Taking Action Against Plastic Pollution: Easy Switches for a Greener Lifestyle

With World Environment Day approaching, the global focus is on beating plastic pollution. Plastic waste is pervasive, from the highest peaks to the deepest seas, accounting for a staggering 85% of marine debris and releasing trillions of microplastics. While the problem may seem daunting, there is reason for hope: each one of us can make a difference. 

In our pursuit of practical solutions, we spoke with the creators of SmidgeCo, an Australian business offering biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable dental products to combat the 32 billion plastic toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes that end up in landfills each year. 

According to Shannon Nixon, co-founder, “Positive change doesn’t require radical shifts in your daily routine. Collectively, small changes in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry can have a huge impact on the planet”. Here are their top five effortless switches you can make to combat plastic pollution and safeguard our marine life:  

  1. Transition to biodegradable toothbrushes, toothpaste, and tubes 
    Did you know that the world’s daily dental routine generates over 32 billion pieces of plastic waste each year? Plastic toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes clog landfills and pollute rivers and oceans, releasing harmful microplastics that take up to 1000 years to break down.
  2. Embrace metal pegs for your clothesline. 
    Unlike their plastic counterparts, metal pegs have a longer lifespan, making them both environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Plastic pegs become brittle over time, break apart, and contribute to the growing microplastic problem. Australia alone has an estimated 120 million pegs in use, most of which end up in landfills or rivers. On the other hand, metal pegs can be recycled once they reach the end of their lifespan.
  3. Opt for refillable handwash and bodywash products. 
    Each year, more than 150 million plastic containers of bodywash, handwash, and deodorant are discarded, with only a mere 15% being recycled in Australia. Many of these plastics find their way into landfills, rivers, or the ocean. Look for refillable options like Leif, whose shower gels come in pouches that can be sent back for refilling.
  4. Make the switch to reusable water bottles and consider Soda Stream or Zip Water for sparkling water. 
    Australians purchase a staggering 15 billion plastic water bottles annually. Producing each litre of bottled water requires three litres of water and 250 ml of oil, placing a significant strain on the environment. By simply carrying a reusable water bottle, you can help combat the 130,000 metric tonnes of plastic waste that end up in Australia’s rivers and oceans each year, all while saving money. For those who enjoy sparkling water, investing in a Soda Stream or Zip water system offers the perfect solution, reducing plastic consumption even further.
  5. Choose compostable alternatives for kitchen essentials. 
    While many single-use plastic bags have been banned across the country, plastic bin liners still linger. These bags often find their way into landfills and the environment, causing harm to wildlife. Some can take up to 300 years to break down, and birds and turtles mistake them for food. Fortunately, sustainable alternatives exist. Consider swapping your regular bin liners, zip-lock bags, cling wrap, and baking paper for compostable or biodegradable options. This simple switch allows you to maintain your routine while making a significant environmental impact. 

By implementing these easy switches into your daily routine, you can actively contribute to the fight against plastic pollution. Together, let’s protect our precious ecosystems and preserve the beauty of our planet for generations to come. 

 

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