Plastic waste

Around 150 million tons of plastic is floating in the world's oceans and researchers say this will surpass the weight of all the fish in the sea.  

 

Microplastics have entered the food chain through leaching of hazardous chemicals in are water systems and our soil.

Don’t be daunted by what’s happening on a global scale…We can take action and contribute in whatever way we can to become part of the solution.  If millions of total strangers take one small actions to change out own lives this is a giant step to tackling global waste.

Recycled Plastic

What you can do

Around one fifth of our household waste is made up of plastic from food packaging. If you have been putting it into recycling, remember not all gets recycled by waste management companies or the recycling plants. Much of it is dumped in land fills, or shipped to other poorer countries for their landfills which pollute their soil!  There are different kinds of plastic made from different chemical blends some of which are toxic.

 

 More than 90% of the plastic we have ever produced is now near-permanently polluting our world. 

 

Innovation and investment in plastics alternatives will lead to totally biodegradable consumer goods packaging in grocery stores and markets soon. In the meantime, we all need to wake up to the fact that we cannot recycle our way out of our plastic problem.

Products made from recycled plastics.

However, many companies around the world now produce everyday items using recycled plastic. Here are some examples

What others have done

Changing business to reduce marine plastic pollution

 

Recycling in the Classroom
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A checklist

Plastic Waste Challenge at home

 

  • Take on a challenge and check over the week how much plastic are you collecting from all the every day things you buy. 

  • Take a look at it and think can you apply any 9Rs principle.  

  • How many products are recyclable safely? 

  • Check the brands you often buy and do they have a recycle or eco labeling.? 

  • This can vary from country to country or regionally across the Globe and can be very confusing.  Each Country has its own environmental standards agency for vetting companies and manufacturers. 

  • Do you know how your waste when separated is recycled or repurposed?

  • Is the waste management company where you live closing the loop so waste does not get dumped or shipped elsewhere? 

Call for change

The simple message is DON’T USE PLASTICS,  SWITCH to ALTERNATIVES

 

  • Reuse plastic bags, use tote bags, reusable shopping bags

  • Reduce the amount of plastics by refusing the packaging 

  • Buy things where possible unwrapped especially fresh fruit and vegetables   

  • Support local markets, farmers market, local fish sellers, meat shops, bakeries, and delicatessens and take your own reusable containers, bags

  • Buy tea loose since majority of teabags contain plastic and leach micro plastics

  • Shop for items where non-plastic packaging is being used that is biodegradable like bamboo, cardboard, corn starch for boxes and containers 

  • Fill reusable water bottles when going outside instead of buying individual-size water bottles

  • Avoid throwaway cleaning cloths, razors, and beauty products which require excessive plastic and other packaging.

  • Look for smaller brands that are helping to work within the circular economy by refill bottles and tubs. Green brands use natural ingredients that are cruelty free.  Find them online or at health alternative shops.

Check out this very informative documentary on "The Plastic Problem" by PBS Newshour

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/the-plastic-problem

Image by Hermes Rivera