Top 11 Single-Use Plastic Items We Find On Our Beaches

According to the European Commission, the following items account for 43% of total marine litter. For this reason, all these single-use plastic products will be banned across the European Union by 2025. This is such a wonderful development. Even so, I suggest we speed up this process by starting today, in order to give the ocean and its wildlife more time to recover from the impact of single-use plastic.

It’s not just the ocean’s brilliant yet fragile ecosystem and its wildlife that’s at stake here. As fish eat plastic that has been placed in their natural surroundings, plastic particles ultimately and provenly so end up in the food chain causing humans and other wild stock to suffer health issues by eating plastic contaminated foods. For more information on single-use plastic and its effect on the environment see this United Nations study published in 2018.

By avoiding these top 11 single-use plastic items, or purchasing alternative options, we can reduce the amount of single-use plastic ending up in the ocean while getting a head start on saving our beautiful planet.

1.Plastic Q-Tips

There are many brands that offer sustainable alternatives to the plastic version. You can find paper or wood Q-Tips in supermarkets as well as here at ishopnsavetheplanet.com

2.Cutlery, plates, straws, and stirrers

You can either bring your own plates, cups, and utensils to the picnic or find a list of more sustainable, easy to purchase alternatives here. It’s fun as there are so many great new products.

3.Balloons or Sticks for Balloons

A party is especially fun with a few balloons. Luckily there are a number of sustainable solutions out there. Check them out here.

4.Food Containers

Sometimes we forget to bring them along to our favorite restaurants in case we opt for takeaways. Here’s a list of food containers that you can stack in your car just in case you’ve forgotten to bring some with you. Great for takeaways, take out, or buying food at the pastry, cheese, fish or meat counter.

5. Cups for Beverages

Sometimes I just forget to bring out a reusable takeaway cup when I leave the house in the morning, and sometimes I just don’ bother or think about it. Nonetheless, at least in my case, I never turn down a cup of coffee, even if its offered in a takeaway, single-use plastic cup. Knowing this about myself, and in order to avoid it, I stack a couple of compostable single-use cups in my backpack, bicycle basket and also in my car.

Here you can find a range of either option – single-use biodegradable, and reusable cups.

6. Straws

As a customer in a restaurant or bar, its easy just to #refusethestraw (once you get into the habit … it took me a while). If you work in hospitality or wish to provide your party guests with straws in their drinks, here are some great alternatives for you to choose from.

7. Beverage Containers

Plastic bottles, along with plastic caps and lids can be easily replaced by reusable bottles. It is also much healthier to drink from a reusable bottle, as many plastic water bottles contain toxic BPA, which can leak into the water.

Here’s a selection of some great, lightweight reusable beverage containers you can carry with you throughout the day and while traveling.

I know what it’s like – it’s so easy to forget the reusable bottle at home, at work or at a friends house. If you’re on the road try to purchase a glass bottle to refill or try to reuse a purchased plastic bottle while keeping it out of the sun.


8. Cigarette Butts

Sunbathing at any given beach, you will probably find a couple of cigarette butts scattered in the sand around your towel. There are easy ways smokers can enjoy a cigarette while out in the wild or at the beach without negatively impacting the environment.

Here’s how.

9. Bags

Tucked in the side pocket of your bag or backpack, keep a reusable shopping bag with you everywhere you go. If you forget, which naturally happens, ask for a paper or reusable bag or even a cardboard box at the shop.

Here are some great single-use shopping bag alternatives.

10. Chips Packets / Sweet Wrappers

We all need some tasty chips and sweets now and then. Life without savory and sweet snacks is unimaginable. Take a look at brands that produce chips in compostable packaging

And here are some sweets for you (and sweets for the Earth), wrapped in compostable packaging.

11. Wet Wipes and Sanitary Items

Sometimes it’s just easier to use throw away wet wipes and sanitary items. Here are some great products to keep you and your family clean and happy while you’re at work or on the road.

Alternatively, take a look at these items, which have the least impact on the planet and can be used while you’re in the comfort of your home.


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