Plastic has been widely used in a great variety of different ways for many many years. It’s undeniably very useful but at what cost? People, manufacturers and consumers are finally seeing the detrimental impact it is having on our environment. This is causing people to change their attitudes and look for more eco-friendly alternatives. All it takes is a little research and you are bound to find a non-plastic alternative to food packaging, bags, bottles and cups.
Believe it or not, littering is still a national problem despite the penalties that have been put in place to prevent the issue. Over 30% of littering comes from takeaway packaging. This is often non-biodegradable and can lay on the ground for many years. Whilst this is not directly the takeaway vendor's fault, a simple switch to a more eco-friendly packaging will ensure that it degrades at a much quicker rate.
A large amount of plastic still ends up in our oceans. This often leads to the destruction of wildlife and their habitats. Plastic is intoxicating and when ingested it can affect all living organisms in the food chain from plankton at the very bottom to whales right at the top. It can even be present in the fish that we harvest to eat ourselves.
It takes years for plastics to degrade, centuries even. That means that any plastics we use today will still be around when our children’s children are adults. Approximately 40% of plastic waste each year is made up of single use plastics.
Many people may not realise that when plastics start to decompose, they release toxins into the environment such as the by-products bisphenol and PS oligomer. These chemicals poison the land, sea and air.
Who would have thought that plastic could contaminate our food and drink? It can. Some plastics contain tiny particles known as micro-plastics and it can contaminate our food with these tiny fragments. This leads to us unknowingly ingesting toxic materials which is not good for our overall health and wellbeing.
Whilst it may not be possible to avoid plastic altogether, it is worth thinking about reducing the amount we use or choosing reusable options. If you can’t reuse it then recycling is a good next step. It has been reported that only 14% of plastic packaging across the world makes its way to a recycling facility and that only 9% is actually recycled. That leaves a huge amount that still ends up in landfills and in general people should be encouraged to choose the right types of plastics and recycle more.
Whether you are a consumer or a business, there are things that you can change in order to reduce the number of plastics used. Using recyclable plastics and avoiding plastic wrapping would be a good step in the right direction but there are some fantastic environmentally friendly alternatives available. We stock a wide range of biodegradable and compostable products that serve the same purpose without such a negative impact. We have everything from hot drink cups and food packaging to carrier bags and cutlery.
We hope this post has been thought-provoking and inspired you to make some changes for the better. It’s so important for everyone to be environmentally aware and just some small steps now will go a long way to making a big difference. You can browse our full range of environmentally friendly products here.