As part of #plasticfreejuly campaign, Helping Hand Environmental been attempting to cut back on unnecessary single use plastics.
So, how do you keep that momentum going? Here are 5 ways to keep the momentum up when it all feels a bit bleak or you are unsure on handle single use plastics:
1 EDUCATION IS KEY
Whilst initiatives such as Plastic Free July are a fab starting point, the momentum can start to diminish as soon as the next monthly challenge takes centre stage. We read books like ‘No more plastic’ by Martin Dorey and ‘How to Live Plastic Free’ by Marine Conservation Society, we look at heart-breaking photographs and watch programmes like Blue Planet, follow influence bloggers on Twitter. Remind yourself why you are trying to become Plastic Free at home and at work.
2. STATS NEVER LIE
We use 300 MILLION TONNES of plastic each year. Every day, approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans. Less than half of plastic bottles used in the UK are recycled – and over 150 plastic bottles litter each mille of UK beaches. 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution annually. It’s estimated that there is now 5.25 trillion macro and micro plastic pieces floating around in the open ocean.
We can all lend a helping hand in the fight against plastics!
3. ORGANISE AN PLASTIC FREE PICK
Getting outside and seeing plastic litter first-hand. Some fun initiatives include Plogging which combines jogging and picking up litter – you’d be amazed how much rubbish you can collect in half hour! Other amazing examples include #PlasticFreeCoastlines run by Surfers Against Sewage, The Great Plastic Pick Up, run by Keep Britain Tidy and the awesome Martin Dorey’s #2minutebeachclean concept and boards including the NEW #2minutestreetclean and #2minutelitterpick
4. NOT ALL PLASTIC OR BRANDS ARE BAD
A Plastic Planet say ‘There will always be a need for plastic – medical science, aviation, technology, car industries – where plastic can more easily be reclaimed and kept within a closed recycling loop. Single use, especially for food and drink, is not defensible.’
The real issue is single use plastics – plastic cups, straws, coffee cups, plastic bottles, milk bottles, cutlery etc. Do we need such lazy products in our life and buy using and buying such products we are encouraging and support the use of this throwaway items which just end up in landfills. Lastly it is important we support brands which are making a difference – A Plastic Planet, Iceland, Morrison’s, Simply Cups, Coca-Cola, Costa, Harrogate Spring Water and all doing awesome things!
5. PROMOTE THE GOOD, NUDGE AND INSPIRE
Reduce, reuse, recycle- has been in our lives for decades. Completely eradicating all single-use plastics from your work/home overnight isn’t realistic. Think about where you can reuse it, and move on to recycling as much as humanly possible if all else fails.
More companies are moving towards plant-based ‘plastics’, but for this to be a success in the future, there needs to be more industrial composting sites, and more councils offering food waste collections. As a business Helping Hand Environmental are do our bit, for example we save 850 plastic milk bottles ending up in landfill every year by having reusable glass bottles which are collected, washed and reused again.