Plastic and Climate Change

No. More. Rubbish. Excuses. was written by our Founder and CEO, Martin Dorey. It looks at ways we can reduce our waste. It also discusses why we must do it now. This blog, pulled from the pages of Martin’s book, focuses on the correlation between plastic and climate change and what we can do as individuals to help save the planet. 

Ever since the #2minutebeachclean became a thing, in 2013, I’ve been wondering how big the plastic crisis would become. First it was how plastic affected my local beach, tourism and our health and wellbeing locally. Next it was how plastic affects wildlife. Then it was how plastic affects our food. Now it’s about how plastic affects our climate. 

Once you understand the scale of it, you can start to put the pieces in place to make up the bigger picture. And that’s when things start to get more than a little frightening. If you’re anything like me, however, you won’t give up. You’ll allow this information to fuel the fire of resolve, because to do anything else would be to admit defeat.

PLASTIC: THE BIGGER PICTURE

  • Plastic is just one small part of our planet’s problems
  • Plastic is a symptom of mass consumerism
  • Consumerism is using up resources at a massive rate
  • Plastic creates climate change emissions at every stage in its life cycle
  • Transporting plastic waste creates climate emissions
  • Plastic is climate change
  • We need to stop depending on plastic.

In May 2019 the Center for International Environmental Law released a report – the first of its kind that deals with plastic and climate change – that suggested plastic, throughout its lifecycle, could contribute up to 10-13% of the global carbon dioxide budget by 2050.

According to the report, the production and incineration of plastic in 2019 was due to produce more than 850 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, which is equal to the emissions from 189 five-hundred-megawatt coal power plants working at full capacity.

By 2050, they say, if production continues as predicted (and planned) the amount will increase to the equivalent of 615 Coal Plants, producing 2.80 Gt of greenhouse gasses.

Plastic refining, the report says, is among the most greenhouse gas-intensive industries in the manufacturing sector – and the fastest growing, with the manufacture of plastic is being both energy intense and emissions intensive in its own right, producing significant emissions through the chemical refining processes.

Great! How could we have ignored that? We’ve been so concerned with the oceans that we’ve forgotten, almost, the impact of it all, before it’s even got to the ocean.

What this means is that it’s more, much more than just entangled seals and dolphins.

The report from CIEL follows on from a different report, from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2018, that researchers had discovered, unexpectedly, that the most common plastics, when exposed to sunlight, produce the greenhouse gases methane and ethylene. Polyethylene (LDPE), used in shopping bags, is the most produced and discarded synthetic polymer globally and was found to be the most prolific emitter of both gases.

The team also found that “the emission rate of the gases from virgin pellets of LDPE increased during a 212-day experiment” and that “LDPE debris found in the ocean also emitted greenhouse gases when exposed to sunlight.”

The study also raised concerns about microplastic disabling the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon. At the surface, microscopic plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton) transfer carbon to the deep ocean. “These plankton are being contaminated with microplastics and microfibres, which lab tests suggest reduce their ability to fix carbon through photosynthesis, perhaps also reducing their metabolic rates, reproductive success and survival rates.”

So if you ever needed a reason to choose natural fibres over nylon, carry a water bottle or refuse a straw this is it. And while it might seem to be too big or too difficult an issue to solve, it is one that we CAN do something about.

WHY PLASTIC IS THE PERFECT ECO MISSION

Reading all this, and the rest of this book, you might be forgiven for thinking that the world’s problems are insurmountable. You might not be able to replant the rainforests or refreeze the arctic tundra. But you can tackle plastic in your own life. And that’s the beauty of it. It’s real and it’s tangible and you can do something about it. Right here, right now. 

There’s no need to feel helpless either, because you’ll be able to see how much of what you do matters. It’s our problem and we have to fix it. And, in fixing it, we’ll help to solve all kinds of other problems too. 

Good luck.

And thank you for making a start. Now the real work begins.

