If not the sea or landfill, then where? What to do with our plastic

Plastic pollution is an ever growing threat to the planet and the population, due to plastic not being biodegradable and taking thousands of years to decompose. Around eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the sea, and this is incredibly harmful to wildlife and animals as they can often mistake it for food and eat it, disrupting the food chain. 

There are many things we can do with our plastic to prevent it from being thrown and disposed into the sea or landfill, and Saucestream talks you through them.

Get into the habit of recycling

Many plastic products such as water bottles, crisp packets, or grocery bags are single-use items – meaning that they are only used once and then they are thrown away. To avoid these plastic products ending up in landfills or the ocean, it is much more beneficial to recycle them as this would reduce air pollution from landfilling. It would also conserve and reduce the energy needed to actually create the plastic from scratch.

Recycling can be tricky as there are seven different types of plastic, however there is no need to worry. SauceStream explains which plastic is which and whether they are recyclable or not.

Bottle usage

Plastic water bottles used for drinking are common in the UK, yet they’re extremely harmful for the environment, with many being found in landfills and the sea. Instead of constantly buying plastic water bottles, why not try buying a stainless steel water bottle in which you can refill it everyday? It is much more sustainable and will reduce the amount of plastic that gets disposed of on a daily basis.

Likewise, it is better to use glass bottles rather than plastic bottles for sauces and condiments, particularly as you can reuse the glass bottles over and over again. SauceStream sells a variety of packs of glass bottles – an eco-friendly alternative to plastic!

Stop chewing normal gum

Did you know that chewing gum is actually made from plastic? It contains polyethylene which is used in grocery bags and children’s toys. And when discarded on the streets, it is extremely difficult to clean and get rid of, which is very damaging to the environment.

Luckily there are some plastic-free alternatives! These include Chewsy or Glee.

Discourage littering

A big reason as to why so much plastic ends up in the ocean is because people are constantly littering and being careless with their excess plastic packaging. Beach litter in particular is dangerously high, with plastic bottles, food wrappers, and plastic containers all being found in abundance in the ocean.

It is wise to get into the habit of holding onto any rubbish you have until you find a recycling bin.

Plastic straws need to go

For years and years now it has been commonplace to use plastic straws for parties and occasions, but because they are used in excess, they are hardly ever recycled and therefore end up in landfills or the sea. 

It is best to avoid using them altogether, and opt for paper straws as these are much better for the environment. If you already have a stack of plastic straws at home and you don’t know what to do with them, there are some options. You can take the straws and put them all in a large container that is made out of polypropylene (so that the straws don’t slip out), and place them in a plastic recycling bin. Or you can reuse them artistically, like decorating a candle holder or use them for an art project.

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