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Say goodbye to single-use plastics

There could soon be more plastic than fish in our seas

Published on the Portsmouth News website on the 3rd May 2017

Story by Dr. Sue Kinsey from the Marine Conservation Society


WITH more plastic than fish in our seas a possibility by 2050 according to some predictions, our reliance on plastic in all its forms is clear.

To highlight just what a plastic pickle we’re in, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is once again throwing down the gauntlet to the public to take on the Plastic Challenge throughout June.

MCS, the UK’s leading marine charity, supported by water filtration company BRITA UK, is asking people to give up single-use plastics for a whole month.

The challenge is to say goodbye to conveniences like pre-packed sandwiches, ready meals and plastic-bottled drinks for a day, a week or, if they can manage it, the whole of June.

TV presenter Simon Reeve is an ambassador for the challenge.

Last year almost 1,000 people took part in the MCS Plastic Challenge, and more than 95 per cent said they would continue reducing their plastic use after the challenge was over.

The charity hopes even more people will take part in 2017. This is a challenge that you can make as easy or as hard for yourself as you like.

But however you choose to do it, you can’t fail to realise just how reliant on plastic we’ve become.

Some things are really tough to replace, however much you want to give up single-use plastic.

Among the hardest things people found to replace were milk containers, dried goods packaged in single use plastic like pasta, rice and pulses, toilet paper and toothpaste.

They know why it’s so important to cut down on our plastic use.

If these dedicated ditchers found it hard to find non single use plastic alternatives then that just goes to show how plastic dominates our lives even if you actively don’t want it to.

Despite that, in 2016, of 61 challengers who were surveyed, three per cent managed a day, 27 per cent saw out a full week, whilst 34 per cent stuck it out for a month.

However, some things were really easy to replace, they just required a bit of thought.

Hand wash dispensers and shower gel can be replaced with a bar of soap (many aren’t plastic wrapped), you can make your own lunches rather than buy plastic packed sandwiches and use tap water in reusable bottles.

Last year, challengers also made their own bread, yogurt, cleaning and bathroom products like mouthwash and sugar scrubs so as not to use plastic containers that are used once, then thrown out.

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