Every piece of plastic ever made is still on the planet…
This means every Barbie shoe you lost when you were little is out there somewhere… According to Upworthy, the likelihood of you finding that Barbie shoe is 1 in 4,200,000,000,000,000. Sorry.
In a lifetime, the average person will throw away 600 times their body weight in rubbish, and if we lined up every bit of plastic thrown away each year it would circle the earth four times. In 2015 alone we will add 14 billion pounds of rubbish to the ocean. I swear I'm not trying to scare you with big numbers (okay, maybe a little…).
Take a second to think about the products you buy, like lollies or packet-goods. Do you notice how much you throw away before you get to the good stuff? Take Jelly Bellies for example, which are quite possibly the most absurdly individually packaged item on the planet!
Joe Hanson figured out that these tiny little wrappers were made of petroleum-plastic, and are the perfect size for ocean animals to gobble up. Jelly Belly has admitted they are aware of their over-packaging, and are "looking for a different wrapper". Who knows how far off that might be!
In the meantime, you can do your bit. With Easter coming up, it's good to keep in mind how over-packaged some Easter chocolate can be.
Think about those huge Easter Eggs you can buy – it's a chocolate egg, wrapped in foil, surrounded by a plastic cocoon, and then boxed in cardboard. You're going to throw away 80% of the product before you even get to eat it!
What about those little packets of Easter eggs? Chocolate wrapped in foil, wrapped in plastic. Do your best to avoid buying the over-packaged products, maybe even make your own! Like our homemade palm oil free chocolates below.
You can make simple changes to reduce the plastic in your life by doing what the girls at 1 Million Women do!
- Bring a "reusable" mug with you to work
- Use a refillable soap dispenser in the bathroom
- Avoid plastics that aren't readily recyclable
- Stop using bottled water
- Use silverware instead of plastic takeaway utensils
Ocean-wide debris kills at least 100,000 mammals and 1 million sea birds each year. These numbers won't seem so intimidating if we all start taking steps toward reducing our use of plastic, and it all starts with you!
You may never find Barbie's missing high-heels, but you can definitely make sure she's the only plastic thing in your life.
What you can do
Reject or cut back on these bad-for-the-environment items: over-packaged products, non-recyclable packaging, plastic bags and bottled water when tap water is available.
Say 'NO' to wasteful packaging!