Over the last century, plastics have become a ubiquitous feature of the world we inhabit. At odds with their usefulness to us is the fact that they are rapidly undermining the habitability of the planet’s oceans. Here’s three things you can do right now to reduce your contribution to this problem.
- Reduce reliance on plastic industries. This is the first step, and one that virtually everyone can participate in. For example, how much of what you buy from a major supermarket could be bought in bulk from an alternative retailer and packaged in your own reusable containers? Is there an alternative to your daily disposable drinking straw you could invest in? (Yes, there is – bamboo straws exist). Do you really need those plastic bags for your bin, or could you manage with newspaper?
- Sort your garbage. Soft plastics, such as those found in the packaging of many commercial food items (everything from bread wrappers and pasta bags to worn-out green bags), cannot go in your home recycling bin. However, they no longer need to end up as waste – they can now be deposited at REDcycle drop-off points for recycling. Taking the time to do this will also dramatically reduce your landfill contribution.
- Look closer at your cosmetics. Microbeads are found in many beauty products such as body scrubs and toothpastes. Be sure to check that the ones you’re buying aren’t made of plastic – these invariably end up in the water supply and are ingested by marine animals. Go for organic alternatives like sugar or coffee scrubs.