Plastic is an amazing material that plays a positive role in many aspects of modern life. However, the characteristics and chemical properties that make it such a useful material (like its strength and durability) make it a toxic, hazardous substance that lasts for hundreds of years when it gets into the natural environment.
40% of the plastic produced is for single use packaging. It is estimated that an average of 35.8 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK, but only 19.8 million are recycled each day. This means there are about 16 million plastic bottles a day not making their way into the recycling bin. Of the 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic produced since the 1950s: 9% has been recycled, 12% has been burnt and 79% is in the environment as landfill or litter.
Plastic in the sea
A healthy ocean is essential to a healthy planet that can support all life, and that includes us. Allowing millions of tonnes of toxic plastic waste to enter the ocean environment threatens the ecosystems that provide 50% of the oxygen we breathe and the primary source of food for 3.5 billion people. We simply can’t keep producing this amount of plastic or allow any more of it to enter our environment.
8 – 12 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean annually, 80% of this washes and blows in from the land.
1+ million seabirds, 100,000+ sea mammals and turtles are killed annually by marine plastic pollution.
What we can do
- recycle ‘soft plastics’ such as cling film, bubble wrap, crisp packets, pet food pouches etc. at Tesco Taw View.
- for a list of how and where to recycle all sorts of items, go to https://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with
- for more ideas of how to reduce plastic usage: https://www.plasticfreenorthdevon.org/what-you-can-do-individual