On top of this, partially disintegrated plastic (called microplastic) can find its way into our food sources and, eventually, onto our plates. Seafood has been identified as the most likely food source in our diets to have plastics and associated chemicals2.
The good news is that small steps can make a big difference. New Zealand supermarkets started phasing out single-use plastic bags in 2018 with a full ban from mid-2019. This action alone has estimated to have stopped a staggering 1.1 billion bags from being introduced into the environment.
New Zealand households churn through 1.76 billion plastic containers each year and given almost every piece of plastic ever made still exists today, the government has now started taking steps to phase out more single-use plastic items – including plastic cutlery, straws and polystyrene food containers – by 2025. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start minimising your use of these problematic materials today.
Here are seven simple ideas that can help you reduce the amount of plastic waste you generate in your daily life