By 2050 there’ll be more plastic in the ocean than fish, you can help turn this around! I’ve found seven plastic swaps that won’t break the bank.
1. Your toothbrush
In my lifetime I will have thrown away over 300 toothbrushes. If we think about the 66 million people in Britain we’re looking at nineteen billion eight hundred million toothbrushes going into the sea from everyone alive in Britain today.
Going for a bamboo toothbrush means that when you’re finished with it you can pull out the bristles (and dispose of them correctly) then throw your brush in the compost. I’ve ordered the Save Some Green Medium Bristle bamboo toothbrush for £2.50.
2. Your shopping bag
Yesterday a whale was found on a beach in Northern Thailand after swallowing 85 plastic bags. Shoppers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year and plastic bags are the number one thing that sailors see in our oceans.
Ultimately it’s up to us to make sure we have a re-usable bag when we head out of the door. If you don’t already have one, I like the ones that pack away really small like the folding strawberry shopper at Lakeland for £2.29.
3. Your bottled water
In Britain we’re using eight billion plastic water bottles a year and spending £2.4 billion a year to buy it. This is stuff that we can get from our taps, plastic free and at a fraction of the price, why not take tap water with you wherever you go?
Having a re-usable water bottle is also a great way to keep track of your 8 glasses a day. Sports Direct have a lot of affordable water bottles, including this Karrimor BPA free bottle that you can take running with you at £2.50.
4. Your take-out coffee cup
Every minute over one million cups end up in landfills globally because 99% of disposable cups aren’t recyclable. I really enjoy a cup of coffee on the go but I never thought about where all those cups were going.
Why not take a re-usable cup to your barista next time you’re in a cafe? There are a few collapsible pocket sized cups available if you can afford £15-20 but you can buy a stainless steel travel mug at Wilko for £2.25.
5. Your shampoo
Only 43% of the 13 billion plastic bottles sold in the UK are recycled every year. The rest go to landfill that’s all contributing to 269,000 tonnes of plastic floating on the sea. It’s time to swap your bottle for a bar and go spill free when travelling.
Lush are famous for their shampoo bars if you can afford around £6 (great value for money considering they last up to 80 washes). I’ve also discovered Natural Collection’s vegan and vegetarian ‘Friendly Soap’ Lavender and geranium shampoo bar for £2.60.
6. Your food wrap
I love to minimise food waste, but cling film is made of a variety of plastics such as PVC – which isn’t great for your health or the environment. It all contributes to the 12.7 million tonnes of plastic in our ocean every year.
You can buy biodegradable cling film in some supermarkets, but why not save yourself a load of money and get re-usable wrap instead? Etsy stock 100% natural beeswax Eco Food wraps from £2.99.
7. Your straw choice
An estimated 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs. This is the easiest swap of all and it’s free – just say no to straws!
If you do need a straw there are a few stainless steel or silicon ones available for around £6 but I’ve found this pretty sweet Lakeland pack of two re-usable dinosaur straws for £2.99. Next time you’re thinking about throwing a straw, just remember this video of a sea turtle with a straw up it’s nose.
Note: I’m not affiliated with any of the shops I’ve listed and don’t get money from your purchases. I just like to spread the word!
Take your action further
If you’re feeling committed to reducing your plastic why not take the Greenpeace plastic pledge to call on big corporations and governments to take action too.
Resources for plastic facts
Plant based news has the full article about the whale in Thailand who swallowed 85 plastic bags.
Ocean Crusaders have lots of information about the issues our ocean’s are facing.
Ecowatch has 22 facts about plastic pollution.
The Independent has an article about the best re-usable coffee cups.
Watch A Plastic Ocean on Netflix for your next film night.