Image by Brian Yurasits

OUR PLASTIC PROBLEM

Once you start noticing how much unnecessary plastic we use every day, the scale of our plastic problem starts to become enormously worrying. There's no way we could eliminate all the unnecessary plastic from our lives in one challenge, but we may as well start trying.

 

WHY?

MOST PLASTIC IS RUBBISH

79% of the plastic on the planet is in landfills or clogging up our lakes, oceans, rivers, etc. At least 8 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the oceans each year. (NY Times)

 

"At some point we will run out of room to put it," says Chelsea Rochman. "Some may argue we already have as now it's found in every nook and cranny of our oceans."

There is literally a ton of plastic garbage for every person on the planet. (Washington Post)

THERE'S TOO MUCH OF IT

In 1950, when plastic was first mass produced, 2m tons were manufactured. That figure has risen to 8.3bn this year and is projected to reach 34bn by 2050.

 

A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every MINUTE, a number that is expected to rise by 20% by 2021. (The Guardian)

By 2050, it's predicted there will be more plastic waste than fish in our oceans. (Chicago Tribune)

PLASTIC KILLS

 

All sorts of marine animals - dolphins, whales, seals, birds, fish - as well as creatures on land become entangled in our plastic waste, are injured by it, suffocate in it, are poisoned by it, choke on it, etc.

 

For example, a whale found dying off the coast of Norway was found to have 30 plastic bags, amongst other plastic rubbish, in its gut. (The Telegraph) This was far from an isolated incident.

HOW?

 

JUST A FEW IDEAS TO START

1. Say no to plastic straws. Better yet, ask your local restaurants/bars/cafes to stop automatically serving straws with drinks.

2. Use matches rather than lighters.

3. Give up gum.

4. If there is a product that comes in plastic or one that comes in a cardboard box - think pasta, detergent, etc - buy the one in cardboard. 

5. Or, bring your own reusable containers and buy from bulk bins.

6. Use reusable bottles and cups, not single use plastic ones. 

7. Don't use disposable plastic dining ware.

8. If you have kids, use washable cloth diapers.

9. Plastic shopping bags... please just don't use them. Ever. 

10. Buy produce loose rather than wrapped in plastic. Use reusable produce bags rather than the plastic bags provided at the shop.

 

WHAT NEXT?

KEEP GOING

Once you've had your fill of this challenge, pick another! You can find lots of options here. 

TELL A FRIEND

Our individual efforts​ won't have much of an impact if there are only a few of us making these changes. The more people we can get involved, the bigger a difference we'll make. Tell a friend or use the buttons below to share this page.

SHARE YOUR STORY

Tell us about your experience with this challenge on social media. What are you finding hard or easy about it? Tell us about #ourplasticproblem via the social media buttons below. Don't forget to tag The Kin Project when you do.

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