  1. Recycle more.
  2. Eat sustainably caught fish.
  3. Eat less meat.
  4. Cook more and avoid pre-packaged meals.
  5. Buy clothes second hand or ethical, in natural materials.
  6. Get outside and enjoy nature more. It’s free.
  7. Spend your money on experiences, not things.
  8. Buy, if you must buy, from ethical businesses. But question its integrity first.
  9. Buy local, fresh, sustainable and packaging free, if you can.
  10. Understand how much of what you do matters. It does.

NO MORE EXCUSES?

REDIRECT YOUR INVESTMENTS: If you have any kind of savings, investments or pensions, they may, ultimately, invest in fossil fuels and, by association, the plastics industry, so supporting them in their work. By divesting from these kinds of industries you can help to pull the rug from underneath them, remove part of their funding and send a very clear message that you do not condone their practices.

Has this article has awakened your inner eco-activist and you’d like to know more? You can buy Martin’s book No. More. Rubbish. Excuses. from our Beach Clean Shop by clicking here. Now is the time to act, not the time for excuses!  

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The Facts About Food Waste

No. More. Rubbish. Excuses. is written by Martin Dorey. As the Founder of The 2 Minute Foundation he knows how important it is to reduce our waste and to do it now. In a series of blogs we will be looking at the stats and solutions that he shared in his book. It’s time to reassess the way we live, shop and eat to help save the planet. It only takes 2 minutes! 

We don’t like waste

Each year in Europe we produce over 88 million tonnes of food waste. Annually, in the UK alone, this works out at 7.1 million tonnes. 

British supermarkets create around 800,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste a year, mostly through the transportation of food. 

Every year, agriculture produces around 135,500 tonnes of plastic waste in the UK, notwithstanding plastic packaging. That’s around 1.5% of the total waste stream in England. 

According to the UN, 20% of meat production, which is the equivalent of around 75 million cows, is wasted annually across the globe. 

An early analysis of data from our Beach Clean app notes that up to 34% of plastic waste found on the beaches was from the fishing industry. 

But what can be done about all this wasted food and plastic? Often there are small, planet-positive changes that we can make as individuals (a #2minutesolution) that will make a big difference. Below we’re going to dissect the facts stated above and describe the ways in which you can help. 

Food waste 

Statistics show that we throw away one fifth of all food we buy! Most of this ends up in landfill. What a waste. 

Here’s how we can help mitigate this:

  • Compost! Instead of chucking food waste in the bin, compost it. It’s good for the planet and a much better use of your left-over veggies and peelings. If you don’t have the option to compost at home there are often food waste caddies provided by the local council.
  • Don’t buy more than you need! Shop from your local butchers, bakers and grocers little and often, minimising your waste and keeping your fridge fresh. 
  • Tins and dried food can be donated to your local food banks.

Supermarket waste 

The food industry, together with the supermarkets, is responsible for a huge amount of plastic waste. This comes from the packaging used to store and transport food, plus the plastic that is used in production. 

Cut the plastic out by shopping locally. It isn’t always as easy as a flying visit to the supermarket, but the earth, the local economy and the local businesses will thank you for it. You’ll get produce that is grown in your area, therefore minimising your food’s carbon footprint and cutting out the packaging. You’ll also be helping the local economy and businesses in your area thrive, instead of lining the pockets of the supermarket giants. 

Another thing to consider when shopping are your bags. The plastic bag charge, which was introduced in the UK in October 2015, is credited with an 86% drop in the numbers of plastic bags given out at supermarket tills. Result! Let’s stamp out the use of plastic bags entirely by taking along our backpacks, using reusable cloth bags and stashing our shop in cardboard boxes that we’ll use over and over before eventually recycling. 

Agriculture waste 

Have you ever noticed the rows and rows of plastic wrap lining the fields in growing season? These are mulches. For a number of reasons, farmers use tonnes and tonnes of it by laying it on fields in strips then piercing holes in the plastic for the plants to grow through. An article about mulches in China in July 2019 from Reuters quoted a figure of 2 to 3 million tonnes of plastic mulches being used in the country every year, with only 180,000 tonnes of it being recycled. Where does the rest go? It’ll get burnt, sent to landfill or ploughed back into the soil, degrading it. Scarily, the same article said that traces of plastic have been found in Chinese exports of ginger and spinach. 

