Use of plastic carrier bags dropped by over 85% since the 5p charge was introduced in England last year. Over the course of 2016 that’s about six BILLION fewer plastic bags clogging landfills or going into the ocean. This is an incredible achievement and proves how small changes, like habitually carrying a shopping bag, can have a huge environmental impact.
Here are five more ways to cut down on plastic
Avoid items in plastic packages. Buy fresh produce that isn’t bagged or boxed. Choose recyclable glass jars rather than plastic ones, and detergents in boxes rather than bottles. This reduces the plastic you use and encourages companies to use less plastic too.
Buy a reusable water bottle. Plastic water bottles account for huge amounts of waste. Tap water is also cheaper, and using glass or stainless steel bottle means you avoid the possible hazards of plastic toxins leaching into your water.
Wear clothing made of natural materials. Wearing and washing clothes causes fibres to flake off, and polyester clothing is made of plastic. Tiny particles of microplastic found in oceans around the world have been traced back to synthetic fabrics.
Recycle electronics. Repair or upgrade your devices if you can, instead of buying new ones. When your phone or stereo is truly beyond help, find a recycling facility. For a list of London facilities, click here.
Bring your mug when you head to a coffee or tea shop. It saves them money and saves a plastic cup — plus it’s nice to sip out of your favourite mug.
Share your ideas for cutting down on plastic in the comments