10 MAY 2019

My #PlasticPledge, What I've Learnt Four Weeks On

For the second year running, I committed to giving up single-use plastic for Lent. My #PlasticPledge was not only to teach myself about my own plastic waste and reduction, but also to raise awareness about the #PlasticPeeves and #TopTips that I came across along the way.

Plastic pollution and environment conservation is something that I am personally passionate about. It has come out this week that over 1 million species are currently threatened across the globe. With 8 million pieces of plastic entering our oceans every day, plastic pollution in our seas kills around 100 000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds a year.

I have discovered that it is virtually impossible to give up plastic completely. With an incredibly busy schedule and two children, it is far too easy to buy the quickest option in the supermarkets that are smothered in plastic. Annoyingly, a quick snack on the go is almost always wrapped in plastic. One of the biggest peeves I encountered was buying bread when the provided paper bags have plastic windows. Equally, buying an item in cardboard packaging which I then find is secretly plastic wrapped inside!

Nonetheless, other changes proved surprisingly easy. Gosport Market on the High Street is a brilliant way to buy your loose, plastic free, fruit and veg. In fact, there are some great local initiatives, such as Gosport's Eco Freaks Emporium on South Street, that provide plastic free products from food to cleaning supplies.

In general, the #TopTips that I have maintained are:

  • Weekly food shop at the market. 
  • Getting my milk delivered in returnable glass bottles from Milk & More.
  • A reusable water bottle and coffee cup. 
  • Washing powder in cardboard boxes.
  • Foldable, reusable bag to keep in the handbag.
  • Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel bars from Lush. 
  • 'Who Gives A Crap' toilet roll, made from recycled paper with 50% of profits donated to WaterAid.
  • Homemade cooking, pizza is especially popular in our house!

Overall, as on average we throw away 84 kg of plastic a year each, during my #PlasticPledge I will have potentially stopped around 9.2 kg of plastic filling our landfills and oceans.

In our beautiful coastal town, the plastic that blights our beaches is distressingly visible. While Government action is necessary and vital to turn the tide on climate change, what my plastic pledge has taught me is that small, everyday changes can make a significant difference. We all need to do our bit to reduce our plastic waste and protect our natural environment.

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