On average, men and women use a minimum of 9 products in their daily hygiene and beauty routines; including hand soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, shower gel, face wash, deodorant, face and body moisturisers, and shaving foam & balm for men. However, this number can easily exceed 15 if make-up is included.
Along with the majority of our household products; the above tend to come in plastic dispensers and packaging, which can account for a large part of our plastic usage. But what happens to all of this plastic, once we’ve ‘done our bit for the environment’ and popped it in the recycling bin?
Sadly, the truth is that not much of our plastic is actually recycled in the UK (and only 9% of plastics are recycled globally). Because we do not have the requisite infrastructure, plastics are shipped abroad where there is no guarantee that it is even recycled, and where there is a very high risk of it being disposed of improperly.
The International Solid Waste Association has said that 75% of marine litter in low to middle income economies comes from litter and uncollected waste, while the remaining 25% of marine litter comes from plastics which leak directly from land-based waste management systems.
The UK & EU’s ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ plastic recycling policies are said to be a major contributor to the plastic waste in these countries. Campaigners, including Dame Ellen MacArthur, and Sir David Attenborough have highlighted the scale of the pollution problem. It is estimated that by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish. However, this statistic doesn’t bring home the harm that is being done to ocean life (and to ourselves by extension). Ranging from the micro-plastics in fish, to the straws found in turtles, and the many whales and seabirds that starve because their bellies are so full of plastic, that there’s no room for real food.
Thankfully, there is a sea change underway (we hope in every sense of the meaning!). As public awareness grows, more of us are trying to take action. Firstly, by petitioning the government and private sector to make the changes that are so desperately needed, and secondly, by phasing out the use of plastics wherever possible.
Are you up for the challenge?
As consumers we are empowered by the choices we make. By making small adjustments and purchasing plastic-free alternatives to our everyday products, we not only reduce the flow of plastics into our oceans, but we also reduce our carbon and environmental footprints (99% of plastics are made from fossil fuels). By creating a demand for safer and sustainable alternatives, more and more businesses will hopefully choose to come on board.
Here at SO JUST, we believe in natural & organic products that are truly ‘cruelty-free’. Products that are free of plastic, palm-oil, toxins and are either 100% biodegradable or recyclable. Visit us and subscribe and we’ll keep you updated with tips and products to help you set out on your plastic-free journey.