Have you ever seen a bunch of plastic bottles and bags floating in your local river or lake? Were you ever tempted to grab a mask in order to prevent smog from getting into your lungs? Pollution today is all around us, some results of it we can see (trash, landfills, smog) and some we can’t see which makes them even more dangerous. Luckily, city authorities are finally cracking under pressure and making serious steps to put a stop on our environmental crisis. Here’s what urban settlements can do in order to fight plastic and air pollution.
You may not think twice about picking up a plastic water bottle at the airport or a concert venue and then tossing it in the recycling bin whenever you finish hydrating. After all, plastic water bottles are easy to use and accessible—you can find them pretty much anywhere you go.
But all this convenience comes at a major price for the environment on which we all rely. Single-use plastics (such as plastic water bottles) add to our landfills, pollute our oceans, and cause untold devastation to wildlife and the environment as a whole. What’s more, plastic water bottle production contributes to climate change.
The good news? There’s a straightforward solution to the plastic water bottle conundrum. We simply need to use less of them. Plastic water bottle bans in cities, states, and entire countries have made major strides, as well as people converting to reusable bottles.
Take a closer look at plastic water bottle use around the world plus why it’s so important to ban the bottle.
Flushed items like wet wipes, cotton buds and dental floss can take more than 500 years to biodegrade in the ocean
- New 2019 research shows that UK residents are flushing more condoms, tampons, cotton buds and wet wipes than in 2018
- According to MCSUK, 8.5% of items flushed will end up on the UK’s beaches
- UKDN creates quiz so that people can find out how long it would take for the items they flush to biodegrade in the ocean
According to Ocean Conservancy, approximately 8 million metric tons of plastic goes into the ocean every single year, and 8.5% of that comes from the items we flush down the toilet.
In 2018 wastewater and drainage company – UDKN Waterflow (LG) – conducted a survey to see exactly how often the items found in sewers, and those washed up on the UK’s beaches, are flushed.
Every minute, people all around the world buy roughly 1 million plastic bottles—a number that’s expected to jump past ½ trillion by 2021. Once we’re done with these single-use bottles, most end up in landfills or the ocean (Americans recycle less than 30 percent of them). But we need water to live and bottles are convenient and portable. The best solution? Ditch single-use plastics for high-quality, durable, reusable materials. In the case of water bottles, glass, stainless-steel and BPA-free plastic reign supreme.
In the infographic below, are the top benefits of each material choice, tips for buying, plus how to effectively clean bottles—either by hand or in the dishwasher.
Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?
Below are some tips to find out how you can reduce plastic waste. Anyone can get involved and start out small, or really challenge yourself! Get inspired with these ideas: