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Let’s have a plastic free summer

Let’s have a plastic free summer

This month WWF UK launched their campaign for a Plastic-Free Summer following their new report ‘Out of the Plastic Trap: Saving the Mediterranean from plastic pollution’. Want to get involved? All it takes is a few steps and a slight mindset shift.

95% of the waste in the open ocean is made up of plastic in various different forms. It doesn’t take much of the imagination to figure out what that means for our marine life. Choking, suffocating and starvation are just some of the dangers that face our sea-life when they encounter the waste that we have allowed to clog up their homes. Fish-stocks and marine species are facing depletion by horrific deaths that are totally avoidable. Beyond that, the consumption of microplastics by fish pose us a risk too when it ends up on our plates.

WWF is particularly concerned, as we all should be, with the state of the Mediterranean sea. Whilst we might think of clear blue seas surrounded by beautiful rock faces when we first think of the Med, the reality is headed to something a lot less idyllic. Holidays full of beach days and picnics are wonderful, but what’s left behind isn’t always so great. The report published by the WWF found that holidaymakers can cause a shocking 40% surge in marine litter (with a whopping 95% of that consisting of plastic) entering the Med every summer. Crystal clear waters and the marine life they are home to are bearing the brunt.

  • Europe dumps between 150-500,000 tons of macro-plastics and 70-130,000 of micro-plastics into the sea on a yearly basis.
  • Europe is the second largest producer of plastic in the world behind China, with Turkey and Spain topping the list for waste produced.
  • The root cause of plastic pollution is delays and gaps in waste management across Mediterranean countries.
  • Out of 27 million tonnes of plastic produced in Europe each year only a third is recycled.

So what can we do this summer to have a significant impact? Getting behind the #PlasticFreeSummer campaign on social media is a great first step. Some easy places to start are listed below! Beyond this, I talk a lot over on my instagram about #EcoSwaps that I’ve put in place in my daily life to cut down my environmental impact.

 

My top (and easiest) #PlasticFreeSummer eco-swaps:

  • Buy a re-usable (BPA free) water bottle,
  • Pick up a re-usable coffee cup/flask (gets you a discount in quite a few places, including Pret and Starbucks),
  • Say no to plastic straws and plastic stirrers when drinking out,
  • Always keep a carrier bag/tote bag with you to avoid plastic bags when shopping,
  • Beach picnics are great but leaving your rubbish behind isn’t – always take your rubbish home and recycle it properly,
  • Invest in a spork/re-usable cutlery set,
  • Ditch face wipes! Yup, most of them contain non-biodegradable plastics. They aren’t even good for your skin so they really serve no good use…pick up some re-usable cotton face pads or a flannel instead,
  • Swap chewing gum for mints (also non-biodegradable plastic…I know, I was shocked too),
  • Consider alternative, more eco-friendly period options (biodegradable, applicator-free tampons, period knickers like Thinx, and menstrual cups like moon and diva cups, for example).

 

These are really just a few ways to be more plastic-free this summer. We have become SO dependent on plastic that the amount of swaps we can take to minimise our plastic use is astonishing. Whilst it’s easy to feel daunted by the scale of the issue of plastic pollution, it’s important to remember that every day we wake up with the ability to make positive decisions, both for our minds and our bodies and for the planet that we inhabit. It’s all up to us.

Join me for a more #PlasticFreeSummer! Use the hashtag and make sure to tag @wwf_uk on your socials if you want to share any of your eco/plastic free swaps, and head to my Instagram for more eco-friendly tips and tricks! Leave a comment below with what your first steps to a plastic free summer are going to be!

Feel free to also sign, share and tweet my petition to Subway and Starbucks. It’s calling for Subway, Starbucks, and McDonald’s to ban plastic cutlery and straws. Whilst we’ve had some success with McDonald’s (who are phasing out all plastic straws in their UK branches), there has been no response from anyone else as of yet.

Ps. if anyone gives you crap or mocks you for caring about something as important and as wonderful as our planet, or animals, or any hobby or passion you might have, then it says more about them as a person than you. So f*** ’em!

 

Kirstie x

 

Read more about the WWF report here.

 

Cover image by Unleashed Agency on Unsplash



13 thoughts on “Let’s have a plastic free summer”

  • You’re so inspirational Kirstie. What you say is truly inspiring and meaningful. Reading this article has such a great impact and hopefully we can have a plastic free summer.

  • Hey Kirstie, first of all I just wanna say thank you for motivating me to reduce my plastic waste! I’ve bought a deodorant and a shampoo bar and it’s great! So thank you for that! But I also wanted to ask whether you can recommend any eco-friendly mascaras… I’ve been searching for one for ages.
    Thank you,
    Toni

  • I love reading your blog cause it’s so different from all the other typical blogs. You’re a person who finally takes on the important issues and talks about them. Really appreciate all the work you put in!! Also you inspired me to get rid of plastic and useless waste in my life!! I’m still trying but I’m at it 🙂 Thank you for everything you do!! Awesome!!
    – Vivi x

  • Hello Kirstie,
    Sorry in advance for my bad english and i really hope you understand it anyways 🤷🏼‍♀️
    You are such an amazing role model !! I really love the way you support the environment and the way you fight for problems, such as our clothing industry and the overuse of plastic, things that are unfair and absolutely important to be talked about! You are incredibly inspirational and I truly look up to you😊 You inspirate me everyday to rethink my lifestyle and change it to the better ! I do think we need more people like you who focus on the important issues of our times!! Thank you for being you and standing up for the people who can’t. Stay true to yourself and keep on helping people everyday ! I know you don’t know me, you probably never will ,but i love you so much and please take care of yourself! This just needed to be said 🤗!!
    Greetings from Germany!!🙋🏼‍♀️

    – Rebecca

  • Girl you’re just amazing, everything that you do. I love you so much. I’m a hugr fan of animals and nature and I think it’s so important.
    Hope we meet one day. Greetings from Barcelona, I miss you in my city.

    – @itsclau06

  • Honestly, I wish more people were like you Kirstie. You are so inspiring and amazing. It’s really difficult being the only one in my family who tries to not use disposable plastic items, and who also tries to find eco-friendly beauty products. I’m just barely 16, and people tell me all the time that it doesn’t matter what I think because I’m just a dumb teenager, so it’s really nice to know that other people think in a similar way that I do. xx 🙂

  • Hi Kirstie. I am currently in the process of doing research for my A-level Product Design Project wherein I can choose any problem (pretty vague, right?) and solve it by designing a product. I am interested in designing a product that would help reduce the use of plastic, but am very unsure where to start. Since you seem to be knowledgeable, and more importantly so passionate about the topic, I was wondering if you could answer a few questions to help me get started. What products are there already on the market that reduce plastic waste that I could take inspiration from? Do you see any gaps in the market for new products that could be really beneficial? Many thanks, Katy x (p.s. love the blog)

  • Have you considered the impact straw bans have on the disabled? If sustainable alternatives are developed then maybe straw bans become a better option, but until then are disabled people meant to not eat out? Bring their own straws? As in, continue bearing additional costs because of something that’s not within their control? https://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/issues/live-sustainably/735/guest-blog-action-on-plastics-shouldnt-make-life-suck-for-disabled-people/

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