30 May
  • By Ryan Blake

How To Prevent Plastics Entering the Environment

All this talk about plastics and what damage they are doing to the environment but not much information on what the public can do to help prevent any more damage occurring. In this article I will go over how you at home can do your bit to try and save this beautiful planet we call home.

  • Plastic Bags

As mentioned in a previous article, plastic bags can get stuck around Animals’ necks, choking them to death. A simple solution to this problem would be to use paper bags or better yet, use those reusable cloth bags you can get from supermarkets such as Tesco. They can be reused lots of times, are stronger and above all, much better for the environment.


  • Straws

Again, as mentioned previously, straws can get stuck up turtles’ noses and cause difficulty breathing as well as immense pain. Probably the most obvious way to prevent this is to not use them. But, restaurants and the like give them to you with certain beverages. However, some restaurants and cafés have started to give out metal or biodegradable straws. You can also do this yourself. You’ll also be saving money in the long run because you can reuse the metal straws plus the fact it’ll probably taste better through metal rather than plastic.É€

  • Cotton Buds

This one’s simple, just don’t buy plastic cotton buds. You have a choice in most supermarkets to either choose plastic or cardboard cotton buds. They shouldn’t be any more expensive than the plastic ones.

  • Toothbrushes

Toothbrushes are starting to become a big problem now as well. A lot of people don’t realise these can be recycled. In fact: Colgate have a partnership with TerraCycle to recycle old toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and dental floss containers so there’s no reason to put them in the waste bin. Just make sure they don’t have a lot of dirt stuck to them, a little bit that won’t come off easily is fine. Everything of course gets cleaned at the recycling centres anyway, so you don’t have to worry too much. As long as they don’t have anything like somehow getting faeces (from indoor cat litter tray or something) or bleach on them, it’s fine. The latter part of that sentence applies to all plastics anyway.


  • Micro Beads

Microbeads can be a bit tricky to avoid but still possible. Basically, if you go to buy toothpaste and it has a picture on the front (which almost all do), have a look to see if you can see little particles in with the toothpaste. If you can, it contains microbeads. Don’t buy it if it contains them. You may however think it contains microbeads when in fact it doesn’t. If you’re not sure, look at the back of the packaging or ask a sale representative to see if it contains them. You can do the same thing for soaps, shampoos and any other products that contain microbeads.

  • Beer Rings

If you buy beer cans, they’re most likely packaged with a ring going around each can to hold them together. This can get stuck around animals’ necks and cause them to suffocate to death. To prevent this from happening, recycle the ring or if you can, buy packs of beer that don’t have the plastic ring around them.

  • Plastic Bottles

This is the most problematic form of plastic pollution. Millions of plastic bottles are bought everyday around the world and only some are recycled. Some countries such as Norway are implementing deposit return schemes where you can take your purchased bottle back to the store or a machine where you can get a bit of your money back. It may only be a few cents, but it adds up and is worth it. Best of all, you can take back bottles you’ve found lying around on the ground. It’s basically free money! But if this isn’t in your country/area yet, you can always just recycle the plastic bottles or save them up, so you can trade them all in when the deposit return scheme comes to your area. But, if you only want to help save the planet, the best thing to do is to not buy plastic bottles in the first place which may seem obvious. You can buy refillable metal, or even recyclable and reusable hard plastic bottles that you can refill when out and about in restaurants, pubs, etc. or at a drinking fountain.


This is my last article on plastics but if you’d like to find out more about what damage it’s doing as well as how you can help prevent any further damage, I recommend checking out Sky’s Ocean Rescue (linked below). They have loads of short 2-3-minute videos that shows the extent of this problem as well as what countries, manufacturers and the general public are doing to help stop any further damage to our beautiful planet.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article and have a nice day!


Hello, I’m Ryan and I’m 22 years old. I’m currently studying Web Development in Adobe Dreamweaver. In my spare time I like to make dance music (and sometimes other genres) in FL Studio. I’m passionate about the environment and it’s well-being and hate to see it get destroyed by pollution.