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  • Writer's pictureEbony

Cut Back on Plastic

Yup, I am a hippy. I love our planet and think we treat it pretty shockingly. Why not give mumma earth and her inhabitants a chance by cutting back on plastic? It's not hard and you feel clean and proud for it - win win.

Why should I?

Greenpeace say the equivalent of a truck full of rubbish ends up being dumped in the sea every minute.

This affects marine and bird life. Turtles eat plastic bags thinking they are jelly fish, the bags expand and the turtle thinks it's full but dies of starvation. Dolphins and seals get caught in plastic netting and, unable to get to the surface to breath, drown. Whales eat copious amounts of plastic and slowly die a painful death. Birds, too.

The 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' exists. 'The patch is so big that last fall (2017) environmentalists called on the United Nations to declare the Great Pacific Garbage Patch a country, called "The Trash Isles," complete with its own passport and currency, called debris.' As of 2018 it was the size of France.

Plastic causes mass devastation and yet has no purpose as there a hundreds of alternatives.

Only 9% of the plastic in the UK sent for recycling was actually recycled last year.

Dead Sea Gull Full of Plastic

The S word

Straws. Totally pointless, single use, zero function waste which sticks around for up to 200 years! No.

I found armfuls on Costa Rican beaches while strolling along and they are banned in Costa Rica so had washed up from across the globe.

How to cut back?

Ask for no straw. Ask for a biodegradable or paper straw. Bring a metal or bamboo straw in your bag. Or, this may shock, SIP YOUR DRINK!

Avoiding the supermarket plastic
  • Finding local shops or markets where you can purchase fruit and veg loose is a great way to cut back on plastic. Individually wrapped Aubergines or kills me.

  • Even better, find a shop where you can bring your own container (glass jar for instance) and refill on products like shampoo, pasta, cleaning products, tea etc.

  • Bring your own natural fibre bag, even the bags for life are made of plastic, branch out and get a cotton or jute one and keep it in your car.

  • Shop locally in green grocers, bakers, at local markets, (butchers too though I'm against that particular kind of shopping), and request no plastic. Present your own tuple ware for items which can't be kept loose.

  • If you drink milk find a local dairy farm which delivers milk in glass bottles which they re use. They probably do juice, too.

Don't buy bottle water or drinks

In the UK we use more than 35 BILLION(!) plastic bottles every year. A simple way to reduce this is to carry a reusable bottle with you, in your car, your bag, wherever. You also save money.

Reusable coffee cups

I know the Starbucks cup looks cool on instagram (apparently) and they spelt your name wrong again LOL (which is a marketing ploy BTW) but 2.5 BILLION cups are thrown away every year in just the UK and less than 1 in 400 are recycled. Besides, they are paper wrapped in plastic so very difficult to recycle and take over 30 years to decompose.

Buy one of those cool bamboo ones which cost about £5 and lots of places now offer 50p off your drink if you have one - so 11 drinks in and you're saving money. If the place you're at doesn't offer a discount ask them why not!

Reusable cutlery

If you eat lunch on the go why not buy a reusable spork or just carry a standard fork? Cut out those single use white plastic forks which break anyway and take 50+ years to break down.

Avoid micro beads

They are the little exfoliating beads in some face washes and scrubs designed to scrub that dead skin off of you, the same way plenty of natural products do too. They wash down the drain and into the ocean and in the mean time you're rubbing chemicals/plastic on your face.


Sounds gross but reusable nappies! It will save you money, you just need to wash the material like the good ol days when the Earth was clean and Sri Lanka wasn't a rubbish heap.

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