Plastics: why does it matter?

90% of UK consumers support the idea of having products free of plastic packaging, whilst a 2020 YouGov poll found that around 60% of people surveyed said they’d be willing to buy dry goods using a reuse scheme.

Over half said they’d be happy to try re-use for household cleaning products; two thirds would prefer it if online shopping platforms made it easier to request less packaging.

Single-use plastics

Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items are things like plastic bags, straws, coffee cups, coffee stirrers, fizzy drink and water bottles and most food packaging.

Moving from single-use plastic by reducing and re-using means that less plastic is needed to be produced; this helps to eliminate plastic waste and can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Our oceans face an ever-growing threat from plastics. It is estimated a whopping 17.6 billion pounds of plastic leaks into the marine environment from land-based sources every year (roughly equivalent to dumping a waste truck of plastic into the ocean every minute).

The problem with plastic is that the majority of it is not biodegradable (in other words, it doesn't rot). This means it will hang around in the environment for hundreds of years! Each year 4000 million tonnes of plastic is produced and 40% of this is single-use plastic.

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