It may be Recycle Week, but don’t lose focus on reducing
The theme of this year’s Recycle Week, Recycle Now’s flagship campaign, is the climate crisis and how recycling can help as an active step we can all take. The good news is that 9 in 10 UK households recycle regularly, and that 73% of consumers are willing to do more to help the environment.
Although recycling is a fantastic way to reduce landfill and protect the planet, it’s important not to forget the vital roles of reducing and reusing. We argue for minimising plastic production – and avoiding the use of plastic, rather than a dependency on recycling alone. Single use plastic, which is used for an average of 12 minutes, can persist in our environment for almost 500 years.
When it comes to climate change too, plastic production could soon be a bigger contributor than aviation and shipping together. This is because fossil fuels are used to create most of the plastic we come across every day, and greenhouse gases are emitted at each stage of the plastic lifecycle because of this, from extraction and refining to manufacture. Recent news also suggests that, because of the plastic pollution in our oceans, their capacity as a natural carbon sink is being affected.
Plastic production in itself is the biggest issue when it comes to climate change. It was estimated this year that the impact of plastic production on the world’s climate this year will equate to the output of 189 coal-fired power stations. The incineration of plastic waste also releases more than 850 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Zero waste, rather than recycling, is argued to be one of the most effective ways to tackle the problem and to prevent further accumulation of the already huge amount of plastic in the environment. We know that many are concerned about contaminants in tap water, or simply dislike the taste, and so plastic bottled mineral water often seems like the best option. However, bottled water comes with its own health concerns, aside from the obvious environmental impact.
Under-sink water purification can reduce the dependency on buying bottled water and is a great way to focus on refillables and reusables, helping you move towards a zero-waste lifestyle. If you’d like to find out more about integrated water purification, head here.
To help keep the important step of reducing plastic usage high on the agenda during Recycle Week, we’re offering a special discount code with 25% off our built-in water filtration solutions.
Use code RECYCLEWEEK25 at checkout.