Over eight million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans every year, killing and damaging sea life. This is a global problem, but everyone can help by cutting down on everyday plastic use. Here are eight tips to help you reduce your plastic waste.
36 million plastic bottles are used every day, making up 67% of household plastic recycling. Of those 36 million bottles, 57% aren’t recycled. Every plastic bottle that is not recycled takes an average of 450 years to decompose. If, like many people, you don’t like tap water and are drinking bottled water daily, look at investing in a water filter instead. Water filters turn tap water into filtered, purified water, reducing limescale and other taste and aroma-impairing substances.
2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away every year in the UK – and less than 1 in 400 are recycled. A simple solution to this is to purchase your own reusable cup. Many coffee shops offer discounts if you use your own cup too… so you will be saving money and the planet, which can only be a good thing.
Whilst refill stations have always been popular in smaller independent eco-shops, the packaging free idea has also taken up by bigger names like Marks & Spencer with more supermarkets expected to follow suit. Marks & Spencer on Market Street have a whole range of products available to buy from large refillable containers. Customers are encouraged to bring their jars and tubs, and fill from their air-tight containers a range of crisps, cereal, nuts, coffee, pasta and loads more. Store a local chain of convenience stores around Manchester are also encouraging people to stop buying plastic and start re-filling, offering an Ecover refill station where you can re-fill your washing up liquid, laundry liquids and all-purpose cleaners. They offer better value for money too, as you are cutting out packaging costs.
This isn’t easy to do, and sometimes plastic packaging can be un-avoidable, but a few swaps can make all the difference. In the supermarket, look at buying loose products, instead of pre-packaged. If you usually put loose products in single-use plastic bags, switch to a reusable fruit & vegetable bag. If you’re comparing similar items from two brands, choose the one with less packaging.
The world uses over 500 billion plastic bags a year – that's about 150 for each person on Earth. Those bags eventually end up in landfill where it takes between 10-20 years for each bag to decompose. One of the simplest changes we can make, is to carry a plastic bag with you when you go shopping. You can buy fold-up reusable bags for as little as £1 that fold up small enough to be put on a keychain. Keep one on your keys and you will never be without one!
A small amount of household rubbish is unavoidable. Where possible, buy bin liners made from recycled material. This means that no new plastic was created to make the product.
Rechargeable batteries are great for a number of reasons: You will never have to pop out to the shops at 10pm because your TV remote has died. Rechargeable batteries can power your devices for as long as most high-quality single-use batteries can, but at a fraction of the cost over time. Finally, recharging batteries with a battery charger is more energy efficient than the cost and energy of making new batteries.
More than 1.2 billion metres of cling film is used by households across Britain every year – that is enough to go around the circumference of the world 30 times over! Try to avoid cling film and opt for tin foil. Foil is 100% recyclable and can be re-used. Better still are beeswax wraps, beeswax wraps are 100% natural and work the same way as cling film but can be cleaned and re-used. A much more environmentally friendly solution.
Here at Manchester Apartments, we are committed to ensuring we create energy efficient, sustainable apartments. That’s why all of our designers, architects and developers are continually focusing on using items that have longevity, are timeless and work with the planet, not against it. The pieces we choose to furnish the apartments are high-quality, long lasting and timeless, we avoid using cheap furnishings that will eventually end up in landfill. We also have recycling points at all of our developments and encourage tenants to dispose of their rubbish correctly and could be issued with a fine if they are found to not be recycling their waste correctly.
We hope this has given you some ideas as to how you can reduce your plastic waste. If you have any tips that we haven’t mentioned, let us know by sending us a tweet.