Since writing my dissertation on the environmental policies in place in the publishing industry, I have come to realise that the public aren’t always aware of the materials that go into the production of the things that we buy. And we’re not always mindful of the impact of products after we disposed of them. But it seems that more and more people are actively seeking environmentally friendly products and brands, which is great!
This year has already seen improvement in terms of making positive changes for the environment, with the government developing more policies to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up polluting our oceans. Cosmetics using microbeads have been banned. 5p shopping bag charges have been put into place for small businesses, and more companies are decreasing their use of plastic straws and using paper ones instead.
After watching ‘A Plastic Ocean’ I was so shocked to see the amount of waste that ends up in the ocean, which never disappears, it just breaks down into tiny particles and eventually harms sea creatures and birds.
- 79% of the plastic waste ever created is still in our environment.
- We still only recycle 58% of our plastic bottles.
- It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
- 1 million sea birds and 100,000 marine animals are killed every year from plastic in the ocean.
I follow a lot of people on social media who are environmentally conscious and make decisions in their day-to-day lives to decrease their harmful impacts on the planet. It has been my mission to make small changes in my life to help decrease my negative impact on the environment. Firstly, I have cut meat out of my diet and now, this is my pledge to further reduce the single-use plastic that I am responsible for. I will say no to straws, plastic cutlery, take my own water bottle and coffee cup. I will cut down on bottled toiletries and use plastic free products instead.
Sometimes, little things become a habit which you may not realise are actually helpful for the environment – such as taking your own water bottle around, or using reusable shopping bags. They may seem like tiny things but already it is reducing the amount of plastic that will find its way to landfill.
Being aware of the impact that we are having on the environment is the first step, then we must make changes (no matter how small) to do our best for the planet.