Reasons why you should be reducing your single-use plastic consumption
19th February 2019
Did you know that a plastic bag can take from 15 to 1,000 years to break down and decompose? Or that the cost to recycle plastic bags outweighs their value and are consequently, dumped in landfill?
As the world is experiencing a global, environmental crisis, offices and businesses around the world, are considering alternatives to plastic. Over 5000 plastic items are found per mile of beach and a total of 65 billion spent on single use plastics every year. Not only is plastic waste costing us a fortune, but it is destroying our oceans, our mammals, and limiting our resources for the future.
We all know that the biggest waste culprit today is plastic. It has transformed our modern lives and destroyed our environment. Many now refer to it as the “Blue Planet II effect”, following heartfelt scenes from the BBC series, narrated by David Attenborough, of an albatross, found dead, with shards of plastic in her gut. Members of the public are working hard to eliminate single-use plastic, but unfortunately, there is no quick solution. There are however, small differences we can make to cut down on our environmental footprint, such as banning plastic straws, using paper cups and considering subsidies for renewable energy.
It is important for us to act now and repair the damage we have caused.
The environmental impact of single-use plastic
- If we don’t reduce our plastic waste consumption, plastic will outweigh fish by 2050.
- The average reusable bag has an average lifespan of equal to that of more than 700 disposable plastic bags.
- Over 90% of large ocean fish have plastic toxins in them, causing premature death, starvation or suffocation.
- Marine litter harms more than 600 species.
- Plastic particles from the ocean, are consumed in our foods, especially in the consumption of fish such as anchovies and mackerels.
- Every year about 8.8 million tons of plastic trash flows into the ocean which will endanger wildlife, pollute the water and put human health at risk.
The main culprits of plastic waste
The question is, are many of us aware of the main culprits of plastic waste? Well, if not, it is important to know, what we need to cut out of our daily consumption use. Different types of plastic pollution can be found in marine or coastal environments, washed up on the shore.
- Food wrappers
- Bottle caps
- Beverage Bottles
- Plastic bags
- Straws and stirrers
- Cigarette butts
- Take out containers made of foam or plastic
- Plastic cutlery
- Plastic clothes hangers, toothbrushes and razors
Improving our environmental footprint
Now we have assessed the dangers of single-use plastic consumption, we should look at how to improve our environmental footprint. From upcycling to incentivising staff, and reviewing your environmental ethos and going paperless, improving your footprint, can be made fun.
Large supermarket chains, including Tesco and Asda for example, are encouraging their customers to purchase eco-friendly shopper bags. Or to stop buying plastic bottles with lunch meal deals. Invest in a stainless steel travel mug, and fill it with tap water before leaving the house. If you are a large organisation, ditch the plastic straws and plastic cups and lids, and consider using cardboard cups and straws, that are recyclable.
Renewable energy alternatives are driving forward in 2019, with large corporations turning to biofuel technology, electric cars, and ditching anything associated with the word plastic. It is the time for change. Innovative, bio bean technology is taking over the coffee industry, and is a new coffee revolution.
What are we doing to reduce our environmental impact?
Liquidline is invested in cutting out single-use plastics, and investing in more reliable, eco friendly technology, materials, and healthy alternatives. Our staff are becoming increasingly aware of their role in taking care of the environment, by bringing in reusable water bottles, coffee mugs, and limiting use of paper in the office.
Whether it is offices, schools, leisure, facilities, or car showrooms, we are helping to make our customers aware of the environmental impact of plastic. The key is to educate your employees, use incentives and initiatives, such as offering a prize for the most environmentally conscious colleague, or taking a day out for training.
Our goal is to head towards 100% recycling because less waste, means lower costs.
Remember the three R’s, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
REDUCE the amount of plastic you use at home or in the office. Consider using glass bottles, for water and milk, instead of plastic ones. Purchase a reusable lunch box. Store any office items, such as consumables in cardboard boxes.
REUSE durable containers, to store any food and beverages you take to work. Use tupperware containers for storing food, or canvas bags, or bottles of water. Or even a bottle-less water dispenser.
RECYCLE all your waste, and invest in labelled recycling bins for your office. Encourage your employees to recycle their paper, cardboard or ink cartridges on a daily basis to prevent them ending up in landfill.
And remember, that recycling is always better than sending to landfill.