Why you should reduce your single-use plastic use

Written by: on July 1, 2019
Tags: Guest Blogger, Inspiration, Teen Blogger

I am sure that you have all seen how plastic is affecting our planet and I am sure that you all want to help our planet. Plastic waste is fast becoming a widely recognised problem. While it is an important material for our economy, providing multiple benefits to modern day living, plastic can take 100s of years to biodegrade. It takes up valuable space in landfill sites and is polluting the natural environment, having a significant impact on our oceans.

Plastic takes 500 years to decompose poster

We all need to reduce our plastic use because plastic is everywhere. It is strong, light, cheap and very versatile. The majority of plastic waste does not get reused or recycled and experts believe that 50% of plastic is single-use, meaning it is used once before being discarded. Single-use plastic includes plastic water bottles, plastic packaging, plastic shopping bags and much more.

Most types of plastic are in fact recyclable, but most governments do not have the infrastructure in place to carry out this energy-intensive process. Recycling plastic not only requires large amounts of energy but also uses large quantities of water.

Plastic washed up on a beach

While getting rid of plastic waste is the primary environmental problem, the production process is a leading cause of carbon emissions contributing to global warming. It takes a lot of energy and resources to make plastic, with more than 90% being produced from fossil fuel resources. Experts believe that if current trends continue, in 30 years’ time 20% of global oil consumption and 15% of global carbon emissions will be associated with plastic production. Creating bottled water takes 2000 times the energy than it does to produce tap water!

Planet over profit banner

You can reduce your plastic use by creating and carrying with you everywhere you go your secret weapon the SUP (single-use plastic) free kit. Mine contains a reusable cup, my own cutlery, a metal straw, straw cleaner and my InnovateHer tote bag. This is just the start and together we can make a change to our planet.

By Annabelle Robinson, aged 17

Join the challenge and ‘Choose to Refuse’ single-use plastic this Plastic Free July.

Follow Plastic Free July on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.

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