Recently Greenpeace tested 13 UK rivers and found that all of them contained microplastics, with the River Mersey being proportionally more polluted than the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
According to the Environmental Justice Foundation, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now estimated to be three times the size of France, and 46% of it is composed of discarded nets and other kinds of fishing gear. They are urging people to write to their MP today and demand new legislation to outlaw single-use plastic now (except for essential medical use), and write to the CEO of the supermarket you use and demand they get rid of plastic and use sustainable, ethical alternatives.
Aside from the environment, plastic could be affecting the health of humans and other animals. The WWF found that the average person ingests the equivalent of a credit card of plastic every week.
From these facts, it's clear that something's got to give. We must change the way that we interact with plastic.
How to avoid plastic waste
Here’s a few to start you off:
- Avoid packaged vegetables by buying loose or getting a veg box;
- Carry a reusable cup, bottle and shopping bag;
- Get your milk delivered in glass bottles rather than buying plastics ones;
- Use tupperware boxes instead of clingfilm;
- Avoid coffee capsules which cannot be recycled.
Perhaps you could start off by sending us your tips about how to have a plastic-free Christmas.
Friends of the Earth have a really good website devoted to living without plastic. One of their initiatives is Plastic Free Friday, a similar idea to Meat Free Mondays, where people are encouraged to give up plastic for one day a week, to ease them into a longer term plastic-free life. Join the campaign - pledge to go plastic free on Fridays.