We go to the gym with our bottle of water and then we throw it away. We go shopping but we never bring our cotton bags. Have you ever considered the quantity of plastic that you are using every day? Our attempts to make our lives easier are having a significantly negative impact on the environment.

Some studies show that in UK 275,000 tonnes of plastic are used each year – the equivalent of about 15 million bottles per day. Additionally most families throw away 40kg of plastic per year, which could be recycled. It is not common to think that, instead of throwing the plastic in the bin you can wash and reuse it. When you go to work, instead of packing your lunch in a plastic bag, you can bring a box and reuse it!

Plastic shopping bags are made of virgin resins and less then 1 per cent are recycled. Supermarkets push on plastic bags because they cost them about half of what a paper bag costs (4 cents vs 8 cents.) By reusing your items made of plastic you can conserve nonrenewable fossil fuels, reduce the use of energy, diminish the amount of solid waste going to landfill and reduce the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A survey from March 2013 shows that most of the plastic is used in packaging and, of course, it is not biodegradable. In fact, plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose. What you can do in this situation is, for example, to buy loose fruit and vegetables.There are different types of plastic in UK. Some of them, including plastic bottles and shower gel bottles, can be recycled. Others, for example yoghurt pots and margarine tubs, cannot be recycled here in UK.

Therefore, there are some products that are better to purchase for the health of the environment than others. Make sure that on the package there is written ‘PET’ or ‘HDPE’ , It will help you to understand if the product can be recycled or not. If you want to help the environment even more, you can buy products that are completely biodegradable. It means that the material can be broken down into compounds such as carbon dioxide and water, without any impact on the environment. There are some shops around the UK, BioD and NCT  that use them.

In the past months something has changed. A European Parliament committee has blocked 80 per cent of the plastic bags consumption by 2019. A good step but, what are we going to do until 2019? Ten to 20 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year and over 10,000 seabirds and marine mammals die each year from plastic ingestion.

Do something fantastic. Cut out the plastic.



DISCLAIMER: The articles on our website are not endorsed by, or the opinions of Shout Out UK (SOUK), but exclusively the views of the author.