We have all been to the beach and seen plastic litter left behind by others—empty bottles, broken buckets, and spades, discarded food wrappers, etc. Consequently, most, if not all, of this will end up in the ocean. However, it is not only the plastic from the beaches polluting our oceans. On average, one truckload is dumped into our seas every minute.
The amount of unrecycled plastic waste we are producing as a species is becoming out of control. Yet we know how to clean up after ourselves and recycle. As well as shop for plastic-free or sustainable alternatives. Therefore, we need to make sure we are doing all of this now and stop harming our planet.
What are microplastics and why are they so bad?
The plastic entering our oceans is affecting our wildlife, environment, and the future of our planet. One of the biggest issues is microplastics. Which mainly come from larger pieces of waste that have been broken down by the ocean. And are found in clothing, house paints, cosmetic products, and much more.
Furthermore, microplastics destroy and change the ecosystems we need to survive. They affect the brains of sea creatures and lower their fertility and growth rates. Fish inhaling and digesting microplastics end up on our plates.
A heartbreaking discovery
An American explorer named Victor Vescovo descended 35,853ft to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. By doing this, he broke the current world record for the deepest submersible dive ever. And heartbreakingly, he discovered yet more plastic, at the bottom of the trench were bags and sweet wrappers.
“It was very disappointing to see obvious human contamination of the deepest point in the ocean.”
How much plastic do you use?
I doubt many of us know exactly how much we use. It’s only by taking notice that we may begin to realize the extent of our consumption throughout the day. Firstly, take a moment to think about how much you use in just one morning.
You will most likely use six or more plastic items just getting ready in the morning, Soap bottles, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, clothes hangers, sandwich bags, water bottles, and possibly makeup. All of these items can be replaced with sustainable alternatives; we simply have to look for them. Now think about how much you use in a whole day!
How can we stop using plastic?
Here are a few easy things you could do to reduce your usage:
- Begin by using reusable bags – preferably one made from sustainable materials. Around one trillion plastic bags are used annually across the globe. That equates to nearly two million every minute.
- Stop using plastic straws. We use nearly 500 million straws every day. Use paper, bamboo, grass, or stainless steel as an alternative.
- Buy a reusable water bottle. Glass, bamboo, and steel bottles are the most sustainable. You can find them pretty much anywhere nowadays.
- Swap your toothbrush for a bamboo one. On average, one billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every year. And they will never biodegrade.
- Invest in a metal razor. We throw out a billion plastic razors every year. A metal razor may cost a little more, but on the other hand, it is more sustainable and often lasts a lot longer.
- Shampoo/ Deodorant/ Soap Bottles. Ditch the bottles and buy bars. Shampoo bars, deodorant bars, and soap bars last much longer. Plus, they have a much better impact on the environment.
- Facial Wipes. Instead of buying disposable facial wipes that contain plastic, choose reusable facial rounds combined with a moisturizing soap bar or your chosen cleanser. Keep the environment clean.
These are just the tiniest portion of how to reduce our usage. There are thousands of alternatives, for so many different things out there. All we need to do is open our eyes and educate ourselves. Bamboo plasters, coconut pan scourers, ahimsa silk dental floss, are all plastic-free and all sustainable. So go and have a look at what other alternatives are out there.
Want to learn more?
There are many more ways to ditch plastic life and begin thinking about our environment. Try reading one of the many plastic-free books out there for inspiration. Our favorites include:
- How to Live Plastic Free by Luca Bonaccorsi
- How to Give Up Plastic by Will McCallum
- No. More. Plastic. by Martin Dorey
Give it a go. Ditch your plastic and begin to buy more sustainable products. Your world and future will thank you for it. Finally, for more wellness tips and information, take a look at our blog. Plus, don’t forget to tag us in any of your plastic-free photos @surrender_to_happiness.