Plastic is a miracle product that has changed our lives. It is used everywhere: in our laptops and mobile phones, UPVC doors and windows, in our cars, hip replacements. Plastic packaging for food has allowed the amount of organic waste we produce to plummet.

But....

Disposal of plastic is causing serious problems. Plastic is organically inert and takes a very long time to break down. The most damage is caused when plastic gets into the sea. Over time, waves and ocean currents break bits of plastic down into smaller and smaller parts called microplastics. Plankton feeds inevitably end up consuming microplastics which then work their way up the food chain to our own dinner plates.

Research on potential health risks of microplastics is on-going and current results are not clear. However, what is clear is that having huge amounts of plastic floating around our oceans and being consumed by sea creatures is never going to be a good thing.

Do we have to stop using plastic?

Plastic is used in so many vital parts of our lives that getting rid of it altogether would be virtually impossible. Then there is the problem that some of the alternatives to plastic do even more damage to the environment.

So, what can we do?

Today, the most important thing we need to do is to keep plastic out of the sea. There are various, simple things we can do that will make a massive difference:

  • Recycle. This is the most important and easiest way to keep plastic out of the sea. And, recycling will reduce the amount of landfill.
  • Reduce use of single-use plastic. By far the most plastic in the sea is from single-use items, especially drinks bottles. Carry your own re-useable water bottle instead of disposable plastic bottles.