Plastic waste is a big issue today, and we want to talk about this here. We care a lot about our planet and want to inspire people to change their lifestyle towards a more sustainable way of living. We made that decision a few years ago and are continually learning and getting better at living more sustainable. This lifestyle makes us very happy and motivated to work on ourselves constantly. On our blog, we want to share our knowledge and give you some tips on how to work on your footprint.
Plastic pollution affects our mother nature, especially the oceans. Of the 260 million tons of plastic, the world produces each year, about 10 percent ends up in the Ocean, according to a Greenpeace report. This has terrible consequences for wildlife as well as for humans. Fish and other marine animals, as well as seabirds, get injured and killed from plastic, and many species could go extinct because of that. Besides that, the plastic pollution poisons the ocean with toxic substances such as Bisphenol. This toxic makes the animals sick that live in the sea but also us humans because if you eat fish and other marine animals you eat the toxins too. The plastic pollution ending up in the ocean are among other plastic bottles, fishing nets, plastic bags, toothbrushes, straws, other one way plastic for food or packaging.
So how can we help to stop this insane plastic production from which a significant part ends up in the ocean or other parts of nature?
First of all, we have to realize the power that we have as consumers and start to overthink what we buy. When it comes to plastic pollution, we have to stop buying products that are packed in plastic for no reason like, for example, fruits and veggies. For us, one very effective way is to buy our groceries in the markets and in a bulk store where you can bring your own packaging. We go to our favorite bulk store and the markets every Saturday and bring our own packaging, which includes:
- Reusable bag to carry your purchase
- Small reusable packing bags for veggies
- Jars to fill with quinoa, lentils, pasta, rice, and others
- Glas bottle to fill with olive oil or other liquids
But there is another plastic problem that is called Microplastic. Most people have heard of it, but a lot of people do not really know where it’s coming from.
Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic which are in the water and often not visible for our eyes. They pollute the oceans and can also be found in the tap water of several countries. Furthermore, fish from the sea is often full of microplastic which gets eaten by people. Microplastic is a global environmental problem.
But where does it come from?
More than one-third of Microplastic is coming from clothing that people wash in the washing machine. All materials like polyester, nylon, and other synthetic fibers lose microplastic particles with every washing, and that doesn’t stop after ages of wearing. These small pieces of plastic don’t get filtered out of the water in our wastewater treatment plant and end up in all different waters like rivers, lakes, and the ocean. According to a study by the University of California at Santa Barbara, a city the size of Berlin releases a wash-related volume of microfibers equivalent to approx. 500,000 plastic bags – every single day.
What can we do to fight Microplastic pollution?
First of all, you can already watch out what kind of materials you buy when you buy new clothing. The best is to buy some natural fibers like cotton and linen or plant-based cellulose fibers like Tencel, lyocell or modal. These textiles don’t cause plastic pollution when you wash them.
Some clothing like athletic wear, underwear, tights, and outdoor clothing can be harder to find. But if you have some clothing made from polyester there is still something you can do. You can wash them in a washing bag which keeps the microplastics like this one: Guppyfriend
Besides food and clothing, there is found a lot of plastic packaging in cosmetics, and there it gets quite challenging to avoid plastic entirely. We want to mention at this point that because of that we don’t live 100% plastic-free, but we think if everyone does their part, we can make a big change in this world. It is also an important part that you dispose of your plastic waste correctly and if possible, recycle it.
For example, for us, one big challenge that we had to face is toothpaste. There are possibilities to buy toothpaste without the tube, like in the form of a pill which melts in your mouth. But since we are vegans, we use a toothpaste that contains Vitamin B12, which is very important for us and a great way of adding it to our diet. In this way, we don’t have to carry many supplements for example if we travel and supplements are often sold in plastic packaging too so you might see the point here.
What we want to tell you with that is, there is a possibility for almost everything, but it’s okay to go step by step and constantly grow into that. In the end, it’s only important that you don’t give up or ignore these issues our world has. We believe that every little change helps when it comes to sustainability.
Some products that easily can be changed in cosmetics are:
- Shower cream and shampoo as a soap bar instead of a tube
- Plastic-free deodorants
- Bamboo Toothbrush
- Plastic-free safety razor
- Creams and other cosmetics sold in glass cans or bottles
- For the ladies: OrganiCup – instead of tampons, best decision ever because besides making no waste, it also gives you 12 hours of freedom a day!
And one little tip for the kitchen to skip some plastic sheets to cover your food you can buy some bee wax wraps instead. They smell amazing and can be washed and reused all the time. They are available in many different sizes and colors.
Photos were taken at Palette in Bern. So if you visit our beautiful hometown or live here as well, go and say hi to these amazing people.
My outfit: Hat is from Will & Bear and the dress from Arnhem Clothing. Both sustainable working brands which are supporting amazing projects like planting trees and working towards zero waste production.
We hope this post gave you some useful information and inspired you. If you have any questions about this subject, we are very happy to help so send us a message via our contact form. Best wishes Lea & Stefan