Today is World Environment Day, a date created by the UN agency for the Environment (UNEP) to raise awareness on the most pressing environmental issues of our time.
And guess what this year's topic is? Beat Plastic Pollution! Which makes me so happy because this issue is finally getting the attention it deserves.
Here are a few facts and figures about how urgent the situation is:
· 1 million plastic drinking bottles are sold PER MINUTE
· 20,000 bottles are produced each second
· 480 BILLION plastic bottles were sold in 2016
· Every year the world used 500 billion plastic bags
· The plastic we throw away can circle the Earth four ties in a single year
· Plastic can survive in the environment for up to 500 years meaning every single piece of plastic ever produced is STILL on the planet
· And so on…
Yes, the issue of plastic pollution is pretty depressing… and it should be! The stakes are huge but good news is that we can all do something about it and it’s doesn’t even involve big lifestyle changes! Here are some things you can do right now to help #beatplasticpollution
1. Use a reusable bottle
Unless you live in a developing countries where water can not be drank from the tap, there’s NO EXCUSE for plastic bottles. Water in most European cities for instance is monitored daily and is of excellent quality whereas did you know that micro plastic had been found in bottled water? Plus, it’s cheaper. If the taste bothers you, buy a filter and you’ll not only save money, you’ll prevent thousands of nasty bottles to reach the environment.
2. Say no to the straw
A super instagreamable #, say no to the straw is one of the most impactful advice regarding plastic pollution. Straws are one of the most found item on beaches and in oceans around the world. They are used for only a few minutes but remain in the environment for hundred of years before disappearing. If you really like drinking from a straw, there are plenty of easy to use and stylish alternatives such as bamboo, glass or steel straws that can be reused infinitely!
3. Bring a tote bag
Did you know that plastic shopping bags are used an average of 20 minutes before being discarded? Of course, it happens to everyone to forget your reusable bag but if you know you’re going shopping, why not bring a tote bag or any other forms of reusable carry on? Plus, they are so much more stylish than the ugly white plastic bag and you can find some with pretty much every design you could think of.
Mine are stored near the door so I never forget to bring one with me everywhere I go!
4. Buy in bulk
Definitely not available to everyone but it’s a growing trend so hopefully, if there’s not already there’ll be a shop offering bulk near you very soon! Buying in bulk is not only good for your wallet, it enables to tremendously reduce our plastic consumption considering that packaging is the largest source of plastic pollution!
If dry food isn’t available, have you ever considered that farmer’s market sell fresh food unpacked? You can bring your own containers for pretty much everything and as such avoid unnecessary wrapping!
5. Pick up the trash
At the beach, in cities, in forests, trash is EVERYWHERE. Even though there’s nothing hard in putting our unwanted items in a bin or if there’s none to carry them with us until the next garbage, many folks seem to think it’s ok to leave trash on the floor or in nature.
It’s obviously not. A cigarette butt that is thrown in a sewage hole for instance is very likely to end up in a water stream and eventually in the ocean. So why not be a good Samaritan and pick up litter when you see some?
You can even include a workout with the new trend of “plogging” which involved picking trash while jogging! Small deed for you, huge step for the planet!
Do you find these 5 steps easy to achieve? Would you be willing to include them in your daily life?
Do you have any other tips for people to reduce their plastic consumption?