Why plastic is a problem for the environment – and how you can help
The next time you’re about to put money into a vending machine for a bottle of your favourite fizzy beverage, you might want to stop and ask yourself whether you’ll be able to find a way to recycle the plastic bottle at the end.
It’s not just plastic bottles either – although as a species we do produce billions of them each year – it’s all plastic materials which cause problems for the environment. You’ve no doubt seen a dramatic change in supermarkets and shops over the last few years, with normal carrier bags being removed from some stores in favour of the “bag for life”. This was partly spurred on by images showing sealife being caught up in plastic carrier bags.
But the damage done by plastic goes further than this, because it takes so long to break down as a material. A regular plastic bottle can take roughly 450 years to break down, ensuring it sticks around for a lot longer than you need it to. Stories of giant, floating islands of plastic in the ocean, tiny plastic microbeads in shower gels and our penchant for landfill sites have all led people to become more aware of how they’re impacting the environment.
How can you reduce plastic waste levels?
So what can you do to help reduce the amount of plastic you use and prevent it becoming an even greater threat to the environment? Here are some handy tips to try:
- Don’t buy bottled drinks – An obvious tip, but you’d be surprised how much easier it is to get a BPA-free, reusable bottle to take out with you. You can decant other drinks into it or just take water out with you to stay hydrated.
- Avoid unnecessary packaging – Some companies still package individual items which would be fine to keep loose – such as fruits and vegetables – so try to send a message to manufacturers by avoiding items which have this unnecessary packaging.
- Make use of recycling services – For small amounts of plastic waste, local councils often offer households the opportunity to have recyclables collected, but for larger amounts – whether it’s from construction waste or something more commercial – you can find licensed recycling companies who make disposing of your plastic properly simple.
- Shop refillable – Many products can now be bought in bulk, utilising refillable containers. This means you get more than one use out of a container and less of the packaging goes to waste in the long run.
- Ditch the disposable – Many items we use on a regular basis come in plastic form. Razors are a prime example of this, where you can buy a more permanent razor and avoid constantly throwing out plastic after only a handful of uses.
- Upgrade to metal – There are numerous plastic products which can be replaced with metal alternatives – including straws and cutlery. Investing in metal items can see you dramatically reduce your plastic usage in this throw-away culture.
Hopefully there are a few things above which you can apply as rules in your home – if you haven’t already. There is plenty besides this which you can do if you want to go even further, meanwhile, if we can all make small changes we can minimise and eventually rid the environment of the problems plastic can cause.
If you’re looking for a way to get rid of your plastic waste, be it from your commercial operations or part of your ongoing construction works, look no further than Brown Recycling. We’re dedicated to recycling all of your plastic waste and preventing it from going into landfill sites. For more details on plastic recycling in Stoke-on-Trent and Crewe; and the surrounding areas within Staffordshire and Cheshire, simply contact our professional team today.