Plastic never goes away, so why are we still using it? Single use plastic has the biggest impact on the environment. It’s time to make a change… Plastic… it’s everywhere. In your kitchen, in your bathroom, in your bedroom, in the shops, in restaurants and worst of all, in the oceans! Everyone knows that plastic is bad for the environment but how many of you actually do anything about it?
Nowadays we are consumed by Instagram and having the new ‘IT’ item is the most important thing to our generation. However, most the items we buy have plastic packaging. Makeup, skincare, hair products, food, drinks – they are all the same. We simply take a photo, upload it to Instagram and wait for the likes to role in. Meanwhile, we are disregarding the item and never touching it again. Sound about right? Sure, we are all guilty of wanting to ‘live’ that Instagram life but how is it really affecting the environment?
Plastic has been around since the start of the 1900s and its usage has only increased from there. We are now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic each year! With 50% of that being single use plastic! Only 9% of plastic is recycled and the rest takes over 400 years to partly degrade. With around 8 million tons of that going into the ocean each year adding to the 150 million tons that is currently already in the ocean. That is equivalent to bin men dumping a truckload of plastic into the ocean every minute of the day!
With this amount of plastic in our oceans it is affecting around 700 species of marine life. Ocean Conservancy say plastic has been found in more than
60% of sea birds and 100% of sea turtles. This is due to them ingesting the plastic, which is life-threatening to these little creatures. Thousands of whales, birds, seals and turtles are killed each year due to them mistaking plastic bags for jellyfish. Once ingested, it gets stuck in the gut and causes a slow and painful death. In August 2000 a 8m Bryde’s whale died after ingesting 6 metres squared of plastic. That is a staggering amount! Do you really want these poor animals to die due to your selfishness? That is becoming the reality!
It’s not only the marine life that is being harmed by plastic; it’s us humans too.
Plastic contains toxic chemicals that can seep into our blood stream and can be linked to cancer, birth defects, impaired immunity and much more. These chemicals are coming directly from the plastic we use everyday as well as from our landfills. Every time you drink from a single use plastic bottle you are putting your health at risk! Plastic toxins are also seeping into the ground underneath landfill and running into our water supplies meaning we are directly ingesting it without even realising!
Surely a simply Instagram photo including the world famous Starbucks cup isn’t worth the damage you are causing? It’s time to change your ways and start thinking about the future of our planet.
With a gap in the market for plastic free products, small Instagram businesses are using this as a new opportunity. Brands such as SandCloud, &Keep and
Plastic Freedom has launched their own plastic free shops. Sand Cloud is a brand that not only stocks plastic free and sustainable alternatives but are also dedicated to helping marine life. 10% of their profits are given to organisations that are dedicated to saving animals. Not only do their products benefit sea life but they also benefit your Instagram feed. With amazing Instagrammable designs you wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to save the planet while building those likes. Not only are there so many small Instagram brands and independent boutiques that are now dedicated to making a difference but large well-known companies are also making a change. With Starbucks announcing the ban of all plastic straws by 2020, lush stocking products without packaging and supermarkets encouraging people to buy reusable bags, the world is slowly getting on board. Although we are a long way off living in a plastic free world, there are many ways we can all help in our every day life. Not only will you be saving the planet but you can also upgrade your Insta too! Start making a change today and we could see a difference very soon…
Simple swaps we can all make:
- Plastic bag – Reusable cotton bag
- Plastic water bottle – Reusable aluminium bottle
- Plastic straws – Metal straws
- Disposable coffee cup – Reusable coffee cup
- Disposable cutlery – Wooden cutlery (keep in bag)
- Packaged fruit and veg – Loose fruit and veg
- Coffee pods – Coffee press machine
- Plastic food containers – Glass food containers
- Plastic food bags – Reusable silicone food bags
- Plastic toothbrush – Wooden toothbrush
- Plastic hairbrush – Wooden hairbrush
- Plastic earbuds – Wooden earbuds
- Disposable cotton pads – Reusable cotton pads
- Wipes – Reusable cotton clothes
- Tampons – Menstrual cup
- Pads/liners – Reusable pads/liners
- Shower gel – Soap bar
- Shampoo/conditioner – Shampoo/conditioner bars
- Toothpaste/mouthwash – Toothpaste/mouthwash in glass containers
- Skincare/body care – Skincare/body care in glass containers
- Shaving gel/razors – Shaving soap bar and metal razor
- Deodorant – Deodorant stick in cardboard packaging
- Makeup – Makeup in glass bottles/wooden packaging
- Plastic kitchen utensils – Wooden utensils
- Clingfilm – Beeswax food wraps
- Washing up sponge – Natural loofah plant sponge
- Dental floss/toothpicks – Floss in glass container/wooden toothpicks