The solution? Other than buying locally, why not try growing your own? Lots of veggies thrive in the British summertime and if you plant them from seed it’s really cheap too. Better yet, you can leave veg on the plant until you need it. Beans and tomatoes are a lot happier (and stay fresh for longer) when they are quietly growing on their vines instead of stashed in plastic at the bottom of your fridge. If you don’t have much space why not try growing a herb garden? You don’t need to be green fingered, they’ll sprout in window boxes and you can dry them out at the end of the summer and save it for the colder months. No garden but keen to try your hand at growing this year? See if there’s an available allotment near you by clicking here.

Meat waste 

We, the consumer, are responsible for a quarter of the 20% of meat production that is wasted annually across the world. As we said above, 20% is equivalent to 75 MILLION cows! Have we become so detached from our food that we have forgotten where meat comes from and consider it acceptable to throw it away?

We’re not saying you have to turn veggie or vegan, we’re just asking you to be more conscientious of where your meat comes from. Battery-farmed, mass-produced meat is killing our planet. It’s bad for the environment, it’s awful for the animals, it’s unhealthy for our bodies and it can’t be ignored. Make a substantial effort to choose free range, happy meat and dairy, buy from your local butcher and village shop, reassess your meat consumption and don’t waste a morsel! 

Fishing waste 

The fishing industry is a main contributor to the marine plastic crisis. It is estimated that 10% of the world’s ocean plastic pollution is compromised of fishing nets that are lost or discarded at sea, adding up to around 640,000 tonnes. These nets are known as ‘ghost nets’ because they keep on fishing long after they have been lost (or deliberately dropped), killing hundreds of thousands of birds, mammals and fish every year through entanglement. 

Bottom trawling is a method of fishing that involves dragging heavy weighted nets across the sea floor. This is particularly damaging as it destroys everything in its path and catches everything indiscriminately. The mesh is small, which means undersized and immature fish are caught before they have a chance to breed, therefore destroying the line. 

We need to give the oceans a chance to recover. If you don’t want to give up eating fish entirely then make sure you do your research. Find out where and how your fish was caught. If there’s no good answer, don’t eat it.

Better yet, go fishing yourself or make sure it’s locally line caught. 

If you’d like to read about food and food waste in more depth, check out our Founder Martin Dorey’s book No. More. Rubbish. Excuses. As well as food and food waste, the book also looks at plastic and plastic alternatives, clothing and textiles, electronic equipment and using your voice. You can buy the book from our Beach Clean Shop by clicking here.

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Friends of 2 Minute: Claire Moodie

This week we spoke to Claire Moodie, Co-Founder and CEO at Plastic Free North Devon. In the few short years that the charity has been active Claire and her team have rallied invaluable change and action amongst their local community and further afield. 

Read on to find out about their campaigns and plans… 

Hi Claire, thanks for chatting to us! We are really interested in how everything’s going at Plastic Free North Devon. Let’s start at the beginning. When and how did you become a charity? 

We set up as a community group in 2017 off the back of Blue Planet 2 and when a few super stars in our community aligned. A local teacher, Desiree Young, had just set up a little facebook group to share plastic free tips, after being inspired by her sister who had set up ‘Plastic free Guernsey’. Myself and James Szymankiewicz had been long standing reps for Surfers Against Sewage and had been handed their brand new ‘plastic free communities’ toolkit and were on a mission to roll it out in North Devon. We teamed up with Des and Jasmine Bennett from the Pickwell Foundation who were also super passionate about using their role to kickstart this movement. Our little group was formed!

It didn’t take long for us to meet the steps of the SAS framework in some of our communities and more people flocked to offer help and ideas to build on our efforts. We were balled over by passion and energy that came at us and we saw a real opportunity to drive forward with our own agenda and started seeking direct funding to do so. By early 2019 we had succeeded in becoming our own charity driven directly by the needs of our local community.

Were you affected by the pandemic? Did you innovate and launch any campaigns off the back of lockdown?

Yes. Like everyone it was a tough and long year for us as a charity with some touch and go moments but we made it through by adapting and trying to support our community as much as we could.

