28Aug

A million plastic bottles: recycling isn’t enough

Posted on 28th August, 2019

Humans are purchasing a million plastic bottles every year [source]. Efforts to make changes are slow-moving.

Recycling helps, but did you know than in 2016 fewer than half of all plastic bottles were collected for recycling [source]?

Doing our bit for the environment goes beyond using a recycling bin. We have to go further back, and consider our purchasing decisions. Here are three ways to make easy changes:

Think about what you drink

Drinking tap water, and using a refillable bottle, is the best way to keep your plastic consumption to a minimum. If you really don’t want water, then drinking squash is the next best option. One bottle of squash makes dozens of drinks, whilst you’ll only get 8 servings out of a 2L bottle of soft drink.

If it has to be a soft drink and nothing else will do, then you might be surprised to hear that bigger is better. A 500ml bottle contains 25g of plastic, whilst a 2L bottle contains 50g. That’s only double the plastic, for four times as much to drink!

Swap your bathroom products

It’s thought that more than 552 million bottles are being added to landfill each year, and that only 1 in 5 people recycle their bathroom items. Many people don’t even realise that their shampoo bottles can be recycled. Always look for the logo on the bottle.

To reduce your plastic use in the bathroom, move to bars of soap instead of liquid soap. Swap your shampoo for a shampoo bar, and consider conditioner in a glass jar instead of a plastic container. You might even like to use a jar of raw coconut oil, instead of a commercial hair product.

One man’s trash…

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Before you buy anything new, look on Facebook Marketplace or visit a local charity shop. Often, the plastic things we buy don’t need to be new at all.

Buying second hand more frequently will also reduce your expenses. You’ll save money and help the environment, by giving plastic items a new lease of life. Plastic is easy to clean and disinfect, so you don’t need to worry about an item’s previous use.

The statistics are shocking, but with careful waste management and more considerate shopping decisions, there’s still time to turn things around.