According to South African Plastic Recycling Organisation (SAPRO), only 7.5% of South Africans are committed to recycling. This statistic is indeed worrying considering that of all the plastic that is discarded only 16% will be recycled.
This means that a vast majority of the waste will end up in rivers and oceans, adding burden to the already weakened ecosystems.
Hereâ€™s how you can reduce your plastic usage
Which items should you avoid using? Remember the â€œBig 4â€ coined by environmentalists which includes: a straw, disposable cup, plastic bottle and plastic shopping bag.
If you are able to, opt for plastic-free toiletry items such as, razors, sanitary towels and toothbrushes. Bamboo toothbrushes are a more eco-friendly choice. Swap out your shampoo containers for conditioner and shampoo hair bars.
Many restaurants have banned single straws. Make sure that you also avoid styrofoam and plastic containers as well as single-use cutlery. In terms of storing food, avoid using cling wrap. Instead, invest in storage containers with silicone lids.
Beeswax wraps are becoming a preferred alternative to cling wrap â€” the wraps are made from cloth and coated in beeswax. The cloth can be washed by hand and ready for the next use.
Plastic free initiatives in South Africa
Catch one of the free webinars hosted by the Two Oceans Aquarium, where they tackle issues and solutions involving plastics in our environment. Sign up here.
Take part in a community beach clean up, that adheres to the lockdown regulations.
Donate money to a plastic-free or zero-waste initiative, such as the Litterboom project, that works to prevent deadly waste from entering the ocean. Help them reach their target on the BackaBuddy page.
Take the challenge
Eliminating plastic from your daily life is not impossible. Start small and make a positive contribution to the environment.
Take the challenge here:Â www.plasticfreejuly.org/take-the-challenge/
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