We should know by now that plastic bottles aren’t a sustainable way to move forward, in the fight to end plastic pollution and cut down to carbon net zero. The statistics back this up, with them taking up to a thousand years (you heard that right! a THOUSAND!) to break down. Whilst globally a million plastic bottle are sold every minute (which is only increasing), so you can see where the problem arises.
Unfortunately, reason why they’re so popular is we are still in the mindset that plastic bottles are the most convenient when out and about. And perhaps they are, but if the above facts aren’t to be taken lightly, we need to be doing better.
You may be thinking that plastic bottles are recyclable so there shouldn’t be a massive problem there. Almost half of the 38.5 million bottles used every day in the UK are put into landfill, burnt or leak into the environment and oceans. That’s just the UK, looking worldwide, around 91 percent of plastic doesn’t get recycled. By purchasing those same water bottles means continuing the cycle of more bottles being made and simply thrown away after use, ending up in landfills or on the streets, sometimes ending up in our oceans.
One way we can stop this upwards trajectory of plastic bottle sales as individuals is to of course buy a reusable water bottle to keep you hydrated. Not only would that benefit the planet, but it would also benefit your health too! as certain plastic bottle contain compounds which are used during manufacturing, which can be harmful to the body both in the short and long term.
Outside of the individual there are actions that can be taken. The UK government have put in a 5p levy on plastic bags sold at supermarkets which has seen plastic bag sales decrease by 95% in those supermarkets. Other levies could be put in place to stem the rise in plastic bottle sales, that is down to the people pushing for these kinds of changes from their governments. With these changes we can start tackling plastic pollution on a wider scale, but it all starts individually.