Ever since the first plastic was created by Alexander Parkes in 1862, its use has sky-rocketed – with common household items such as bottles, shopping bags and wet wipes now being relied on for daily use.

Our over-reliance on plastic and its devastating impact on the environment is now making global headlines – and reducing plastic use is one of the biggest challenges we currently face. Although positive changes have been made, I feel there’s still a lot more to do.

How exactly does plastic impact the environment?
Many plastic products contain harmful chemicals that can transfer or leak from the plastic by a process called leaching. Leaching contaminates soil and groundwater, killing fish and undersea species in oceans. And plastics release greenhouse gases when they’re produced or burnt – leading to global warming. So it’s fair to say plastics have a particularly damaging impact on the environment!

This should be a major concern to all of us as inhabitants of the planet, but the simple steps listed below can help us to take action and reduce the impact on our environment right now:

Quick and easy plastic-free lifestyle changes:

  • Use reusable shopping bags – these are generally quite low cost and can be reused many times, so on top of being plastic free they have less impact on the environment. Plastic bags are bought 160,000 times every day, so helping to reduce their use could have a major impact.
  • Stop buying single-use bottled water – plastic bottles are one of the main causes of plastic waste, and we can all easily help by simply buying a stainless steel or bamboo reusable bottle instead.
  • Give up plastic straws – one person uses approximately 130 plastic straws every single year. Saying no to plastic straws is an important step towards being plastic free, but going straw-free would be even better in my opinion.
  • Use wooden cutlery – when you’re out and about try to choose wood over plastic – they’re stronger than plastic forks which always end up breaking before the end of the meal too!

Try starting with these small steps – it shouldn’t be a huge change to your lifestyle, but could help in the fight to massively reduce plastic use around the globe.