This guest blog comes from Yukti Gopal, a third year Politics student from the Department of Political Economy.
The plastic we throw away in a single year could circle the earth four times. Every minute of every day, one million plastic bottles are used. It’s become an addiction. Plastic is everywhere and it’s almost as if we can’t escape it. The problem when we ‘throw plastic away’ there is no such thing as an ‘away’, it just ends up somewhere else, usually it’s the ocean. 8 to 14 million tons of plastic are dumped in the oceans every single year. Needless to mention the disastrous consequences this has. Fortunately, we can all do something to reduce our plastic consumption and here are some easy tricks which you can implement in your everyday life:
1: Buy a reusable water bottle/coffee cup
The simple process of producing bottled water requires 6 times as much water per bottle as there is in the actual container. Mind-blowing. We are lucky to live in London where tap water is safe to drink, so why buy plastic bottles?
2: Buy in bulk when possible
Some shops like ‘As Nature Intended’ offer a bulk section where you can buy everything from oats, rice, to seeds and trail mixes. You simply bring your own containers and ﬁll them up. Not only is it cheaper to buy that way but it’s also an efﬁcient way to cut single-use plastic food packaging. If you have access to a farmer’s market, stop by to buy your fruit and veg, there’s usually much less plastic food packaging involved!
3: Eat less seafood
I know this one can be a bit controversial but the sad truth is that while it is great to use reusable straws, the majority of plastic found in the ocean comes from ﬁshing practices. To be precise, 46% of marine plastic waste comes from commercial ﬁshing. Instead, you could get creative and try plant-based alternatives which are more sustainable.
4: Use reusable bags
This is such an easy one! We throw away more than 1 trillion plastic bags a year. I personally always have a reusable bag in the back of my bag in case I need to pop by the grocery store; they take literally no space, weigh nothing yet come in really handy! Incorporating these little swaps in your day-to-day are quite easy and don’t require much effort at all so join us, and be a part of the positive change!