Out of all of the environmental issues currently affecting our planet, the pressing problem of plastic pollution is leading the charge. Over recent years, the world has seen an increase in the production and usage of plastic, which has overwhelmed the global capability to deal with them. The world population is continuously growing, accompanied by a rise in people adopting a more active lifestyle. The requirement for items such as plastic water bottles and plastic shopping bags has become a necessity for people who are constantly on the go, and with this, the planet has succumbed to increasing amounts of plastic pollution. As a result, there has been a threat of harm to our oceans, lands and wildlife who inhabit these areas.
Plastic waste is continuing to have damning effects on the world we live in:
- 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced yearly
- Only 9% of all plastics produced are currently recycled
- One million plastic bottles are purchased every minute
- By 2050 plastic pollution within the ocean will outweigh all fish
It is clear that urgent action is required to intervene before the situation worsens. As everyone is part of the problem, individuals, businesses and governments must do their part to try and preserve our lands, oceans and wildlife. At PG Paper, we understand in the importance of everyone realising they are responsible for helping to preserve the state of the earth. So, we’re sharing 6 small things you can do to help.
Reduce Your Use of Single-Use Plastics
We are all guilty of purchasing single-use plastic items, most of the time due to the ease and availability of day-to-day necessities. However, many are unaware of the damage they are having not only to the environment, but also to human health. Some examples of how you can reduce your consumption of single-use plastics include:
- Use a refillable water bottle
- Change to re-usable shopping bags
- Always look to purchase food items with less packaging
Make a Conscious Effort to Recycle
From a young age, the majority of us have been encouraged to recycle and as a society, we have become increasingly conscious of the positive impact it can have on the environment. However, many people are not fully aware of the correct recycling processes, with 76% of us misunderstanding recycling labels on packaging. To get into better recycling habits, read up on the recycling rules and regulations for your local area.
Get Involved in Community Clean Ups
To effectively tackle plastic pollution on a global scale, we all need to start by taking care of our towns and cities. Community clean-ups are a great way of bringing people together for a common cause. Getting involved in local clean-ups can help boost community culture by everyone coming together to clean up local parks, beaches and other public spaces.
Have Fun with Upcycling!
Upcycling is a form of recycling that involves turning an item you no longer require into something new. Many of us wouldn’t think twice about throwing away a plastic bottle or shopping bag, however, why not transform it into something useful. There are several advantages to upcycling, the most important being reducing landfill waste. Upcycling can also be viewed as a fun activity, as you can turn a form of single-use plastic into jewelry, a plant pot or anything else you can imagine.
Perform a Waste Audit
Performing a waste audit is a quick and effective way to keep on top of your household waste. The best way to carry out your own audit is to check what items can and can’t be recycled within your local area. By taking these actions, you will be able to inform yourself of any changes you can make to better your recycling habits and ultimately reduce your overall household waste output.
Inspire a Change in Culture
Businesses are the key drivers in the fight against climate change, and having a structured recycling system in place is just a small way they can help. If your workplace does not dispose of waste effectively, you can show your commitment to recycling and inspire other employees to do the same. Staff training and employee schedules can also help kickstart the recycling movement in your place of work.
No matter how big or small, everyone must begin to think about how they can help tackle plastic pollution. Here are some more top tips from WWF on how you can begin to reduce your plastic footprint!