The Plastic Trap: Tips to Reduce Plastic Wastage!

photo_2018-05-05_13-22-41
Image credits: http://gourmetsupplies.com.sg/ / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wH878t78bw, Edited by author

You’ve probably seen the viral 8 minute long video of a poor turtle being aided to by a group of marine biologists. The team found a 4-inch plastic straw lodged in the turtle’s nasal cavity, which was suspected to have given him eating difficulties. In the heartbreaking video capturing the removal of the straw, the turtle can be seen to be wincing in pain as blood trickled down his nostrils.

Our plastic wastage causes extensive damage to wildlife. We’re not just polluting their homes but also creating potential fatal traps for them. In A Plastic Ocean, a documentary on the impact of plastic pollution on oceans, Craig Leeson explains that blue whales “can’t tell the difference between krill and plastic” and hence ingest it.

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A Bryde’s whale taking its final breaths, found to have 6 sq metres of plastic sheeting that prevented it from eating and caused it to die of malnutrition. (credits: A Plastic Ocean)

This is a common fate for other animals as well, and for animals that are much smaller in size such as turtles, they can also get entangled or suffocated by plastic waste.

Perhaps you may feel like you can’t help what’s going on, but you need to know that everything you do – no matter how small it may seem – will make a difference in this ongoing crisis. For that, we have come up with 3 small changes you can make to your life that will contribute to reducing plastic waste!

reusablecup

Most of us can’t live without our favourite drinks, be it from Koi or Starbucks or even just a local coffee shop. Replace the disposable cups with your own cup or bottle! Don’t need to feel paiseh, because it’s been tried and tested at most drink stores around Singapore.

Additional incentive:

  • Starbucks: $0.50 discount whenever you use their reusable tumblers
  • Joe & Dough/The Exchange: $0.50 discount with the use of any reusable cup/tumblers/bottles
  • Foreword Coffee/Yellow Cup Coffee: 10% off your beverage with the use of any reusable beverage container

reusablebag

According to a life-cycle assessment (LCA) study commissioned by the National Environment Agency (NEA), using a reusable bag could replace the use of 125 single-use plastics bags a year per person! You probably still have that free tote bag you got from a university fair, or an NDP goodie bag collecting dust somewhere in the house. Fold it up and keep it close so that you can reduce your use of plastic bags whilst shopping!

Additional incentive:

  • NTUC Fairprice: $0.10 discount with min. $10 purchase

replaceableblades

The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 2 billion razors are thrown away each year – and it’s extremely difficult to recycle them in any way. Now, many of us don’t want to miss having smooth, hairless skin, so switch to shavers with replaceable blades reduce this wastage!

Additional incentive:

  • It will also be cheaper in the long run, trust us!

We genuinely hope you’ve learnt something from this article, and shall leave you with a quote from Yeo Jing Ying of Plastic-Lite Singapore, a group that aims to reduce local plastic wastage,

“ You may feel like this is a thankless deed, but these changes will make it possible for future generations (for all living creatures alike) to wake up to fresh air and homes that aren’t flooded.”

If you have not caught our latest video “A Plastic Trap” where we tried to raise awareness of this issue amongst the public, watch it right here!

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