Hiya cuties, we are Albert & Ross. Can you guess what type of bird we are? Hint: we have the largest wingspan of any bird found on earth today. We're best buddies and take fun outings together, soaring for thousands of miles over the southern oceans. We used to be able to fly carefree and pinch fish wherever we roamed. Now we have to be really careful not to confuse all the plastic floating on the ocean surface for a tasty snack. We urgently need your help to clean up the oceans and reduce the waste that is really dangerous to all of us! Let us fill you in on the situation..
Our species (the Albatross, if you haven't already guessed) is just one of many particularly affected by the plastic crisis. Here's why: adults in search of food for their chicks will accidentally pick up pieces of plastic floating on the oceans (e.g. bottle tops and cigarette lighters), mistaking them for food. They then feed these to their chicks who as a result often die from a stomach full of plastic. Learn are about our species in the film ALBATROSS that you can watch for free here.
The issue of excessive amounts of waste, especially plastic, is receiving more and more media attention. Waste is all around us, wherever we look. In supermarkets, shops, restaurants, on the roadside, pavements and in parks. Even in the most natural sceneries, in the woods, on the beach, in the mountains, we are likely to find bits of rubbish laying around, be it a plastic bag or bottle, cigarette butts, an aluminium can or a takeaway coffee cup. Underwater divers have even found plastic at the bottom of the deepest ocean trench on earth at a depth of over 10,000 meters!
It is baffling to think why people still litter. Is this simply due to a lack of education? Or is it that we've become so disconnected from nature that we just don't care? Despite the huge mess out there, there are some great initiatives going on that give hope of a cleaner planet. The website Less Plastic is an excellent resource with useful advice and tips on reducing personal plastic waste. Another great initiative is the app literati that gets people directly involved in picking up trash in their areas.
Did you know that 40% of plastic produced is single-use packaging which is used just once and then discarded? Single-use packaging in all shapes and sizes plays such a prominent part in the consumerist and convenience focused society we live in that it may seem hard to escape from. However, a big part of the waste we consume and produce daily can be avoided through simple behavioural changes.
Where do I start?
There is a growing movement of people striving to reduce waste in their day to day lives, sometimes called zero-waste or low-waste lifestyle. The TED talk Why I live a zero waste life by Lauren Singer, gives some simple tips on how to reduce our individual everyday waste by 90%. There are plenty of blogs about the zero-waste lifestyle to provide inspiration and recipes for making your own DIY household products. Check out Wasteland Rebel, Trash is for Tossers or Zero waste home.
To help with the transition to a lower waste life, a wide range of packaging-free goods (from food to personal hygiene and household products) are becoming more readily available as well as the increasing number of bulk shops, local grocers and farmers markets.
Here are some essential reusable and plastic packaging-free items that are easy to integrate into daily life and have helped us to reduce our own personal plastic waste significantly.
Whats the story?
Reusable coffee/ tea cup
Net bags for fruits and veggies
Bars of soap
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