What are you doing to be plastic free?

plastic pollution

World Environment Day took place earlier this week – it’s on the 5th June every year. The theme “Beat Plastic Pollution” is a call to action for all of us to come together and be plastic free to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time.

At the same time the Ocean Summit was held in Cardiff and one of the key areas of discussion was single use plastics; the horrendous impact they are having and how we move away from them.

This is something we are passionate about.  Everyone needs to make an effort to reduce the amount of single use plastic they consume; it’s non-negotiable.

10 Shocking Plastic Facts

The facts and figures make awful reading.

  1. A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute with most ending up in landfill or the sea.
  2. Up to 5 trillion plastic bags are used each year.
  3.  13 million tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean each year.
  4. Every year one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals die from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste.
  5. It takes 100 years for plastic to degrade in the environment.
  6. 90% of bottled water and 83% of tap water has been found to contain plastic particles.
  7. If we carry on as we are, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.
  8. Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
  9. 50% of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away.
  10. Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.

Surely this is enough to convince you to make a change – and every little helps.

The Call To Action To Beat Plastic Pollution

The “Beat Plastic Pollution” campaign calls for a multi-prong attack to address this issue.  Everyone needs to take action and has a part to play.

Government

Governments must lead, enacting strong policies that push for a more circular model of design and production of plastics.
Every government must enact robust legislation to curb the production and use of unnecessary single-use plastics.

Business

The private sector must innovate, adopting business models that reduce the downstream impact of their products. They also need to act now – not wait until legislation has been passed.

Every plastic manufacturer needs to take responsibility for the pollution that their products are causing today, and make immediate investments in sustainable designs for tomorrow.

People

Citizens must act as both consumers and informed citizens, demanding sustainable products and embracing sensible consumption habits in their own lives.  Every plastic consumer is being asked to exercise their buying power by refusing single-use plastics.

What Can You Do To Reduce Your Use Of Single Use Plastics?

So what can you do to reduce your single-use plastic consumption?

Here are the Troo Top Tips to do your bit to help:

  1. Be aware of products that are in plastic containers and use the alternatives when they are there – buy loose fruit and veg and put them in paper bags.  If they are no available leave them loose in your shopping basket and talk to the shop staff about providing paper bags.
  2. Get into the habit of carrying a small reusable shopping bag in your pocket or handbag.  Always take reusable bags or cardboard boxes if you are doing a big shop.  It becomes second nature after a while.
  3. If you are planning on eating out at a food outlet that uses disposable cutlery then try to take your own.  Sure wooden options are better than plastic, but metal is the best option of all.  You can get handy cutlery sets for camping.
  4. On a similar vein – when do you ever really need a straw?  Don’t they make you drink quicker?  Try going without, you get used to it pretty quickly.
  5. If you regularly drink coffee out and about, how about getting a reusable coffee cup?  You can get some very cool and quite ingenious ones.
  6. Buy a funky water jug for home and serve tap water in it at the table – you can jazz it up with ice, slices of fruit or even a few spices.  Star Anise and Cinnamon Sticks or slices of root ginger look cool and taste delicious.
  7. Finally one of our favourites.  Don’t buy water in single use bottles when you are out and about.  Instead by a refillable bottle and make use of the Refill App.                                  The App tells you your nearest Refill point where you can go get tap water.  The places vary from cafes and restaurants to shops and even private residences!  Generally you’ll get a friendly response and a full bottle.  You can also rate your experience on the app.  Find out more here.

You can find new ideas for what you can do in the media all the time.  We particularly like the very stylish ideas in this cool article from Mashable.  If you’ve got any #plasticfreehacks then do get in touch – we’d love to know more!

What Are We Doing?

We are far from perfect but we are trying our best.  These are just some of the ways we are trying to reduce our plastic consumption:

  • Our granola packs are plastic free – they are made from paper with a plant cellulose coating.
  • Our jars are made from glass with metal lids.
  • Cardboard boxes are used to distribute our products.  Plastic wrapping and tape is used through the supply chain but right now we are struggling to find an alternative.  As soon as we do we will look to change.
  • All the team have refillable bottles on our desks and try very hard not to buy drinks in plastic bottles.
  • We take heed of the tips above – and try to encourage others to do the same.

We also recycle and compost everything that we can.  Again we’re open to ideas and suggestions for anything we can do better.