How We Can Win the War on Plastic!!!

If you've been watching BBC One recently, you've probably come across the series 'The War on Plastic'. Now in its third series, this show takes a look at all the ways in which non-reusable plastic makes an impact on our lives, the environmental damage that it causes and steps that everyone can take to reduce the amount of plastic they consume.

Recent episodes have covered the amount of plastic which we use in our kitchen and the amount that we are given to use from fast-food restaurants and take-aways, whether we asked for it or not.

Changing the Products You Use

One of the main messages of the programme is that it's easy to substitute everyday plastic products for more environmentally friendly alternatives. For example, single-use plastic cutlery is a nightmare for the environment, as it is plastic intensive to produce, difficult to recycle and is usually thrown into landfill anyway. By using reusable bamboo cutlery instead, you can massively reduce the environmental damage caused by the manufacturing process and the impact on the planet when you have finished using the product.

The same can be achieved by taking a zero waste approach wherever possible. Some supermarkets, such as Waitrose, have started to allow customers to refill their own containers with cereals, rice, pasta, and other store cupboard foods. This means that these items become sustainable products and halts the mountain of plastic wrapping, cardboard boxes and other throw-away materials which are usually created when we purchase these items.

Can You Go Totally Plastic Free?

Living an entirely plastic-free existence in modern Britain is hard, and there is some evidence that the plastic used to keep food fresh, for instance, can be less harmful than allowing food to go to waste. The key message of the programme and environmental campaigners, in general, is to use sustainable products wherever possible and to always think about the impact of the things which you buy. It's not always possible to substitute natural products, but you should try to do so whenever you can.

What's also essential is to reuse items wherever possible. If you do use a plastic bag to take your sandwiches to work for instance, then try to use it for several days before throwing it away, instead of chucking it in the bin as soon as you've finished eating. If you manage to use the same bag for three days, you'll make a massive reduction in the amount of plastic waste which you create over a year. The programme has shown just how big an impact these small changes can make. Many of them won't cost you any more or create any inconvenience. It's just a case of getting into new habits.

Plastic reduction isn't an entirely personal crusade, and there are significant steps for governments and businesses to take too. However, we can all play our part and doing what you can to reduce the amount of plastic you use every day is a great place to start.
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