Ridding plastic out of your life is far better than recycling it. Sadly, only 9% of plastic is recycled, and a massive 72% ends up in landfill or the sea. Any plastic item you use – from a plastic spoon to a toothbrush – will always live longer than you. Furthermore, they don’t ever actually end up going away – they just break down into smaller and smaller pieces which end up being eaten by wildlife.
So here are some little tips on getting you through the day plastic-free:
Every time you use a plastic straw, it will end up somewhere. Swap plastic straws with either a bamboo, paper or steel one. Keep it in your bag for when you’re out and about.
One million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute! That’s a crazy amount! Take a reusable water bottle with you. Lots of places will fill it with tap water or have water fountains for you to use. If your parents enjoy drinking takeaway tea and coffee, ask them to do the same with their cups! Work together as a team!
Now, this is one you can really take charge of. Show your parents who is boss and demand a ban on plastic items entering your lunchbox! Challenge (and help them) to swap clingfilm and plastic sandwich bags to colourful reusable wraps, plastic fruit shoot bottles to juices that come in biodegradable packaging or even better, bring a drink in your own water bottle. Don’t let plastic spoons, straws or other utensils creep in neither! Replace these with bamboo or wooden utensils which can fully biodegrade.
One of the yummiest ways you can help save the planet. Chose a cone or waffle over a plastic tub when you next order an ice-cream.
As a consumer, you have the power to show supermarkets that you don’t want everything wrapped in plastic. Purchase items that are loose or come in paper bags. Does your town have a local zero waste store? If so, support them and take home goodies in reusable packaging.
Did you know almost all chewing gum is made of plastic? So when you’re chewing gum, you’re also chewing on plastic. Ditch the gum or swap it for plastic-free gum from companies including Peppersmith, Simply Gum and Green Tree Gum Co.
In America alone, 1.6 billion disposable pens are thrown away each year. Swap felt tip pens for crayons and chalk. Swap pens for pencils, refillable fountain pens or pens made from recycled plastics.
It’s very easy to pick up plastic utensils out of habit, especially when out on the go. Instead, pack your own. These can be cleaned and used again and again!
Swap your unwanted toys with friends, or buy toys from a charity or second-hand shop. Not only are you saving lots of plastic from entering landfill, but you never know what you’re going to find!
Send paperless invites, make decorations from recycled goods and ditch the disposable plates and cups. Transform your party bags with homemade treats or books rather than plastic toys. Recycle your wrapping paper and compost any leftover food. For more ideas and inspiration on how to throw a green party, visit our blog here. There you have it, memorable, fun AND a plastic-free party!