Plastic News & Reusable Straw Products
We are all now much more aware of the issues that plastic cause when they go into our environment. Chlorinated plastic can release harmful chemicals into the surrounding soil, which can then seep into groundwater or other surrounding water sources and also the ecosystem of the world. This can cause serious harm to the species that drink the water. Landfill areas contain many different types of plastics and a lot of it ends up in the sea, damaging our ecosystem, creatures and animals.
This article will most likely reinforce what you already know but will make you more aware of the plastic crisis we are facing across the world.
BBC News: Plastic recycling: Your questions answered (26 April 2018)
Firms responsible for a significant proportion of supermarket plastic packaging have signed a deal to reduce plastic pollution by 2025.
More than 40 companies, including Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Asda, have signed up with the government, trade associations and campaigners to form the UK Plastics Pact.
The Pact says it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rethink the way we use plastic and its impact on the environment.
The increased motivation to curb plastic waste and boost recycling comes after the Blue Planet II series highlighted the threat of ocean pollution and showed footage of wildlife eating plastic.
But as plastic continues to dominate our shopping aisles, for now, we asked you to send in any questions you had about these latest proposals and plastic recycling.
How is so much plastic getting into our oceans in the first place?
BBC Environment correspondent Matt McGrath answers Kathryn Baker’s question
The main way that plastic gets into the seas is via the world’s major rivers. Research suggests that 95% of plastic is transported in this way. Eight of these rivers are found in Asia.
The majority of the plastic in the oceans comes from China but other countries including Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam are also major polluters.
However, consumer behaviour in developed countries including the UK, Europe and the US is also a major factor in pushing plastic into the world’s waters. According to figures, US citizens produce around 120kg (264lbs) of plastic waste per person every year. The UK produces around 76kg (167lbs) of waste while in Sweden, it’s around 18kg (40lbs).
Why is the government focusing on plastic straws and cotton buds?
BBC Environment correspondent Matt McGrath answers Mark Bolt’s question
A major step to expand the reduction of plastics beyond bud, straws and stirrers has been announced in the UK Plastics Pact.
Apart from packaging, two of the biggest plastic problems are straws and earbuds. These are among the most widely used items that turn up on beaches around the UK.
Plastic cotton buds are often flushed down toilets and are small enough to pass through water filter systems and end up being eaten by fish and other marine creatures.
The scale of UK plastic straw use is staggering with a figure of eight-and-a-half billion thrown away each year. The government is consulting on these steps with a possible ban to be introduced next year.
Try our Reusable Straw Products from The Reusable Superstore.
Campaigners say that these proposals by the government are not enough, and many other products need to be phased out too including plastic film – the UK uses more than a million tonnes a year, most of which can’t be recycled.
Attempts to cut down on the use of plastic coffee cups in the UK by the introduction of a so-called “latte levy” fizzled out earlier this year. The government rejected the idea of a 25p charge on disposable cups, despite the considerable success of a 5p plastic bag charge introduced in England in 2015.
What’s the rest of the world doing?
BBC Environment correspondent Matt McGrath answers @DaveStock18’s question
Last December, 193 countries committed to a UN plan to stop plastic waste entering the oceans. However, the commitment is not legally binding and doesn’t have a timetable. And different countries have adopted different schemes.
Around 40 have banned single-use plastic bags, with charges or outright prohibitions in place in China, Rwanda and many others including Bangladesh.
Others including the UK are moving to ban plastic straws and cotton buds. Zero plastic waste shops are opening in many towns and cities while plastic-free aisles in stores were part of the 25-year plan for nature in the UK put forward by Prime Minister Theresa May.
How Can you Reduce Plastic?
- Look for other options and products that you can buy which don’t use as much plastic or where their packaging is recyclable
- Try in all cases to recycle everything you can at home
- Look at the environmentally friendly products you can use at the Reusable Superstore to see what you can replace at home or in your business
- Collect all of your soft plastic and plastic that is non-recyclable and become an Ecobricker. Make sure the plastic is clean and dry and make EcoBricks
What are EcoBricks?
EcoBricks are thermally insulating bricks that are made by simply compressing unrecyclable plastic into 2L bottles.
Making EcoBricks is a way to save the environment whilst supporting the community from the comfort of your home.
What can EcoBricks be used for?
- Versatile play structures for children to create themselves
- Raised beds for our gardens
- Benches for parks and gardens
- Boundary walls
- Temporary structures
The Reusable Superstore
The Reusable Superstore is an online store offering Reusable Products to save our planet and your money for use at home or in your business including Reusable Straw Products:
Reusable Stainless Steel Drinking Straws – Reusable Stainless Steel Drinking Straws – a great alternative to plastic drinking straws. Easily cleaned in a dishwasher or glasswasher. Available to the trade and public. Huge choice of colours are available.
Reusable Stainless Steel Water Bottles – Reusable water bottles are better for the environment and cheaper in the long run than continuously buying bottled water again and again. After all, water out of the tap is free.
Reusable Bamboo Straws – Reusable bamboo straws – perfect for hot or cold drinks. Easily washed in a trade glass cleaner or home dishwasher.
Books & Information – relevant to the environment, reducing plastic use and saving the planet.