Will you take the #PlasticChallenge this July?

Climate Change and Sustainability July 06, 2020

By Sophie Evans, Graduate Ecologist at RSK Biocensus

At the time of writing, almost 4 million tonnes of plastic have been dumped into the ocean in 2020 alone. If we continue at this rate, by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the sea. Now that’s a scary thought…

Throughout July, the Marine Conservation Society is running a plastic challenge to encourage people to reduce their use of single-use plastics. The campaign is supported by high profile figures such as Simon Reeve, Deborah Meaden, Tom Hird and Iolo Williams. The challenge is not about living plastic free; that would be nearly impossible today! But it encourages people to make several small changes that will amount to reducing plastic use significantly.

Most of us will encounter single-use plastics everyday: wrapping our supermarket vegetables, on parcel deliveries, in our takeaway coffee cup, cosmetics bottles, wet-wipes, razors… The list is endless.

Try writing down a list of all the single-use plastics you use in a week. What can be cut out easily? What swaps could you make? Some easy ones could be to:

  • Buy a reusable coffee cup and water bottle.
  • Swap to biodegradable bin liners – every little helps!
  • Stop buying cling film – instead get some silicone lids to cover bowls and half-chopped vegetables.
  • Take non-plastic reusable bags to the supermarket.

For my #PlasticChallenge  this July, I plan to…

  • Replace my current washing powder and fabric softener with smol washing tabs: they are plastic-free and up to 50% cheaper! They’re also cruelty free and eco-friendly.
  • Try to buy more fruit and vegetables from markets where it is not packed in plastic. I might also find some different varieties and try something new!
  • Switch from conventional shampoo and conditioner to solid bars. I’ve been told they last a lot longer too.

Remember, every little change really does help. Many swaps can feel like a treat (like trying new fruits or having a pamper with a new shampoo bar) but they may work out cheaper too! Once you have stuck to the changes for a month it is likely that they will become habits by the end.

These are just some ideas. You can find more tips and inspiration on the campaign website.