Wednesday 5th June marks the World Environment Day for 2019. This year World Environment Day will be hosted in China with the UN’s focus for the day on air pollution. Worldwide, around 7 million people die prematurely from air pollution every year, with around 4 million of those deaths occurring in the Asia-Pacific region.
World Environment day will focus on urging governments, industry, communities, and individuals to join together to explore renewable energy and green technologies as well as improving air quality in cities and regions across the world.
Plastic Production is Contributing Towards Air Pollution
The report states that “at current levels, greenhouse gas emissions from the plastic lifecycle threaten the ability of the global community to keep global temperature rise below 1.5C’. In fact, amongst the suggestions of the report authors is that the production of single-use plastic should be stopped ‘immediately.”
Plastic contributes to greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of its lifecycle, from its production to its refining and the way it is managed as a waste product. This plastic binge threatens attempts to meet the Paris climate agreement. It means that by 2050 plastic will be responsible for up to 13% of the total “carbon budget” – equivalent to 615 coal-fired power plants.
Our beautiful planet and environment is under threat and it is imperative that we tackle this. According to this report, the proliferation of single-use plastic around the world is accelerating climate change. In order to protect our planet, we must eliminate single-use plastics.
A great way to eliminate single-use plastic bottles is by using a Water-to-Go bottle. Our 3-in-1 filter technology will provide clean, drinking water anywhere in the world, without needing to purchase single-use plastic water bottles. Make your commitment and join the global movement with Water-to-Go.
Helping Protect Africa’s Wildlands with African Wildlife Foundation
As part of AWF’s multi-faceted approach, protecting Africa’s wildlands from pollution is a big priority within their overall mission. AWF work with local communities in a variety of ways to help reduce climate change from Africa.
They work with communities to introduce climate-smart agriculture as well as working on sustainable energy solutions. Working with rural-scale farmers they aim to introduce new, sustainable farming techniques aimed to reduce climate impacts, maximise soil health and produce higher crop yields.
Water-to-Go in Partnership with AWF
We have partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation, creating limited edition AWF branded filter water bottles. For every purchase of the special edition bottles, a £10 donation will be made to AWF, helping protect Africa’s natural environments and the habitats of the continent’s wildlife. Click here to get yourself a bottle and help ensure wildlife and wildlands thrive in modern Africa.
For more information about Water-to-Go and how you can protect the planet and do your bit for the environment, check out our website.
Simple Things you can do to Reduce your Plastic Pollution Footprint
The World’s plastic pollution problem has become a source for global concern over the past few years. Of the 6 billions tonnes of plastic that has been produced since the 1950s, only around 9% is recycled. This means there is a phenomenal amount of plastic and waste in general that escapes our waste management systems and ends up polluting our planet. Every year approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans and result in harming wildlife and wild animals. It is imperative that we all do our bit to tackle this and reduce plastic waste.
This guide will aim to help you reduce your plastic waste and stop using single-use plastic in as many situations as possible. There are some very simple things that you can do and changes you can make in your life that will make a difference.
Use your own non-plastic carrier bags
Whilst the 5p plastic bag charge has made a big difference in the amount of carrier bags people use, plastic bags remain a big contributor to the world’s plastic pollution problem.
There is a range of alternatives to single-use plastic bags available made from fabrics such as canvas and natural fibres, so you can avoid plastic altogether. They generally aren’t too expensive either so if you are a regular shopper it shouldn’t be too long until your bag has paid itself off.
Get a Reusable Water Bottle
With a million plastic bottles bought around the world every minute, getting yourself a reusable water bottle is a great way to help prevent one of the biggest contributors towards the world’s plastic problem.
The Water-to-Go bottle is a fantastic replacement for single-use plastic water bottles. In addition to the reusable element of the bottle, it’s replaceable filter cartridge is able to filter out well over 99.9% of microbiological contaminants from any fresh water source. This means no matter the situation you’re in you shouldn’t ever need to revert to single-use plastic water bottles.
Just 75cl Water-to-Go filter will replace 400 single-use plastic water bottles. If we all adotped this principle and changed our mindset on plastic, just think of the difference we could make.
