6 Plastic Facts:
- Single-use plastics are in people's lives for an average of 2 mins. We can make better choices
- 78% of litter found on Northern Ireland beaches in 2018 was plastic. An average of 100 pieces of general plastic and polystyrene were found for every 100m of beach. Think about that the next time you're walking along your favourite beach
- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) is the largest of the 5 offshore plastic accumulation zones in the world's oceans. The GPGP alone is 6 times the size of the UK! Plastic that reaches any of these accumulation zones will not go away by itself (theoceancleanup.com)
- Love a good fish supper? According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2016) there could be more plastic in our sea than fish by the year 2050... doesn't sound so tasty now
- Over 7.5 billion tonnes of plastic has never been recycled, if measured in plastic bottles, this could be enough to cover the whole of Northern Ireland (CIWM)
- 100,000 marine mammals and turtles along with 1 million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution every year (KIMO)
Alternatives to single-use plastics
Plastics have become an important part of our modern lives and some plastics are useful. Plastics we use once and throw away are not. We can do better. Here's our alternatives list:
Alternatives: always have a reusable stainless steel or glass bottle to hand
Alternatives: you carry a mobile phone... everywhere, right? Why not carry a reusable cup too! Every time you pick up your phone pick up your reusable cup. Simple
Alternatives: Bring your own metal ones from home, buy bamboo or other wooden alternatives
Alternatives: There are sooo many cooler alternatives to plastic straws, such as paper, bamboo and metal. That's if you can't just use your lovely mouth
Alternatives: Always have a reusable tote, jute, hessian, cotton or woven bag
Alternatives: Choose loose fruit & veg and bring your own basket or reusable cotton bags. When you're buying takeaway food, bring your own container or challenge your provider and ask for a plastic alternative. Big shout out to Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival who encourage their customers to BYOB (bring your own bowl)!!
Anything on the list you've used this week? With just a little thought and small change in behaviour you can make a big difference. Pick one, choose an alternative and make the switch. How do you feel? Probably pretty good. You'll be helping our oceans breathe again, helping wildlife and gifting yourself better health.