Plastic Waste & Cosmetics

After a six month delay due to the Coronavirus pandemic, 1st of October marked the official UK-wide ban on plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers. It is now illegal for businesses to display or sell single-use plastic items. It is our number one public enemy, with almost half a million tonnes of it produced every year and 91% of it doesn’t even get recycled!!!

It is estimated that 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds are used in England every year, all of which are non-recyclable and many of which find their way into our ocean. Plastic items that include polystyrene containers, balloon sticks and plastic cutlery as well as straws, cotton buds and stirrers which are some of the most common items found littering our beaches and oceans.

Only a few years ago I was sat on beautiful golden sandy beach. I noticed a young woman and her two children sifting through the sand while others were bathing in the sun. The curiosity got to me a little and I asked the young woman what it was that she was doing. She opened my eyes to the invisible world of MICROPLASTIC!!

These tiny beads of plastic fibre are smaller than five millimetres in diameter and are found in clothing, cosmetics, cleaning products, personal care products and so much more. It is sad to learn that these microbeads are not able to be sifted through Water filters as they are just too small, so they end up in our oceans and consumed by fish, birds and many more marine animals.

There are so many ways you can help to reduce the footprint of your daily habits. Why not start now?! Check out the small easy steps below and see how you can begin helping the fight against plastic pollution:

  • Use less packaging – The best way to really make an impact on helping plastic pollution, is to go naked! Many companies now offer package free bar soaps and shampoo bars. 
  • Go Glass! Glass can be recycled or will break down over time and it just looks so much prettier!
  • Refill refill – Many brands now are looking at producing refillable packaging. Soon you’ll be able to own refillable blush powders and creams, lipsticks and lots more!
  • Biodegradable is the way – Changing your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one, using wooden earbuds instead of plastic earbuds. Always look for materials such as bamboo or cardboard when buying products.
  • Plant your packaging! – My favourite!! You read it right. Plantable packaging that gives you a plant or a flower. Paper based packaging that contain seeds. Bloom away!
  • Be PCR pro! – PCR means Post-Consumer Recycled material or Post Consumer Resin, and generally refers to plastics such as PET, PP and HDPE which are widely recycled and then reprocessed into a resin that is used to make new packaging.

Making just small and easy steps like the ones above will make positive changes.

There are a whole load of natural alternatives to microplastic such as:

  • Honey
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Oatmeal
  • Ground coffee
  • Ground fruit kernels
  • Sand
  • Beeswax

You will be surprised how easy it is to replace your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one, plastic earbuds with wooden ones, sheet masks with natural mud masks, and makeup remover cloths instead of single-use wipes.

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