Currently, over 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean each year. As businesses expand, populations increase and unsustainable attitudes continue, that number is only set to increase. As popular industries continue to manufacture plastic-based products, the question is, how much plastic in the ocean could have been avoided by simply swapping to sustainable material alternatives or larger increases in global recycling and upcycling?
If like us, you’re determined to get to the bottom of this plastic-based problem, read on to find out why so much plastic ends up in the ocean and how you can incorporate just a few simple sustainable swaps in your life for a zero-waste future.
Why Does Plastic End Up In The Ocean?
The world’s oceans are currently infested with plastic, with the North Pacific taking first place after recording just under 200 trillion tonnes of plastic-based pollution in a recent study.
The question is, why does so much plastic end up in the ocean? Let’s start with our most obvious answer, plastic waste and throw out. A study report by The National Geographic found that a whopping 91% of the plastic our global population throws away annually is not recycled. The rest of this plastic waste ends up in rubbish bins, landfill sites and littered across the streets, quickly making its way into our waterways.
With some plastics taking up to 500 years to decompose, you can imagine how this pollution builds up. What’s more, as waves begin to break down our rubbish, we are then left with microplastics that circle our oceans and river beds, posing great danger to marine life.
However, human throwout is not the sole cause of ocean-based plastic pollution across the globe. Studies have revealed that over 55% of global plastic waste comes from only 20 international businesses across the world. ExxonMobil takes first place as the largest single-use plastic polluter in the world, accounting for just over 5.9 million tonnes of plastic waste a year, making the company alone one of the largest reasons why plastic ends up in the ocean.
The Environmental Effects Of Plastic Pollution
Plastic pollution is a global concern in terms of environmental welfare. As plastic waste continues to litter the ocean, up to 100,000 marine animals are either harmed or killed each year by its effects.
In order to tackle the growing plastic problem, environmentalists and government officials continue to put new restrictions in place for large business manufacturing and household waste schemes, in an attempt to reduce plastic waste.
However this is still not enough. In order for our global plastic footprint to shrink, consumers first need to take a look at their own wasteful habits and make sustainable swaps in their own routines in order to shrink their own plastic footprint.
Sustainable Steps Towards A Plastic Free Future
Now you know how plastic ends up in the ocean, it’s time to make sure you’re not part of the problem. Making sustainable swaps has never been easier thanks to new eco-friendly alternatives on the market.
Whether you’re updating your kitchen wear, renovating your skincare routine or simply looking for new waste free alternatives to some of your favourite products we have you sorted.
Calculate Your Plastic Footprint
For those of you looking to change your plastic buying habits, it could be beneficial to first use a plastic waste calculator to see just how much you waste each week. You may be surprised at just how much waste one household can create, but it’s important to see where you need to put the most work in.
Upcycle & Reuse
Before you ditch your plastic products and head to the high street to purchase their eco-friendly alternatives, environmental experts actually suggest that it’s better to put your plastic to use before simply throwing it away.
Upcycling has become 2021’s newest trend. With more DIY videos gracing the internet than ever before, it has never been easier to upcycle and reuse your plastic waste.
Better still, some companies actually encourage you to use their plastic packaging time and time again in the form of easy refill pouches for both cosmetics and cleaning products that can be used at home before being sent back to be refilled, the ultimate answer to plastic pollution.
Of course, one of the most effective ways to reduce your plastic footprint is to stop buying plastic based products all together. As new sustainable collectives continue to dominate the eco-friendly high street, going zero waste has never been easier.
Invest in sustainable material alternatives such as bamboo, sandalwood, organic cotton and biodegradable cardboard as a pose to plastic based utensils and non disposable packaging. Whether you’re looking to update your zero waste kitchen or create the bathroom of sustainable dreams, there is always a way to reduce your plastic usage.
Looking To Go Plastic-Free?
If you’re ready to start your zero waste journey, Bower Collective is the place to start. Whether you’re looking to update your bamboo based kitchen or begin your plastic-free beauty routine, Bower Collective is home to hundreds of outstanding sustainable products just waiting to revolutionise your journey to going green.