Why does it matter?
Plastic is made from oil, a fossil fuel that is pumped out of the ground, releasing greenhouse gases throughout the process and contributing majorly to the climate crisis we are currently in.
Each year 4000 million tonnes of plastic is produced and around 40% of this is single-use plastic. Our oceans face an ever-growing threat from plastics. It is estimated a whopping 17.6 billion pounds of plastic leaks into the marine environment from land-based sources every year (roughly equivalent to dumping a waste truck of plastic into the ocean every minute).
The main culprit of this tidal wave of pollution is single-use plastics.
Single-use plastics are designed to be used only once before they are thrown away or (hopefully!) recycled. There are many items that need to be single use for safety reasons, such as medical PPE. However, there are many more unnecessary single use plastic items being used every day such as plastic bags, straws, coffee cups, coffee stirrers, drinks bottles and some food packaging.
We can help to reduce the impact plastics are having on our planet by doing our bit to move away from single-use plastic items. We can do this by reducing, re-using and making plastic free swaps. This means that less plastic needs to be produced, helping to stop plastic pollution at source and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions along the way.
You're not alone!
Over 90% of UK consumers support the idea of having products free of plastic packaging, whilst a 2020 YouGov poll found that around 60% of people surveyed said they’d be willing to buy dry goods using a reuse scheme. With over half said they’d be happy to try re-use for household cleaning products; two thirds would prefer it if online shopping platforms made it easier to request less packaging.
What you can do & how to find out more
If you are interested in reducing your plastics, you can find plenty of inspiration on our Top Tips page and further information on how to get your local area involved on our Plastic Free Communities page!