25 Jan
  • By Lizzie Lynch

Plastic-free by ‘23!

It is common knowledge by now that plastic is having a catastrophic effect on our beautiful oceans.

It is damaging our planet at an alarmingly fast rate and it has had a detrimental effect on the environment as a whole.

Plastic is a problem because there is so much of it and it’s everywhere. It’s very cheap which is why manufacturing companies use it to make a lot of their products.

Generally speaking, the human race is quite materialistic and wasteful. We want to buy things quickly, we want them cheaply and we’ll throw them away without a second glance.

For example, how many times have you went into a shop, bought a bottle of water, drank it, and thrown out the bottle after? Hundreds probably, and I would be the same. That singular bottle will take, on average, 450 years to biodegrade. In America alone, they throw away 35 billion plastic bottles a year.


And that’s just bottles, there’s also plastic bags, plastic cutlery, packaging, plastic chairs and tables, children’s toys, the list is endless. There’s also things that you didn’t even know were made from plastic like those micro-beads that you might find in face scrubs. So many of our daily items are plastic and if they’re not made from plastic then they probably came wrapped in it instead and 90% of it isn’t recycled.It’s thrown away and will most likely end up tainting the ocean or polluting the air.

This disposable way of life has become so normal to us and it has resulted in plastic being manufactured faster than ever before. In fact, we have produced more plastic in the last 10 years than we have over the last century.

In 2015, a study by the Ocean Conservatory revealed that the plastic bag became the second most identifiable item of rubbish. The only thing that came above it was discarded cigarette butts.

If we are using more plastic then we are going to throw out more plastic, it’s as simple as that.

All of this thrown away plastic has to go somewhere and up to 14 million metric tonnes of it ends up getting dumped in the ocean, the rest ends up in landfills or is incinerated and toxic, harmful chemicals are released into the air.

An Iceland Foods Ltd. carrier bag sits in a shopping cart at a supermarket in Hornchurch, U.K., on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Iceland Foods Ltd.'s majority shareholder, Landsbanki is in talks with eight banks to handle the sale of its stake in frozen-goods chain Iceland Foods Ltd. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The world knows that this has to change. We know that something needs to be done to combat this dire situation and it gives me great joy to say that this has finally begun as a major retailer has vowed to remove all plastic from their own products.

Iceland, the UK supermarket giant, has recently announced that they will be banning all plastic from their own brand products by 2023.

They have already removed some products from their range, like plastic straws for example, and they are aiming to release new products early this year that will use paper based packaging rather than plastic.

This is an amazing step in the right direction and we can hope that other large retailers will be encouraged to follow their lead and remove plastic from their products as well.

Who knows, in 10 years time we could have cleaner, safer oceans, but we’ll just have to wait and sea!


Lizzie Lynch

Lizzie tries to do her best to make a positive change in the community and she regularly volunteers
to help the homeless and the elderly living alone. She’s also been part of an organisation called
Junior Achievement and has gone to schools to teach children from disadvantaged areas.
She has taken part in numerous fundraising events for many different charities and organisations.
She’s done everything from fasting to skydiving from 10,000 feet.

Her hobbies include gaming, reading, playing the ukulele, zumba, cooking and trying to befriend her
grumpy pet hedgehog, Peeves.