The problem with plastic and things we can do to be sustainable
Plastic is a big environmental problem and below we list the main causes and what we can do to reduce its consumption.
- Not biodegradable
Most of the plastic it isn't biodegradable, and it can take hundreds of years to break down.
Plastic bottles are estimated to require approximately 450 years to decompose in landfill. You can use reusable water bottles instead.
Plastic toothbrushes require approximately 500 years to decompose. Buying bamboo toothbrushes is a great option as bamboo is biodegradable.
- Single use
Only 40% of the plastic produced (400 million tonnes) is single use - we only use it once.
Examples are plastic carrier-bags, crisp packets, ear buds, and take-away cutlery.
- Most of it cannot be recycled
This might be because of the way it is made up, or because it is too expensive or difficult to do.
Some coffee cups have a waterproof plastic lining which make them difficult to recycle. Investing in reusable coffee cups is a great idea to reduce plastic.
- Ocean pollution
More than 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the world's oceans each year. The most visible impacts are ingestion, suffocation and entanglement of hundreds of marine species.
Reducing our consumption of plastic products and investing in plastic free and biodegradable products is the way forward.