Why should we stop using single use plastic?
Updated: 7 days ago
CHOOSE THIS OVER BEACHES LIKE THIS
In today’s growing age of social media and technology, it is certainly no secret that the production and use single use plastics is drastically impacting the health of our oceans.
Through social media and TV programs, so many amazing words and inspiring messages are being spread by thousands of influential people and brands, and I can safely say this is one of the greatest fads that has kicked off to date.
Unfortunately, following a recent visit to the local beach here in Western Australia, I noticed that it’s possible the fad has not kicked off as much as I thought. Looking around at the bustling car park, beach and playground, 90% of people had a coffee or drink in their hand and only 10% of those people had a re-useable alternative.
THIS TRULY SHOCKED ME! Upon making the change to re-useable and surrounding myself with like-minded people, I just assumed it was second nature for everyone, but sadly that’s not the case….
So, I thought, what better time than now to highlight a few key reasons why we should reduce our use of plastic, explain how I do it while travelling and share a brand that has helped make the change that bit more enjoyable and “photo” worthy Muve Australia.
Why did we start using plastic in the first place?
Plastic is produced for a slither of the price of alternatives and provides a light and innovative solution to many daily tasks, so subsequently plastic rapidly became a sought after commodity and staple of daily life.
But new doesn’t always mean better!
With supermarkets only kicking off in Australia in 1937 , it wasn’t that long ago that our grandparents jumped from the butcher, fresh produce grocer and markets with their paper and cotton bags. Made lunches from scratch (vs single use, frozen meal creations) and god forbid, made rice on the stove vs ready in 90 seconds, single use packets.
We didn’t always use plastic, so why can’t we make that change again.
A total of 3 513 100 tonnes of plastics were consumed in Australia in 2016–17.
Why is plastic bad for our environment ?
Plastic is a very stable product and following the consumption of our water, soft drink or chocolate bars, can remain in our environment for up to a thousand years, during which it can have severe impacts on our natural ecosystems. Some of the most prominent impacts include,
- Injury or death to our world’s most beautiful marine life through ingestion and entanglement. Some of the most prominent species impacted by this include bird life, sharks, turtles and marine mammals. According to Sea Turtle Conservancy (2019), over 1000 marine animals are killed from marine debris each year, with one single plastic bag impacting multiple animals due to its inability to biodegrade. With an estimated 100 million tons of plastic in our ocean today, I don’t find myself overly surprised by these statistics.
- Plastic Microbeads | What are these you ask? Microbeads are small solid plastic particles less than 5mm that do not degrade or dissolve in water. Microbeads are included in a range of our everyday products including cosmetics, clothing, personal care and cleaning agents. These microbeads are too small to be caught in our water catchments and often find their way into our oceans and rivers, having a detrimental impact on our environment, marine life and human health through the leaking of toxins.
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact of plastic on our oceans and I could truly ramble on all day about the devastating effects single use plastic has on our environment, but just with the few points above, I am sure everyone can relate or sympathise with how important this issue really is.
It doesn’t matter if its wanting to see our streets cleaner or preserving our stunning marine life for generations to come, there is always a reason to swap to re-useable !!
How can we make a change?
Making a positive influence on our environment is actually a lot simpler than many may think. My number one tip is to approach the problem from the source and try to reduce our use of plastic in the first place.
While proper recycling is amazing and I certainly prioritise this for the waste I do produce, it was recently recorded that only 11% of Australia’s plastic is recycled effectively. With many ending up in our water ways through littering or not being prepared correctly for the recycling processes in place (e.g. not separated from food scraps).
The obvious solution is to reduce our use of plastic in the first place.
A few ways you can do this include,
1. Carrying a re-useable drink bottle and coffee cup at all times (check out Muve Australia for a beautiful and personalised eco alternative) Discount code ZOE15
2. Always remembering our re-useable shopping and produce bags.
3. Saying no to single use take away packaging and using eco alternatives (try senda essentials travel lunch boxes and bamboo cutlery)
4. Choosing loose fruit and veg in the supermarket and finding canned, glass and paper packaged alternatives.
There are so many exciting products out there these days that can help make re-useable alternatives fun and easily accessible.
One of my absolute favourites now while travelling Australia is Muve Australia. Providing a single eco alternative for so many necessities while travelling, this re-useable drink bottle stays hot for 12 hours & cold for 24. Perfect for outdoor explorations and long flying transits, without having to carry a bag full of single use options (this can become impossible when you are short on space).
I hope this blog has helped shed a little light on why reducing our use of plastic is such an important topic and given you a few inspiring ideas on how to make this change easy and fun.
If you did want to grab yourself a personalised Muve Bottle, save a little cash and use the discount code “ZOE15“ .
Happy travels & with love from Zoe Strapp (Akua Odyssey)
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