It can be tricky to get in the mindset to make changes in our daily routines when we are so used to doing things a certain way. But when it comes to the planet, if we don’t start altering our lifestyles and habits now, the consequences of our actions will be irreversible.

In light of the world’s climate emergency and that this month is officially Plastic Free July, we wanted to compile a list of easy ways we all can make a change at home and in our daily lives.

Did you know …

97% of the world’s water is held by the ocean, yet 88% of the sea’s surface is polluted by plastic waste, and plastic has only really been widely used for the last 70 years. 8 million pieces of plastic make their way into our oceans every day. 100,000 marine animals die from plastic pollution every year. 381 million tonnes of plastic waste is produced by the world annually, and is set to double by 2034. The UK exports more than two and half Olympic swimming pools of plastic waste every day. It takes roughly 500 years for plastic to decompose. It is estimated that 5.25 trillion macro and micro pieces of plastic are currently floating in the open ocean, with 46,000 pieces in every square mile, weighing up to 269,000 tonnes *.

It makes for very depressing reading.

269,000 tonnes is about the weight of 38,000 African elephants. It is also the equivalent distance from Earth to the Moon and back if you were to stack two-litre bottles on top of each other … twice over **.

It takes a few minutes, doesn’t it, for all of that to sink in? It certainly did for us. Especially when you think about the fact that we eat the fish, that eats the plastic…

Like many, we’re passionate about nature and our environment and are doing what we think we should, but we are by no means perfect. We have more to do. The more we talk about it, the more we are motivated to take action.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we organised a litter pick in Nottingham which saw groups head out across four routes in and around the city. We were supported by Nottingham City Council and many of our clients and contacts jumped at the chance to take part. We were astonished at how much rubbish we collected from pavements and footpaths in just a couple of hours. When all restrictions lift, we will be organising more of these in Nottingham and the wider East Midlands. Do let us know if you would like to be involved.

So, as we mark Plastic Free July this month, we as a team are committing to the below. Why not join us?

1. Use reusable coffee cups

2. Only use reusable shopping bags

3. Refuse plastic straws

4. Avoid bottled water

5. Recycle as much as possible at home and in the office

6. Do our own litter picks where we live

7. Buy plastic-free toiletries and swap liquid soap for bars of soap

8. Avoid buying groceries that are pre-packaged in plastic

9. Prepare lunch as much as possible to avoid buying plastic wrapped fast food

10. Share our efforts with friends and family, and actively encourage others to make changes too

For more information about Plastic Free July and how you can get involved, click the link here: https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/

Sources:
*https://www.condorferries.co.uk/plastic-in-the-ocean-statistics, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/150109-oceans-plastic-sea-trash-science-marine-debris, https://www.wwf.org.au/news/blogs/the-lifecycle-of-plastics#gs.5uy9ir, https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/resources/pledge-to-tackle-plastic-pollution/#:~:text=The%20UK%20exports%20more%20than,by%20no%20later%20than%202025, https://www.sas.org.uk/our-work/plastic-pollution/plastic-pollution-facts-figures/ https://www.cbsnews.com/news/worlds-oceans-plagued-by-269000-tons-of-plastic-pollution/, https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0111913
**https://www.cbsnews.com/news/worlds-oceans-plagued-by-269000-tons-of-plastic-pollution/, https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0111913