6 Easy Everyday Eco-Friendly Swaps: Plastic Edition
Globally, we produce around 300 million tons of plastic waste per year - that’s the weight of the entire human population. By 2050 (only the equivalent of 1992 until now!) the UN predicts that there will be more plastic in the sea than fish.
If you care about the environment, those stats should really scare you! Plastic items are so popular because they are convenient - but they can take up to 1000 years to break down. That’s why we’ve pulled together five very easy, convenient, and eco-friendly swaps you can make today to reduce your plastic and help the planet.
1. Wet wipes & cotton pads
The problem: There has been a 400% rise in the number of flushed wet wipes found washed up on UK beaches in the last decade. As well as coming in plastic packaging, 90% of wipes themselves contain some form of plastic. Experts warn that wet wipes could take up to 100 years to biodegrade!
The solution: Using bamboo or reusable wipes like these plastic-free washable pads from EcoVibe here.
2. Single-use cutlery
The problem: The Ocean Conservancy lists plastic utensils as the second “most deadly” item to sea turtles, birds, and mammals (after fishing gear) because they mistake them for food. Due to COVID-19, there has been another upsurge in demand for single-use, plastic-wrapped utensils.
The solution: Bring with you reusable cutlery like this portable bamboo utensil set with a hessian travel pouch from JungleStraws here.
3. Detergents and home cleaning products
The problem: Flushing or washing away bleach and other detergents into your drains is not good for the planet. Homecare products generate more than 29 billion plastic containers each year that are polluting our oceans.
The solution: Eco-friendly alternatives like OceanSaver’s ecodrops (made from 100% biodegradable material) dissolve into warm water meaning you can reuse bottles - here.
4 Single-use plastic and paper bags
The problem: When the UK moved away from single-use flimsy plastic bags and towards plastic bags for life, it was seen as an eco-friendly move. But bags for life and even paper bags aren’t considered much better for the environment, due to the power needed to make and transport them. Plastic bags can take between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose.
The solution: The real bags for life are cotton bags, like this natural mesh shopping bag from EarthBits which is biodegradable and plastic-free - here.
5. Water bottles
The problem: Each year in the UK, 7.7 billion plastic water bottles are used. The average person in the UK uses 150 plastic water bottles every year! More and more people are beginning to use reusable bottles within their home, but many are still made of plastic which isn’t recyclable and eventually ends up in landfill.
The solution: Avoid plastic altogether by switching to a reusable (and ultimately, recyclable) aluminium can such as CanO Water here.
6. Toothpaste tubes
The problem: For many reasons, like leftover toothpaste, tubes can’t be recycled. 1.5 billion (half-empty) toothpaste tubes end up in landfills or the ocean each year and can take between 500-700 years to break down. Plastic in toothpaste tubes is killing animals and ocean life.
The solution: Toothpaste tablets are the perfect solution. Ours come in a reusable plastic-free PÄRLA jar and then compostable refill bags, delivered every 4 months to minimise the carbon footprint of your delivery. You can buy or subscribe here.
At PÄRLA we believe that by making one #onesmallchange, we can protect the future – for us, for the animals, for the ocean, and for our planet. Plastic items are convenient but convenience is harming our environment, and as the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. See if you can make even one of these easy eco-friendly swaps today and make a huge difference to our planet.