Ever wanted to swim with the dolphins? Chances are these days you will more likely be swimming with discarded plastic water bottles, the ones that are manufactured with unsafe plastic that pollutes our earth, oceans and environment in general.
There is a great deal of waste that ends up in landfill sites, but unfortunately, it only represents about 20% of the UK’s recycling efforts, comparatively low to that of our European counterparts. Sadly, much of the plastic bottle brigade ends up in our seas and oceans, causing harm to the fish and shellfish stock, and of course polluting our coastlines. The biggest landfill site in the UK is believed to be approximately the size of the whole of Manchester with other smaller sites dotted around the country, so the remaining waste must be going somewhere – you got it – rivers, seas and other waterways. The only dolphins you are likely to play with are toys in the bath tub!
Around 20 million plastic bottles are used per day in the UK, with the majority of families throwing away around 60kg per year which should have been recycled. You don’t need to be a mathematician to work that out. With the type of plastic used in water, squash or fizzy drink bottles, it can take up to 500 years to decompose.
In a 2014 survey, it was staggering to discover the indifference about recycling from sectors of the British public. One in five people admitted that they don’t recycle plastic drink bottles, and if they do throw them away, they don’t worry about using the correct bin!
Currently, the main focus of the problem appears to be to wildlife (mammals), fish and seabirds, who mistake plastic items for food and consequently ingest them. The North Sea is particularly troublesome for animal life with up to 95% of dead marine life having plastic contained in their gut or stomachs. These are fairly scary statistics. But even domestic animals such as dogs and cats are not free from the same scenario. Plastic lodged in their digestive system can frequently cause fatalities.
Next time you are out walking with your dog or going for a run, take a look around you and see how many plastic bottles have simply been ‘ditched’ in beautiful parkland or local woods. It may not be the most interesting pastime, but it gives an insight into a reasonably critical situation here in the UK.
In 2014, the government launched their campaign ‘Pledge for Plastics’, supported by cross-industry partnerships. The pledge was for households to recycle at least one extra plastic bottle per day. The latest initiative by the British government is the ‘Latte Levy’ which you can read more about here.
As a water bottle company ourselves, we have taken the pledge a step further by producing our HydrateM8 re-usable water bottles, constructed from Tritan plastic and BPA free, causing no damage to your health or the environment, and keeping you hydrated at all times without worrying about ‘ditching the bottle’. So take the government and our pledge together – it will make for a much safer world to live in.