Living in Cornwall the coastline is such a massive part of our lifestyle, industry and well being. The trending phrase of the moment is ‘plastic free’ with many people across the world trying to cut down or cut out single use plastics.
The facts and figures on how much plastic ends up in our rivers and oceans is astronomical and our generation needs to take steps to change this before it’s too late!
It doesn’t take much to take a few steps to reduce the plastic that is ending up in our oceans.
Do you really need to purchase that plastic item, can you swap it for something different, just ask that simple question?
Bamboo products are slowly making their way into the mainstream, swap for a bamboo toothbrush, phone case, sunglasses or travel mug next time you need to buy one.
Don’t get rid of your plastic ones (and always recycle them) until you need to, just be smart with your next purchases.
Do you really need a plastic straw in your drink? Say no, and even challenge the bar/restaurant as to why they provide them. Paper straws are slowly appearing across the Duchy, and we want to see them everywhere. Single use plastic is not necessary for such a basic process as drinking.
Next time you’re going out for a coffee and know you’ll be ‘taking away’ pack a travel mug, lots of places will even give you a discount on your coffee now if you bring your own take away container. The same goes for water bottles, try not to buy water from a shop, take your own reusable container (preferably glass or metal) and fill it up throughout the day.
At the supermarket try to buy your fruit and vegetables loose, avoid the pre-packaged items that sometimes come unnecessarily double wrapped in plastic. Take your own canvas bag and purchase the items loose. You really don’t need that small plastic bag to transport a single garlic bulb. Stop buying soap in plastic bottles, just buy a bar of soap instead. Buy your items in bulk so that over time you will be using less plastic, you’ll also find it’s usually cheaper to buy larger quantities of pasta, rice, cereal, coffee etc.
We know it’s not always possible in large supermarkets, just try to make small changes. If you can, shop in one of Cornwalls great farm shops where there is significantly less plastic on display!
Reuse and Up-cycle
If you are purchasing plastics then make sure you reuse them for as long as you can. Supermarkets will replace your bags for life if they break, but where you can use canvas bags when shopping.
On the high street take your own material or canvas bags to store your goodies, there’s no need to purchase a 5p bag when we’re sure you’ve got several bags you could use instead.
Get crafty, think of nifty ways to reuse items to give as gifts or to make into toys, or storage aids. Pinterest is a great way to find up-cycling suggestions.
We have become such a throw-away society. Think twice before getting rid of something, either reuse for a different purpose, give to a charity shop or homeless shelter, or recycle as a last resort.
If you do have to purchase something within a plastic container then make sure you recycle it. Make the most of your home recycling service, don’t just recycle plastic, but everything you can, glass, tins, cardboard and paper.
Also start a home compost for all your food waste, your garden will love you.
2 Minute Beach Clean
You cannot have visited our beautiful Cornish beaches without witnessing rubbish strewn across the access points, high tide line or in the carparks. This needs to stop, the wind blows it into our oceans, and damages the habitats and wildlife.
All it takes is two minutes on your next visit to the beach and you could make a small but mighty difference. So many of our local beach cafes now have boards outside advertising the ‘2 minute beach clean’ offering bags/buckets and litter pickers to help you out.
The Stable on Fistral Beach will even give you a free hot drink if you fill one of their buckets with rubbish from Newquays beaches!
Try it next time you’re on the beach, you’ll be surprised how much rubbish you find.
Be an advocate for a reducing plastic waste and help spread the word. Use some of the trending hashtags to raise awareness, and find tips from other users.
It’s up to you how far you take your plastic free lifestyle, but even just one or two changes can make a big difference over a long time frame. Share your easy tips with us on how you have reduced your plastic usage to help our oceans.
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