2023 Litter Report coming soon

The top 10 ways you can help reduce plastic pollution

There are believed to be 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of ocean. More than 100,000 marine animals die each year due to plastic ingestion or entanglement in plastic. On top of that, a massive 1 million sea birds also die from plastic. So what can you do to help? Well, there are many ways to help reduce your plastic footprint. From natural cleaning products to reusable cups here are some great ideas of how you can help:

1. Stop buying bottled water

Probably the easiest task to accomplish and a real money saver. Stopping drinking bottled water not only significantly reduces the amount of plastic we throw away; it will also save you cash. Did you know that consumers in America buy 50 billion bottles of water a day and out of that 50 billion, only 80% ends up in landfill? It’s monumental. Buy yourself a reusable bottle and fill it up every day before you leave the house. Just think, if you stop buying a bottle of water a day at an average of 80p per bottle, you’ll save yourself £5.60 a week; £23.20 per month and a whopping £292 per year.

2. Bring your own reusable mug to the coffee shop

If you can’t get through the day without your coffee fix, then do your bit to help the environment by bringing a reusable cup to your local coffee shop. It’s not out of the ordinary. Coffee shops are slowly trying to encourage consumers to use their own branded reusable cups. So don’t worry, you won’t be looked at strangely by staff for asking them to prepare your coffee-to-go in a reusable cup.

3. Use a natural deodorant

When we’re in a rush, a quick squirt under the armpits and we’re good to go right? Wrong. We can all make the switch to using a natural deodorant. Not only do natural deodorants smell great, they eliminate the risk the chemicals that come with spray deodorants. Lush have a great deodorant bar that actually comes without packaging, which is perfect for the environment. Invest in a tin to make your natural deodorant portable.

4. Invest in a stainless steel razor

This isn’t such an obvious one, so you can be forgiven for not having a stainless steel razor. But putting it simply; buying endless throwaway plastic razors isn’t sustainable. Invest in a stainless steel version that will last much longer, give better results and save you money in the long-run.

5. Just don’t use plastic bags

If you’re reusing ‘bags for life’ then great, you’re reducing your plastic footprint. But can you go one better and use paper or cloth bags? You can get your hands on cheap cloth bags and they’re perfect for filling up with veggies and carrying home from the shop.

One more thing; when you’re picking your supermarket fruit and veg, refrain from putting them in a small plastic bag. You know the ones that are conveniently placed on a pull out roll above the shelves? Peppers don’t need protecting in a bag; after all, they all get washed at home before we cook them.

6. Stop using throw-away plastics

If you’re having an impromptu barbecue or getting set for a picnic, the knee-jerk reaction is to buy plastic plates, disposable cutlery and plastic cups. Buy why not use the cutlery you already own? It’ll look nicer and it’s definitely more effective. And do we need plastic straws? They may look pretty in your cup but they go a long way to adding to plastic pollution.

7. Boycott microbeads

You may not be aware of microbeads. They’re the small tiny pieces of plastic that feature in your body or facial scrubs. They may look harmless but their tiny size allows them to slip through water treatments and end up in the sea. To marine animals, the pieces of plastic look just like food. Opt for natural exfoliant instead.

8. Recycle

Ok, this might seem like the most obvious one, and although we’re getting better at it in the UK, there’s still a long way to go. Instead of throwing a plastic tub in the bin with leftover food inside, make the effort to empty the plastic tub first and then deposit into the recycling bin. If you’re unsure what can be recycled then check out this site.

9. Participate in a beach clean-up

Want to ‘do your bit’ for planet earth? Well luckily for you, there are several beach clean-ups you can get involved in each year. Check out the dates here. But there’s no rule to say you have to wait for an ‘official’ clean-up; if you want to go and pick up plastic and litter that’s gathered on your local shores then go ahead! And it’s not just beaches. Think about the canals too. After all, the canals lead to the rivers which eventually lead to the ocean…

10. Clean the green way

Did you know there’s a natural way to clean your house? There’s no need for plastic bottles of chemical filled tile and toilet cleaner. Baking soda and vinegar mixed together works wonders on lime scale. And for tiles, a bowl of white wine vinegar and salt does just the trick. Squeeze in a bit of lemon juice and you’ll produce a great scent. Say goodbye to bleach, sprays and toxic chemicals!

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