Did you know that every piece of plastic ever made is still on earth?
Think about that for a second – every lolly wrapper, every shampoo bottle, every cheap toy and every straw is still circulating through the earth as plastic. Many of these items you use for only minutes and then throw away, but the item itself will outlive you and I. Some of it (about 10% globally) is recycled, turned into other plastic items for another chance at being useful. The other 90% ends up as waste, in landfill or as litter, and every year 8 millions tonnes of plastic rubbish ends up in the ocean. In Australia, about 80% of marine debris comes from the land as litter.
Marine debris is harmful to marine life and is linked to wildlife injury and death. It impacts on critical habitats, poses health and safety risks for the general public, and has economic impacts on communities through tourism and fisheries. Plastic never breaks down, it only breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces. This makes it really hard to clean up!
Ok, ok, it’s a big problem right? And yes, the issue is global but there’s plenty you can do to reduce plastic in your life and help the earth. As a starting point, remember the 4 R’s:
Refuse – say no to single use or “disposable” plastic items.
Reduce – where can you reduce plastic in your life? Do you really need it anyway?
Reuse – can it be used again or for a different purpose?
Recycle – as a last resort for your waste.
Going “plastic free” can seem really daunting, so do what you can, and start small. Buy a reusable drink bottle or coffee cup, switch to bar soap instead of liquid, put those green bags in your car so you won’t forget them on your next trip to the supermarket. Once that becomes routine, you can move onto the next thing, then the next thing. Or try tackling one room at a time, think about the common items you buy regularly and just google for alternatives – there are SO many ideas out there! Talk to your friends, someone may know a great toothpaste recipe or the best place to buy produce without all the packaging. Sharing ideas and encouraging others is a great way to keep the momentum up and create change that will last.
Here’s some tips from Plastic Free July to get you inspired for The Sanctuary’s Plastic Free February J and beyond. Every small change you can make is an act of ahimsa, non-violence and loving kindness for the earth. Mother Earth will thank you for it!
Blog written by our fabulous eco warrior and yoga teacher Kate Nairn
Follow us (Mysan Yoga) on facebook and Instagram for solutions on how to go plastic free all through February!