Here at Wizzcash, we are committed to reducing our plastic waste, and have created this guide so that we can impart some of the knowledge that we have picked up over the years from multiple sources across the web, via word of mouth, newspapers, tv shows, films and documentaries. It is vital now, more than ever, that we commit to the cause of plastic waste reduction. Thankfully, there are currently many ways that this can be achieved which will also help you to save money. The information included below is by no means an exhaustive list. We have simply chosen the points that have the potential to save you the most money whilst reducing as much as possible the plastic that we throw away. But just how bad is the situation exactly?
Plastic – The Facts
- It can take 450 years for one plastic bottle to degrade in our oceans. Furthermore, it will never truly disappear as it breaks down into microscopic particles that can remain indefinitely.
- Each and every single day 8 million pieces of plastic find their way into our seas.
- The most recent studies into marine plastic pollution have found plastics present in 100% of marine turtles, 59% of whales, 36% of seals and 40% of seabirds that were tested.
- It is estimated that 100,000 marine mammals as well as turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed every year by plastic pollution.
- Almost 700 species of animal are recorded to have been affected by plastic pollution. Microplastics were also found to be present in over 100 different species tested.
- Around half of every single piece of plastic produced was created in the last 15 years
- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a collection of swirling rubbish that contains an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic. It occupies an area of ocean between Hawaii and California and is roughly three times the size of France.
- It is believed that by 2050, there will be more plastic in our oceans (by weight) than there are fish.
These facts show that urgent action is needed. Thankfully, taking proactive steps towards reducing our use of plastics is now easier than ever. Please read on to discover our top tips on how to reduce your plastic waste whilst also saving yourself money.
Plastic – Proactive Steps
- Consider swapping your plastic laundry bottles for the cardboard box variety. This will reduce your plastic use and can also save you money on your laundry as the larger boxes of detergent offer greater value. Consider also companies like Smol, they are producing 100% water soluble laundry capsules, their packaging is made of 90% recycled material and it is itself compact, and 100% recyclable. Plus, they deliver to your door monthly and are estimated to be far cheaper than traditional tablets.
- Bars of soap are plastic free (so long as they are wrapped in paper or cardboard) and offer far greater value for money than liquid hand soaps. A single bar of Wrights Coal Tar Soap can cost as little as 60p-80p and has the added benefit of being antiseptic!
- Wherever possible, buy in bulk. One especially large bottle of a product, a large bottle of shampoo for example, will cost you less, last you longer and facilitate the use of less plastic than 3 or 4 smaller bottles of the same product. The same applies for large packets of food, such as rice or pasta.
- Consider removing face wipes from your shopping list. Not only are face wipes expensive and “single use” they are devastating for the environment because they end up in our rivers and oceans (if they are flushed) and in landfills if they are placed into the bins. No matter where they end up face wipes are non-biodegradable. A face towel or flannel can clean your face in just the same way but can be washed and reused indefinitely, making it the far more cost-effective option.
- Nowadays many people are using bags for life and this is great. Some supermarkets are taking this commitment even further. Many will now actually replace your bag for life if it ever breaks! All you would need to do is take the broken bag to the store and they will replace it for you on sight. Additionally, Morrisons and Ocado are now offering a cashback incentive on all plastic bags. When you have a new shop delivered, they will take money off that shop with every plastic bag handed back to the delivery driver (Morrisons are currently only operating this on their own bags and Ocado cap the cashback at 99p total, 5p per bag).
- Consider a stainless steel or other sustainably made water bottles. Plastic water bottles are one of the greatest and most prevalent sources of single-use plastic pollution. Whilst some also contain BPA and other chemicals that are damaging to the environment and to our bodies.
- Plastic straws have garnered a lot of media attention recently, and for good reason! Due to be phased out by 2021, alongside plastic stirrers and cotton buds, they are huge contributors to plastic pollution. It is estimated that in England we use 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion cotton buds every year. By leaving the plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers on the shelf you could save money and reduce your plastic use.
- A lot of coffee shops now (the big chains leading the charge) will offer you a discount if you bring your own coffee cup/travel container. If you do decide to buy yourself a reusable coffee container you could make the price up quickly if you purchase a lot of coffee! To save yourself even more money you could consider making your own coffee before you leave the house or for work in the morning, as this could also save you a lot of money in the long-term.
By taking some practical and simple steps towards reducing our plastic waste we could be making a real and much needed difference for the environment and potentially saving ourselves money in the long term. If you have found the tips within this piece useful then we have other guides dedicated to money saving, an example of which can be read here. Although we at Wizzcash provide payday loans we believe that such loans should only be used to help yourself out in an unexpected financial emergency. We perform checks on all applications to ensure we lend responsibly and in accordance with FCA requirements. If you wish to speak to us please do so via our contact us page.