At some point, we all looked up and realised that we’re surrounded by plastic. It pervades every corner of our lives and studies show that it even fills our food and our bodies in the form of microplastics. There can be little doubt that we’ve let plastic run out of control in our lives and while it presents certain conveniences we managed perfectly fine without it for millennia.
The contribution of plastic is so significant that is one of the factors in what academics are calling the Anthropocene, a whole new geological age defined by the way that humans impact upon the world. Archaeologists of the future will not only look for bones but also plastic deposits to understand more about our society. Some call these ‘technofossils’, marks of our highly industrialised and irresponsible society.
Today is Plastic Free Day, a day of awareness organised by a fireman from Hampshire after he was inspired watching David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2. The impact of plastic around our world is so significant but its omnipresence in our day to day lives makes it hard to see. Today people will refuse all single-use plastics, committing to going ‘plastic free’ for 24 hours. Everywhere you turn there’s more plastic, alongside plastic free day people are trying to reduce plastic throughout the year.
We’ve already made significant steps towards reducing plastic bag use in supermarkets and reusable water bottles and coffee cups are all the rage but there’s more you can do to use less plastic. Soap and shampoo bars, like the one's LUSH sell, are great for both you and the planet, leaving no waste behind at all. In terms of food and drink, obviously, highly processed foods are the biggest culprits when it comes to single-use plastics. In the supermarket, it’s as simple as choosing products that come in glass or plastic packaging, if any at all.
When even things like coconuts have been seen to come wrapped in plastic, you know we’ve gone to far. Plastic is making a huge impact on our bodies, the ecosystems we live within, and our planet as a whole. We need to cut it out of our lives and it starts with one plastic free day, and realising you can say no.