Single use plastics are everywhere – from the bottle of water in your bag and the straw in your plastic cup to your shopping bags and your yoghurt pots.
Staggering amounts of single use items are used on a daily basis with many ending up in the oceans and on beaches – posing dangers to the environment and wildlife, both locally and internationally.
We generate approximately 5million tonnes of plastic each year in the UK. ‘Single-use plastics’ make up for 40% of the plastic that we consume in the UK and are discarded after one use. This includes a total of 7.7 billion plastic water bottles being used each year, with the average person in the UK using 150 plastic water bottles every year.
With over 13 billion single use carrier bags used in the UK each year which can take up to 100 years to decompose, it’s becoming a major UK and world-wide issue.
As a result, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is encouraging residents across the Borough to reduce the amount of single use plastics they use daily. Everyone can make some simple environmentally friendly changes, including:
• Carrying a reusable water bottle
• Buying fruit and veg loose rather than pre packed
• Reusing shopping bags
• Choosing cardboard packaging over plastic
• Saying no to plastic straws
• Saying no to disposable cutlery
• Packing lunch in a reusable container
• Using bars of soap rather than bottled soaps/shampoos
• Avoiding using single-use condiment sachets
• Minimize bathroom and cleaning products. Simply cutting down the number of products you have (e.g. by deciding on your ‘essential’ cosmetics and just sticking to those few items) will make a huge difference over time.
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Kevin Savage, comments “We all have a role to play in reducing the amount of plastics used in society. These simple changes may not seem like a lot individually but if everyone made a small change and became more aware of the plastic problem, we could collectively make a massive difference.”
For more helpful hints and tips on how to reduce ‘single-use plastics’ waste, download the council’s bin-ovation app from the Play or App Store or contact Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council on 0300 0300 900.