s over a 10% decline each decade.
Plastic pollution isn’t just destructing the earth’s wildlife, it’s also seeping its way into the food we eat. The Guardian reported that eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped in our oceans each year. Fish subsequently consume microparticles of plastic and guess what? So are we when we consume fish. The University of Plymouth recently released results from a study conducted which revealed plastic was found in a third of UK-caught fish such as cod, haddock, mackerel and shellfish. We’re all for getting our omegas but this isn’t what we thought we were signing up for when consuming our recommended weekly serving of fish.
Head down any shopping aisle in your local supermarket and you’ll see food wrapped head to toe in plastic. Whether it’s pre-sliced vegetables or your favourite brand of hummus, the worrying thing is that plastic is leaching into the food we are consuming. Bottled water has definitely come under fire for leaching toxic chemicals from the plastic into our bodies and the same goes for disposable coffee cups. Did you know, a million plastic bottles are bought every minute around the world? If we continue down the same path and don’t act on this, that figure is set to increase by 20% by 2021. Luckily, many people have made a conscious effort to buy filters for their homes and always carry reusable bottles/travel cups for drinking on the go. It’s a great start, for sure, but more supermarkets, brands and high street restaurant/coffee chains still have a long way to go to cut single-use plastic from their businesses and find alternatives that are safer for us and better for the planet.
If you’re interested in finding a zero-waste shop near you then we’ve written a great guide for you. For now, if you’re willing to make some changes in your life to help support the planet, then here are 6 reusable products you need if you want to ban single-use plastic from your day to day living.
This eco-friendly bamboo cutlery set from Bambuka includes a knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks and a metal straw.
£13.07 – Amazon.co.uk
We love this stainless steel lunch box from Black+Blum. It’s durable, compact and even comes with a fork if you forget to carry your portable cutlery set!
£29.99 – Planetorganic.com
Every member of the H&H team owns a S’well Bottle. They are truly life-changing. Hot drinks stay hot and cold drinks stay cold (even if in direct sunlight). Game changer.
£35 – johnlewis.com
Begone cling film… beeswax wraps are the best way to store food and keep leftovers fresh without using rolls and rolls of indestructable plastic.
£15 (for 3) – Amnesty shop
This canvas tote from Daylesford is the perfect size for a decent food shop and it looks beautiful too.
£29 – Daylesford.com
Baby food storage containers (like these from Home Planet) are super handy for storing homemade snacks like energy balls and hummus in the fridge without having to resort to shop bought varieties.
£22.99 – Amazon.co.uk
Lightweight and intelligently designed, La Pochette’s Sweat Bag will keep your gym gear fresh as a daisy (even post-workout). It’s made from recycled fibre, anti-bacterial and deodorising and it’s water resistant! No more shoving your kit in a plastic bag.
£35 – lapochette.co
words by Molly Jennings
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