Opt for a reusable coffee cup
Similarly to water bottles, using plastic coffee cups for just one tea or coffee is another very wasteful practice, with 7 million disposable plastic coffee cups used every day in the UK.
A number of the big coffee companies such as Starbucks and Costa have started reusable cup initiatives such as money off your coffee if you bring in a reusable cup as well as starting to make their own reusable cups.
There are plenty of options for reusable coffee cups with many at a very reasonable price. So if you take advantage of the extra money off your coffee with the reusable cup you’ll be able to pay it off in no time.
Avoid plastic cutlery and plastic straws
Plastic Cutlery is something that has become common in many takeaway shops and is just another form of unnecessary single-use plastic. A fairly new concept of portable, reusable cutlery is something that can help in preventing the need for single-use plastic knives and forks.
These generally come as a cutlery set of knife, fork and spoon with a case so that they are easy to carry around. Non-plastic straws are also widely available in a similar fashion to the cutlery sets. You can get these in a range of materials including wood, plastic and metal, although these will need cleaning fairly regularly.
Carry your own food and containers
Carrying your own food rather than buying, for example, a sandwich from a shop can help you reduce the amount of plastic packaging you are buying and inevitably your plastic waste.
By packing your own food in reusable containers you won’t need to buy food packaged in plastic, and your reusable containers will mean you won’t need to throw anything away either.
Plastic-free chewing gum
The majority of chewing gums are made up of a synthetic rubber which in essence is a plastic. In fact, 85% of people in the UK don’t know that these chewing gums contain plastic. So when used and thrown away most chewing gums are pretty much a single-use plastic.
So avoiding chewing gum altogether is one way to avoid this form of plastic waste. However, there are a few new companies that have been popping up making natural, biodegradable chewing gums. Iceland has now become the first UK supermarket to stock this form of chewing gum from a brand called ‘Simply Gum’.
Buy in bulk
Unfortunately, in today’s world, there may be times where avoiding single-use plastic is unavoidable. Despite this, there are still ways to reduce the amount of single-use plastic that you buy. One concern is when you buy products, such as clothes online or certain foods, they will always come in plastic packaging. A way to reduce the amount of plastic packaging you’re buying and inevitably throwing away is to buy in bulk.
Often when you buy in bulk you will be able to buy products that come in less plastic packaging than they would have if they were to be bought individually. In the case of online clothing, a lot of retailers will put more than one item of clothing in the same plastic packaging, meaning buying lots of pieces of clothing in one order will reduce the amount of plastic packaging they will send out and in turn the amount of plastic waste you are throwing away.
Keep watching for new anti-plastic initiatives
As people and companies become more aware of the world’s plastic waste problem, companies are starting to take action with new plastic-free products, such as the ones we’ve already discussed in this blog. So make sure you’re keeping an eye out for new ways to reduce your plastic footprint.
You can also get involved with non-profit organisations and initiatives which are helping to combat the plastic pollution problem. Incredible Oceans is a fantastic example of a not-for-profit organisation that are helping protect our oceans from plastic pollution. They run education programmes, events and festivals using charismatic marine creatures to tell critical ocean stories in engaging and entertaining ways.
These changes may seem small but if we all change our mindset around plastic, we can all make a huge difference and preserve the future of our planet. Join us on the Water-to-Go journey and together we will change the world, one bottle at a time.
There has been a lot of recent awareness campaigns particularly in the British media regarding ocean pollution and this week, Prince Charles has added to this campaign and called for urgent action to be taken.
At the ‘Our Ocean’ conference in Malta this week, Prince Charles addressed the shocking statistics that we are all too familiar with and the changes that have to be made to save our oceans, and indeed the planet, from plastic pollution.
He stated that “the 8 million tonnes of plastic that enter the sea every year, through our own doing, is now almost ubiquitous…Wherever you swim there are particles of plastic near you, and we are very close to reaching the point when whatever wild caught fish you eat, will contain plastic.”
Prince Charles is clearly, and has been, incredibly passionate about this issue along with the conservation of our rainforests and drew attention to the sustainable solution to this problem. “Faced with such damaging effects on the ocean from plastic waste, from the throw-away convenience lifestyles of many around the world. It is utterly crucial that we transition to a circular economy…[that] allows plastic along with many other substances to be recovered, recycled and reused instead of…thrown away.”
