Did you know that around 380 million tons of plastic is produced each year worldwide, of which only around 9% is recycled and 12% incinerated ? (1) The rest of the plastic waste enters our environment and breaks down into tiny micro plastics that remain on our land and in our oceans indefinitely. Plastics are extremely durable and very slow to degrade so they accumulate in our environment, ending up in landfill, our waterways and oceans. It is estimated that it takes 50 years for a foam plastic cup to degrade, and 450 years for a plastic bottle. (2)
Plastic pollution has a damaging effect on our wildlife and their habitats and on humans. Plastics are fatal for animals that mistake plastic for food or who get tangled up and trapped in plastic waste. It is estimated that 1.1-8.8 million tons of plastic waste enters our oceans each year (3) Studies have suggested that 90% of seabirds contain plastic debris. (4) Chemicals in plastic including BPA’s can also effect humans. Exposure to BPA has been associated with problems with fertility, reproduction and sexual maturation (5)
Collectively we can make a big difference to reduce plastic pollution and have cleaner beaches, oceans and streets by making these 6 simple changes.
- Avoid using take away coffee or tea cups in cafes. Bring your own eco-friendly reusable cups made from glass, ceramic or stainless steel. Or you can drink your tea or coffee in the café if you don’t have your reusable cup with you. Coffee cups aren’t recycled in a lot of locations and even ‘compostable’ cups are rarely composted.
- Avoid using plastic water bottles. Instead use eco-friendly water bottles and flasks made from glass or stainless steel. Try our Bodhi ECO Stainless Steel Tea Flasks or ECO Glass Tea Flasks which are perfect for water, and hot or iced teas.
- Avoid plastic shopping bags. Bring your own reusable shopping bags made from natural fibres like cotton, jute and hemp. Keep some in your car, near your front door, or a purse size one in your bag so you don’t forget. Also avoid using plastic bags for fruits and veggies. Bring your own reusable eco-friendly produce bags eg. Netted fabric bags, or use a box. Check out your local farmer’s market and avoid buying produce wrapped in plastic.
- Refuse plastic straws in drinks when you’re out in cafes. If you like to use a straw then use reusable alternatives like bamboo, glass or stainless steel. Single use straws are used for only minutes then they are thrown away and then remain in our environment forever.
- Don’t use plastic cling wrap or plastic zip lock bags. Store and wrap your food in natural reusable alternatives like wax wraps or cloth covers, stainless steel or glass containers.
- Avoid silk pyramid tea bags that are commonly made from plastic (petrochemical based nylon, PVC, rayon, polypropylene and thermoplastic). Not only do these types of tea bags contribute to plastic pollution, the plastic chemicals leach into your healthy brew. Buy good quality loose leaf tea or look for tea in 100% natural, biodegradable pyramid infusers.
At Bodhi Organics your health and that of the planet is of utmost importance to us. Our packaging is eco-friendly recyclable boxes and 100% biodegradable plant-based bags and pyramid infusers.
Written by Lisa Guy, naturopath and founder of Bodhi Organic Tea.