Let’s talk Plastics…and no, not the Mean Girls kind. As of December 2017, we had produced 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic, 6.3 billion tonnes of which was waste plastic. What’s worse, of those 6.3 billion tonnes of waste plastic, only 9% was actually recycled! Two huge culprits for waste plastic? Bottles and straws.
Many establishments, such as Wetherspoons and Costa, are ridding themselves of plastic straws altogether. At home, glass or stainless-steel straws are an ideal substitute and are far more durable than their plastic counterparts. You can pick up a pack of stainless steel straws for less than a tenner, so there is no excuse. What many businesses are offering now instead is paper straws. Already people are taking to Twitter to vent their anger, complaining that paper straws are no use, they break far more easily and get soggy so can’t be used. Frankly, if your straw has gotten soggy, it’s your own fault for nursing your drink too long!
Some businesses are helping to reduce waste plastic in a different way. Both Premier Inn and Costa will allow you to fill up a water bottle or flask free of charge, no questions asked. This is a great way to ensure you stay hydrated on the move and to combat the huge amounts of waste from single-use plastics.
Although, plastic isn’t the only problem for you to sink your teeth in to. There are many ways to make a small impact, which coincidentally are super helpful for students too.
For browsing, rather than sticking with trusty Google, try using a browser such as Ecosia. The idea is simple – you search, they plant trees. Ecosia’s promise is that 80% of their profits go towards tree planting projects, and they estimate that for every 45 searches you make through their easy-to-use browser, one tree is planted. Just think, in a year you could have planted a small forest, all from the comfort of your own bed.
If you’re less interested in expanding your mind, and more interested in expanding your waistline, Too Good To Go is the app for you. They offer local eateries an opportunity to dispose of their waste food in the best place possible – your stomach. You pay a small fee and pick up a bag/box/plate of food shortly before the establishment closes. If you find yourself stumbling in to Chopstix on Union Street after a night out or enjoy a quick stop in YO! Sushi after the cinema, then save yourself some cash and prepare to feast, all the while saving waste!