Earth Day, now in its 50th year, is changing human attitudes about and behaviour toward plastics and reducing plastic pollution. Campaigns to end plastic pollution show the impact on human and ecosystem health and how everyday actions can lessen the problem.

The harmful effects of plastic in our environment are clear to see from damaging marine and human health, polluting beaches and landscapes, clogging waste streams and ever-growing landfills. We cannot let these current tough times stop our efforts to reduce single-use plastic.

Let’s keep reusing shopping bags and bags for life, buy unwrapped food from our supermarkets where we can and recycle as much as possible. Refill a reusable, whether it’s a Chilly’s bottle or a keep-cup for your coffee or tea. Good habits now will continue after lockdown and working from home.

The plastic problem

Each year it is estimated that more than 300m tonnes of plastic are produced globally, and plastic production is set to soar over the next 10 years. Drinks bottles are the most common type of plastic waste. 20,000 are bought every second! Less than 50% are collected for recycling and only 7% are turned into new bottles!

We must all do our bit to reduce, recycle and reuse immediately. And rethink how we can take environmentally responsible action now even in lockdown!

Here are some excellent reminders that we can implement while working from home and when we return to the workplace, that are cost effective and with direct benefit to the plastic pollution crisis.

It’s a reuse-refill revolution where we need to continue to cut plastic use and create a healthier world.

Plastic floating in the sea

How to reduce plastic waste

These tips will help you avoid household plastics that can end up in landfill and then the oceans, endangering our dolphins, turtles and other wildlife too. Plus they will enhance your life: saving you cash, replacing aggressive chemicals and giving you that contented feeling you are doing good for the planet.

With regard to eating and drinking here are some practical things that you can start implementing right now, and every suggestion has a direct benefit in reducing plastic entering our environment.

Remember the lunchbox and reusable utensils for your lunch and snacks. Pop your sandwiches and snacks in reusable lunch wraps not cling film which is non-recyclable but in foil. The new material on the market is beeswax wraps. Made using 100% cotton, pine resin, Jojoba oil and local beeswax they are 100% natural and environmentally friendly.

Use your own reusable containers when essential shopping for unpacked food items that are sold loose.

Try to cut out frozen and ready meals as the food packaging, especially black, is non-recyclable. No better incentive to cook from scratch and especially now we have more time!

Take a reusable bread bag to the bakery and pop your loaf inside, it also keeps the bread a bit fresher a bit longer. Same with potato bags, which also cut out the light to stop them going green.

Choose cleaning brands that offer refills where available. We are sure this sector will continue to expand with dispensers and refill containers available with a deposit scheme.

We are all washing hands so much more often and rightly so to curb disease. So, if you can choose bars of hard soap save plastic bottles and using a refillable shampoo and conditioner container again cuts out single-use plastic.

Did you know that plastic toothbrushes never degrade so choose a bamboo one that does decompose in six months when you come to change your old one?

Purple reusable bottle

Reuse and refill

Refill your own reusable coffee cups and drink bottles whether working from home of the office. A plumbed in drinking water dispenser is very popular and allows your family or team to refill with filtered and chilled water that tastes great and keeps everyone properly hydrated and healthy.

Even bottled coolers deliver benefits because the 15l bottles arse 100% recyclable and it saves buying expensive heavy water from the supermarket or online taking up valuable space in delivery vans. Some online firms have stopped taking orders for bottled water as a result.

A rising trend in doorstep deliveries especially in lockdown. Sign up to your local dairy and milkman and get your milk delivered as glass is 100% recyclable.

It’s time to sit down with a cuppa and check your plastic-free moves! Happy Earth Day!