It can’t really be avoided any longer. Single-use plastics are a human addiction that we must face head on. Plastic pollution is not only impacting our waters and marine life, but also the human food chain and our overall health.
Every year 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced and almost half of that is single-use plastic which we only use once before throwing away. Think plastic bags, drinks bottles, crisp packets and disposable razors.
It is estimated that more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are in the world’s oceans with 8 million tonnes entering the ocean each year. Experts think that in 30 years, the amount of plastic in the ocean will weigh more than the fish in it.
Whilst recognising the benefits of plastic, we clearly need to cut down and find alternatives. At Barbarossa Brothers, one of our values is being sustainable and we’ve taken steps to minimise the use of plastic in our business from products to packaging.
Here are some quick fixes that can help us all do more to protect our planet;
In the US alone, 2 billion disposable razors are thrown into landfill every year. Opt for a traditional single blade razor which takes disposable metal blades or, a better option, a fixed blade straight razor and you will never need to buy blades again. You’re also going to save a huge amount of money as they can last a lifetime and the blades cost next to nothing! And did we mention you will get a superior shave? It’s a no brainer.
Despite looking like they’re made of cardboard, 99 per cent of disposable coffee cups are not recyclable and every minute over 1 million cups end up in landfills. Opt for a reusable coffee mug and enjoy a guilt-free, sustainable caffeine fix. Don't be embarrassed, coffee houses are encouraging and often discounting those who make the effort to bring a reusable cup.
A million water bottles are used around the world every minute! Most water bottles are highly recyclable but only a small percentage of them actually are recycled – most end up in the ocean or landfill. A quick fix is to make sure you recycle your bottles, a better option is to have a dedicated water bottle or opt for a reusable stainless steel or glass one. Water companies are getting pressured to do their bit so you should hopefully see free water stations popping up in a public space near you.
The supermarket is full of unnecessary plastic packaging, convenience foods being the worst. Try heading to your local butchers or green grocers where the packaging is minimal. As well as cutting down on plastic, you will be helping your local businesses. If you do hit up the supermarket, remember to take a reusable bag or cardboard box to carry your groceries. Since England introduced a 5p charge on single-use plastic bags, usage dropped from seven billion to just over half a billion within six months. That’s pretty awesome. If you do end up using a plastic bag – recycle it! Most of us just chuck it in the bin.
The first and probably the easiest place to reuse and recycle is in the kitchen. Get creative and reuse glass jars for storing dry goods, takeaway cartons for lunch boxes etc. A lot of people know you can recycle glass and tin cans but did you know that many plastic pots, tubs and trays can be recycled? Increasingly these items are being accepted in recycling bins, find out what is accepted by your local council and refer to the on-pack recycling labels.
Little by little, our crew are working on making a difference to the environment, making products from natural, sustainable materials and avoiding plastic packaging. To make a difference, we all need to be mindful of the plastic we use in our daily lives, small changes over a lifetime will make a huge difference for our planet and future generations.
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Sources: BBC, Plastic Oceans Foundation, Forbes