No Waste November and the Effects of Micro Plastics

no waste november at eco freak interiors

No Waste November and Micro Plastics

So this month it's been a rather busy one, I've helped a friend move house, I've been getting my bearings with running this site and everything that goes along with that, (it's a lot!), I've done some winter garden prep (got round to it eventually) and I decided to join in with No Waste November, I was actually surprised how much I learnt, and this months blog is all about sharing my new found knowledge with all of you.

no waste november plastic waste

What is No Waste November?

No Waste November is a global movement to inspire youth to pledge to reduce or eliminate waste in their lives. It is an initiative created by Jane Goodall at Roots n Shoots, and it's all about inspiring action to reduce waste and to think about the effect what we throw away has on the environment, climate change and conservation. I found out about this after seeing it as a challenge on Instagram, and on further investigation I decided to join in as much as I could.

The challenge asks you to make a pledge and then every day on a sort of advent calendar there is a new challenge, the tasks were pretty easy and not at all what I expected, for some reason i really thought id be spending my time rummaging around the kitchen finding plastic things and throwing them out or something like that, but it wasn't that, it was much more and really made you think about the impact of plastic on our environment.

One of the first few tasks was actually to think about micro plastics, now I thought I knew about these little blighters but I learnt so much more! The first thing that popped into my head was a fact I saw and it utterly disturbed me!

Are you ready???......

A new report by WWF has found that we ingest 5g of plastic a week! That's the equivalent to a credit card!!!

Do you see why I was disturbed now?

That's us, human’s eating a credit cards worth of plastic per week!!! I don’t even want to think about how much that add’s up to per year!!

How? Micro plastic’s!

the sea is drowning in plastic waste

What are Micro Plastics?

Microplastics are very small pieces of plastic that pollute the environment. Microplastics are not a specific kind of plastic, but rather any type of plastic fragment that is less than 5 mm.

Two classifications of microplastics currently exist. Primary microplastics are any plastic fragments or particles that are already 5.0 mm in size or less before entering the environment. These include microfibers from clothing, and microbeads, used in our cosmetics! An awful lot of our cosmetics actually contain these nasty little things. Think about that for a minute, we are literally rubbing tiny plastic pellets into our skin and it's even in our toothpaste!!!! I honestly don't know why but i really do not like that thought.

Secondary microplastics are microplastics that are created from the degradation of larger plastic products once they enter the environment through natural weathering processes. Such sources of secondary microplastics include the dreaded water and pop bottles, fishing nets, and plastic bags.

We ingest the micro plastics through eating things like fish, and a lot is written about micro plastics in the sea, but that’s not all! There's more and it's even more disturbing!

We only ever think of microplastics in the sea, but actually scientists have found microplastics high up mountains far far away from civilisation, meaning this stuff is airborne!!! And we all know a lot about things that are airborne right now, the last thing we need is to be breathing in tiny hateful little bits of plastic!!
Learn more here

What can I do to help reduce Micro Plastics?

Let’s start with the basics, water bottles! We all know that discarded water bottles are seriously bad for the planet, what i didn't know was that after time the chemicals in the plastic bottle can leach into the water inside, the water you're drinking! The first thing you should do is buy a reusable water bottle.

Plastic bags are next up, to most of us this has become second nature now, reusable bags all the way.

Now for food packaged in plastic, this one bugs me a lot, avoiding food packaged in plastic is not easy at all, one look in a supermarket at all that fruit and veg wrapped in plastic tells you everything you need to know, Starting to buy these kind of things at a greengrocers is a brilliant start,or grow your own, but then what about the staples like pasta and other dried goods? Zero waste shops are starting to appear in some places but my nearest one is at least 25 miles away, and it's just not feasible for me to shop there, I really do hope that they start to appear in more areas so we can all benefit.

Another thing we can do to help here is lobby the supermarkets to stop using so much plastic, if you see something with a ridiculous amount of packaging, pull them up on it, get your voices heard!

Tea Bags, tea bags have these tiny plastic particles in them too!! Some companies are starting to explore this now, so either buy a brand that doesn't use micro plastics or use loose leaf tea instead.

Shampoo and soaps, plenty of companies are now doing soap bars and many more things that you can buy in a bar instead of an unnecessary plastic bottle’s. And they smell gorgeous!

Look out for ethical eco brands and look for the products that have a micro plastics free label.

So that's a snapshot of what I’ve learnt this month, let me know what your thoughts are. I'm still joining in with no waste November and the next thing that has caught my attention is palm oil! But that's a whole other blog post, so for now I'll leave it there, hope you all learnt something too. 
Connect with me on Instagram to tell me your thoughts. and dont forget you can shop eco home decor here too.

  eco freaks tips to going zero waste

Leave a comment