The final episode of the BBCs Blue Planet was a key moment in igniting the war on single-use plastic. Viewers watched on in horror as an Albatross unwittingly fed plastic to its chicks, mistaking it for food. The plastic fragments the chicks ingested - which included whole plastic bags and empty rice packets - ultimately killed them.
And who could have missed the pictures of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that hit the media earlier this decade, a swirling mass of rubbish that is the largest accumulation ocean plastic in the world.
Each day, over 250 marine animals and over 2,700 seabirds choke to death on the plastic polluting our oceans. It is estimated there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050.
The production and shipping of single-use plastics also requires vast amounts fossil fuels, and vast amounts of water, contributing to climate change. And while manufacturers will reassure us that their product is recyclable, only a fraction of plastic waste ends up being recovered for recycling.
Surely single-use plastic production is now declining?
Even in countries that are blessed with access to clean, fresh tap water, the single-use bottled water market is still growing.
A recent Guardian investigation found that globally, consumers buy a million single-use plastic bottles a minute. In the next 20 years plastic production is set to double, and then quadruple by 2050.
Canada is set to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021 in a bid to reduce ocean waste. Until your country gets on board, it’s time to take matters in to your own hands.
Re-usable plastic has a smaller carbon footprint than glass and aluminum
A simple way to reduce single-use plastic waste is to purchase a quality, reusable water bottle for you and your family members. But which one?
When you take in to consideration the energy used in the mining, transportation and manufacturing of plastic, glass, and aluminium, plastic is arguably the most environmentally friendly of the three materials. The mining process to produce aluminum is particularly destructive, and the energy required to manufacture and then transport heavier glass bottles is much greater than plastic.
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