He went on to highlight that, “this economic approach has to be a critical part of establishing a more harmonious relationship between humankind and the ocean that sustains us all.”
This was broadcast live on Sky’s pop up channel, Sky Ocean Rescue, who have been pioneers of the recent campaign to make people in the UK and around the world more aware about the amount of plastic that is contaminating our oceans. Through this initiative, they explored the different ways people can help to make a difference and inspiring them to take action in order to protect the planet. In this way, the British public were encouraged to become #OceanHeroes.
Sky also announced this week that it would remove all single-use plastic products from its operations and supply chains by 2020. The company will also invest £25m in a fund for startups and other businesses working on technology to solve the plastic problem. Hopefully, this will set the trend for other businesses and organisations to support these initiatives and do their bit to stop plastic polluting our oceans.
Prince Charles on ocean pollution: “Don’t wait until it’s a total disaster before you do something…we’re testing the world to destruction” pic.twitter.com/SlqwtK67rg
Slowly but surely, awareness about the plastic pollution problem is being circulated across the globe and is now high on the agenda. This is the first step to make people aware that this problem is not going to just sort itself out so initiatives in different parts of the world are being put in place to make this happen.
At the conference, the EU also announced plans to devote more than €550m to protecting the health of oceans, with more than 30 initiatives including efforts to combat piracy and illegal fishing, a satellite monitoring system, and a new plastics strategy for the bloc.
Other high profile commentators and experts have also shown their support for these initiatives amidst the severity of this problem. David Attenborough, for one, expressed his shock and heartbreak at the devastation plastic pollution has caused to marine animals and birds, with particular reference to a mother albatross feeding her chicks plastic mistaking it for food.
Over the next couple of days we’ll be talking about the plastic in our oceans. David Attenborough says this is his most heartbreaking moment pic.twitter.com/j8ENElDGQd
With the concern for the oceans also high on our agenda, Water-to-Go are pleased to be supporting Incredible Oceans at the World Travel Market in November. This will be a fantastic opportunity for us to reach out to travellers, travel companies and businesses who are looking for sustainable travel solutions for them and their clients as there is increased concern about the amount of plastic we consume.
We’re delighted to announce a new partnership between the marine conservation charity Sea-Changers and Water-to-Go to work towards healthier oceans.
With the new partnership purchasers get a 15% discount on every Water-to-Go order and at the same time 15% of the value of their purchase will be donated to Sea-Changers. Sea-Changers will ensure that every penny raised through the partnership will go to vital marine conservation work in the UK.
Sea-Changers raise much needed funds for marine conservation work in the UK. Their vision is to create a world where the UK’s seas and shores are clean and healthy and British marine species are protected.
The money raised by Sea-Changers is given out in grants to a wide range of marine conservation projects around the UK. Many are small, local community-based projects. They also fund key scientific research projects; work to support marine reserves and protected marine areas; direct marine and coastal clean-up action; projects for education, campaigning and raising awareness; and projects to protect specific threatened species.
Many of the projects Sea-Changers have funded have been about reducing the amount of plastic in our oceans. Discarded plastic in the oceans kills thousands of mammals, birds and fish that eat it mistaking it for food or become entangled in it.
Single-use plastic water bottles contribute to this problem. Over 70 billion (seventy thousand million) single-use plastic water bottles are consumed annually in the US and Europe alone. National Geographic, estimate that a maximum of 20% are recycled. That means that over 50 billion bottles go into landfill or end up in our oceans every year.
Rachel Lopata, Co-Founder of Sea-Changers said:
“The partnership with Water-to-Go is very exciting. We believe that many people who travel the world to enjoy the beauty of the oceans will benefit from having a Water-to-Go bottle as it makes tap water and all other fresh water (from rivers or rainfall) safe to drink, wherever they are in the world. Knowing that at the same time, their purchase has raised funds to help the health of the oceans here in the UK is surely a double whammy!”
To get your 15% discount off the website enter the code SEACHANGERS at the checkout. 15% of your order total will be donated to Sea-Changers.
100% of the money they raise will go directly to marine conservation work, they take nothing for their own running costs.