Updated: Aug 18
The Shocking Statistics About Single Use Plastic
Reducing plastic use and particularly single use plastic is not a new topic. I spoke about it on socials for Plastic Free July, but single-use plastic free living should be something we think about all the time and not only for one month. Recently I re-read some really impactful statistics on Instagram by @keepcup in their stories and it really got me thinking more deeply about this topic.
40% of all plastic is used just once before being discarded
This is a crazy statistic in itself. Just think about the enormity of it.
Only 9% of all plastic ever made has been recycled.
That means 91% hasn’t; as we know much of this goes to landfill, or is incinerated or ends up littering our oceans and waterways. These simple but alarming statistics have motivated me to write this blog to remind everyone and give some great starter ideas about how we can have a plastic free, and more sustainable summer, and life overall!
How To Cut Down Your Single Use Plastic Consumption This Summer
1. Use a Stainless Steel Reusable Water Bottle
60% of our body is made up of water. The NHS informs us that we should be drinking 2-3 litres of water per day. Investing in a reusable water bottle helps you stay hydrated and also helps the environment in all the ways plastic water bottles harm it. Reusable water bottles are a cheaper, safer and more sustainable alternative to disposable ones.
Reusable water bottles do not mess around; many are sturdy and built for backpacking, camping, or travel. They are able to go through the ups and downs of life with you this summer, whether that’s at home or on holiday. A single bottle, if properly maintained will last for years! You could buy a reusable water bottle today and still be using it in a few years time.
Aesthetic isn't everything, but it sure does help. My water bottles are one of my essentials I always take while I'm on the go. It not only serves a purpose of being practical and kind to the environment but also doubles as something of a fashion accessory. My water bottles come in 17 great designs from my print collection.
All my bottles are produced and printed in the UK. My supplier takes sustainability seriously and they only print using inks that do not contain any solvents.
2. Invest in a Reusable Coffee Cup
I’m more of a tea drinker than a coffee drinker, but I love my @keepcup and use it everyday. I highly recommend getting one of these as you would normally get a discount off your beverage of choice and you know you aren’t using yet another single use coffee cup. Even during the pandemic, I’ve been making my tea ‘to take’ at home and carrying my @keepcup with me.
3. Buy a Stylish Tote Bag for Shopping
We all are aware that we shouldn’t be using single use bags from supermarkets since the government initiatives were introduced a few years ago. To avoid plastic completely I always carry one of my tote bags for smaller shops and then a variety of larger cotton bags for bigger shops.
Like my water bottles, my stylish tote bags serve a purpose but also look good while doing it. They make a great companion for a day at the beach or just a simple shopping trip!
My totes come in 2 sizes, small and large. They are comfy and durable with cotton webbed handles. All the tote bags come complete with faux fur pom pom for that Rebecca J Mills touch!
4. Ditch the Tea Bags and Try Loose Tea Leaves
Not a coffee drinker like me? Even tea bags are made and sealed with plastic, and as a nation of tea drinkers this is going to be a lot of plastic! Cut your tea bag plastic waste by using reusable tea bags or switch to tea leaves. There are actually lots of reusable tea bags available, but I especially like the ones by @teapigs. Also check out @plasticfreedom, they have so many plastic free ideas on their instagram and website.
It might seem more laborious but by using loose leaf tea you get to use an amazing teapot!! I’ve picked out a few of my favourites that I think would look really good in a contemporary home. So it could be a fun idea to ditch the tea bags in favour of loose leaf tea and treat yourself to a new kitchen accessory at the same time!
@repeatrepeat - pineapple teapot which is available on their website
Or this stylist sleek terracotta teapot from British craft maker @suepryke available from her website
I also love a classic:
The Cornish Betty Striped @cornishware
5. Consider Swapping to Plastic Free Beauty Products
Plastic Free Beauty is one that is more on the radar now but might still feel like a harder area to make swaps in. There are plenty of brands that are doing more and more in this arena as the plastic free movement grows.
So far I’ve switched to using reusable makeup remover pads; there are now lots of brands out there, but I use @stylpro_uk bamboo pads, they come with a small natural cotton laundry bag to put your wipes in so they don’t get lost in the washing machine.
I’m also looking at moving to shampoo and conditioner bars; there’s quite a few brands out there now, which is great to see.
Hopefully these tips and swaps give you some nice ideas and a reminder about how to be more plastic free this summer and into the future. We can’t do everything all at once, but one or two swaps can start to make such a difference. The shocking statistics definitely made me stop and think again about the products I’m using.