Welcome to Plastic Is Rubbish. here you can familiarize yourself with us, plastic and project.
The Plastic Around Us
Just think about it!
You get up and wash with your plastic bottles of shampoos and shower gel. Clean your teeth with your plastic toothbrush using tooth paste from a plastic tube which may contain small plastic beads.
Get dressed in your plastic clothes. Bras, tights, underwear and socks all contain some plastic fibres even if the rest of your outfit is only natural fibres (unlikely).
Stumble downstairs and make some toast with your plastic wrapped bread. Please note the foil wrapping of your butter is plastic lined, the metal lid of your honey is plastic lined, your tea bags (the actual bags) contain plastic and the milk comes from a plastic bottle.
Lunchtime and your take out paper cup of coffee is plastic lined. Can of coke – plastic lined. The reciept for the Coke is printed with ink that contain plastic.
Beans on toast for tea? Tins too are plastic lined.
Got lucky? Condoms – made from plastic. Time of the month? Towels and tampons made of plastic.
Almost everything you touch is, or has been wrapped in, plastic. Often both. Almost everything you do results in a huge pile of usually non-biodegradable trash that has to be specially disposed of. Plastic products are already impacting on and damaging the environment and they may be damaging our health. Long term effects are as yet unknown.
Plastic Is Rubbish was created to help individuals reduce their plastic use. The website highlights the problems of plastic over consumption and lists hundreds of plastic-less products and lifestyle hacks.
The blog is organized under the following headings. Each link will take you to an introduction of the topic and an expanded index linking to detailed information.
Welcome a quick introduction to everything
About Plastic everything you need to know about plastic and somethings you wish you didn’t
Bad Plastic – why you need to cut your plastic consumption
Cut plastic – how to cut unnecessary plastic out of your life & meet the other people doing it.
Links & Projects –links to other plastic free people, the U.K. directory and out other projects
Us & The Boycott –About us the blog and the boycott rules
Reasons To Cut It
People need milk bottle, bras and condoms. Plastic is cheap and versatile and can be used to make all these things. It is a massively important and hugely useful resource that greatly enhances our lives.
Plastic the product
The term plastic (when used to describe a synthetic product and not a quality) embraces a huge range of artifacts from glue to kayaks, stockings to tires. Strong, durable, light weight, and cheap, plastics are integral to the development and production of products that have changed the world for the better, (Dyson). Furthermore to replace all plastic products with natural” alternatives would place a huge strain on the environment. But it comes with a huge downside.
Most plastics do not biodegrade or rot. In fact they last for decades, centuries, possibly for ever. They are used to make everything from computers and clothes to crisp packets and condoms. Annual consumption of plastic has increased from around 5 million tonnes in the 1950s to nearly 100 million tonnes today. In the UK we generate nearly 5 million tonnes of plastic rubbish each year most of it packaging, most of it by households. (WRAP). We are making everlasting rubbish… in huge amounts.Many plastic items we use we use for moments before discarding. We create millions of tons of everlasting plastic rubbish each year.
Because these plastics last for decades, maybe centuries, possibly for ever, they cannot be composted or left to rot like organic rubbish. WHICH MEANS that every bit of non-biodegradable plastic rubbish has to be collected up and specially disposed of. Either landfilled, burnt or recycled. All of which have an environmental cost. None of which are completely successful.
Hormone-disrupting, carcinogenic, animal-killing permanent litter…
In short, we create millions of tons of everlasting plastic rubbish each year. It is not all collected and disposed of. Lots escapes into the environment where it is now a major pollutant and responsible for the maiming and death of wild and domestic animals. Add to that some plastic leach unpleasant chemicals including hormone disruptors. We are ingesting them in increasing amounts with unknown long term health implications. Other plastics release potent carcinogens when burnt making house fires even more unpleasant to be around.
Convenience it seems comes at a price. And it is getting increasingly high.Read more about bad plastic here
Why recycling is not the answer
Yes plastic can be recycled but rubbish in the recycle bin is still waste. It has to be collected and treated and this takes a lot of resources. Moreover recycling does not address the main issue, that of using a material with a lifespan of centuries to make throw-away products that are used for minutes. And what happens when this everlasting litter escapes into the environment
Who Cuts It
Giving up is not in our nature! We want to do everything but without creating a huge pile of non-biodegradable, problematic rubbish that future generations will have to clean up.
So in October 2006 we gave up unnecessary plastic. Not to cut it completely, you will only get the Dyson when you pry it from my cold, dead hands, but to stop abusing and misusing plastic. In January we began blogging about it.
If you want to know more about us, how we started blogging and why the boycott, try this link
Boycotting the bad stuff
So while we believe that long-lasting plastic products that are recycled at the end of life have an important role to play ( see the plastic we use), using plastic to make one-use, throwaway objects that become everlasting litter is dumb.
We cut unnecessary non-biodegradable plastics. This includes
- Single use throwaway items like bags, packaging and bottles,
- Items for which there is a viable natural alternative like cotton
- Synthetic fibers wherever possible
- Plastic lined tins, paper and metal lids
- Silly stuff that irritates us
- Sneaky plastics in places you might not have thought of.
- You can read more here….
How to live with less plastic
When we first decided to cut out plastic it was hard. Everything comes plastic packaged from soap to shampoo to moisturizer to toothpaste and you have only just got up. And so it goes throughout the day till you return home sweaty and malodorous because you didn’t apply your plastic packed deodorant clutching a cardboard box of eggs and the only unpackaged veg you could find in Lidles! Which isn’t even a vegetable but an unripe avocado. We realised we had to start slow and source one plastic free alternative at a time. Over the years we have found compostable substitutes for hundreds of unnecessary plastic products.
Of course we cant boycott all plastic all of the time – sometimes we have to compromise, sometimes we have to make stuff and sometimes we have to accept a reduction – here is more on the subject
Not in our bin or why we don’t recycle plastic
Plastics are particularly suited to being recycled but rubbish in the recycle bin is still waste. It still has to be collected and treated and this still takes a lot of resources. Recycling does not address the main issue of misusing plastic to make one use throwaway items.
We are not anti recycling. We use long lasting multi use plastic and believe it should be recycled at the end of its life. But recycling should only be used occasionally as an end of life treatment not as a regular method of waste disposal. We believe this to be true of other materials too.
Which makes us ….. Really Zero Waste
We want to be able to deal with most of our waste ourselves. If it cant be reused, composted or burnt we don’t care for it. We want no trash in our black bin and no trash in our recycle bin. Cutting plastic and sourcing compostable alternatives means we are almost there.
Our other projects
We do lots more stuff – you can see them here
As Seen In Publications and blogs that have featured us.