You won’t have escaped one of the biggest issues of our time – Plastic. Single-use plastics are the focus of a global crisis damaging our environment. Globally we are now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which is for single use. More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year. Plastic pollution is not only impacting our waters and marine life, but also the human food chain and our overall health.
- Every day 35 million plastic bottles are sold across the UK and many end up as litter, in our oceans or in landfill sites.
- According to the Container Recycling Institute, 100.7 billion plastic beverage bottles were sold in the USA in 2014, or 315 bottles per person.
- 57% of those units were plastic water bottles: 57.3 billion sold in 2014. This is up from 3.8 billion plastic water bottles sold in 1996, the earliest year for available data.
- The process of producing bottled water requires around 6 times as much water per bottle as there is in the container.
- 14% of all litter comes from beverage containers. When caps and labels are considered, the number is higher.
Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. We are currently too dependent on disposable plastics, and is becoming the focus of environmental groups and governments to do something about it.
Can I just keep re-using my standard plastic bottle?
Ever wondered why there’s a use-by date on bottled water? Mineral water can spend hundreds of years in the ground and be perfectly drinkable, but as soon as it’s in a plastic bottle it has a best-before date of a matter of months. This is to do with the plastic, not the water.
Manufacturers make these plastic bottles for the purpose of a single use, so they don't last forever. Two things can happen as you reuse plastic bottles over and over: They can leach chemicals, and bacteria can grow in them. Such plastics aren’t designed to last a long time, they deteriorate over time and can become potentially harmful.
What are the alternatives?
Cutting out single-use plastics doesn’t have to mean going without vital hydration. There’s a whole range of choice for re-usable, long-term alternatives to standard single-use plastic bottles. Whether you need an individual bottle on the go or a larger capacity jug or filter tank, the market has lots to offer. Not only do you have choice for water bottles, but also hot drinks storage.
A good water bottle or hot beverage flask not only reduces the amount of waste plastics, it could save you a small fortune on not going to your usual coffee outlet. Recently larger coffee outlets have put an extra charge on their disposable cups – so it pays to be prepared!
How can we help?
Over the coming months we will be organising a range of activities such as plastic collecting at our local beach, challenges to staff members to collect a number of plastic pieces of litter on their commute to and from work and even some underwater plastic clearing expeditions by our avid Scuba Diving enthusiasts and much more. We will keep you up to date via social media and our blog articles. Let us know what you are doing to help save our planet from plastic.