One of the things we did was quickly start a #looklocal campaign. Every day for about 2 and a half months we profiled a different local business and their services. The campaign called on people to use these unprecedented times to look up and around at what we are lucky enough to have right on our doorstep. It was really well received and we now have a comprehensive list of local producers and services on our website for people to reference.

After witnessing the rise in rubbish on our streets, parks and beaches when lockdown was lifted over the summer we launched our ‘Don’t even think about it’ poster and information campaign which we piloted within Braunton Tesco. The idea behind this campaign was two pronged: think about the life cycle and quality of any items you purchase, such as inflatables, BBQs or bodyboards and food purchased for picnics, and make sure they are not irresponsibly left in the environment.

We also led the pulling together of the ‘Norther Devon visualisation’ survey with local district councils and partners. This revealed fascinating information about how the pandemic has changed some people’s lifestyles and their views on issues like the environment and their quality of life. The information collected has been used to bolster and support projects going forward.

Overall, people wanted a peaceful, sustainable community where they have more time to do the things they love in a new calmer, safer, greener, kinder and healthier environment – not too much to ask!

In January this year, fresh into 2021, we launched our online ‘cleanse and clean’ campaign which called on the community to get out in nature (jump in the ocean, get out on your bike, go for a run) and then finish your activity by giving back, for example, by picking up some rubbish. We knew from our survey that people were appreciating wildlife more and wanted to spend more of their free time outside. We also knew that being outdoors hugely benefits our mental health. With over 85% of survey respondents stating that they were interested in supporting wildlife and the environment, this was a perfect way to get stuck in.

We also launched our ‘Protect our Playground’ initiative last summer which aimed to reduce plastic pollution on our beaches by reducing demand for plastic beach toys. The initial stage was all about reducing the increasing amount of cheap polystyrene boards we find on our beaches during the height of summer. We launched a pilot hire project at Saunton Surf Hire to help raise awareness, provide alternatives to EPS boards and help generate some income for charity.

What campaigns have you got lined up for the summer months in North Devon? Obviously the influx of visitors can often lead to more litter…

Yes, unfortunately the influx of over 6 million visitors every year certainly leads to more issues and we have been trying to combat some of these through our evolving visitors campaign, which is now in its third year. We’ve created all sorts of resources for accommodation providers and visitors to use which encourage guests to ‘protect our playground’ whilst they are here. We point out that they are entering a UNESCO Biosphere area and the North Devon area of outstanding beauty and give visitors simple tips on how they can reduce their environmental footprint whilst they are here.

We are also building on our already successful virtual reality ocean explorer outreach! This involves developing our own 360 video footage of some of the amazing things on our doorstep to improve understanding, inspire people to protect what’s here and seek to learn more. Think diving with seals on Lundy and exploring rocky shores! We also hope to take some local teenagers from low-income/vulnerable backgrounds to snorkel and explore the island for themselves, volunteer with us during our summer outreach and share their experience with their peers – I’m very very excited about this!

Our #donteventhinkaboutit campaign is expanding to include all Tesco stores across North Devon and we are working with NDC to roll out some additional messaging that will be placed on all public litter bins across our region. Our wooden bodyboard hire is also growing to include more hire locations and we are encouraging holiday home owners as part of our visitor campaign to purchase them for their guests so they don’t have to buy one.

We will hopefully get our Water Bar out to a few sporting and community events and be running our usual community cleans too.

Tell us about the wooden bodyboards! We are also really interested to know more about your campaign to ban polystyrene bodyboards nationwide. 

The best thing about our wooden belly-boards is the messaging and the collaborative lobbying it has led too. Not only did we want to see better alternatives on offer but we wanted to see the cheap single-use bodyboards gone from our shops and beaches. We started by calling on all the local parishes and district councillors to support a ban. Motions were passed, letters have been written to supermarkets (Tesco will not be selling them in North Devon) and shops in towns and villages have agreed to stop selling them. Westward Ho! was the 1st place to announce a ban with Saunton following suit. We are working our way around the coast, so watch this space. And we aren’t stopping there! Our UK government petition to get the sale of them banned has increasing cross-party support and over 5000 signatures so far and we hope to get this issue discussed in parliament. Please sign if you haven’t done so already: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/574016. If you want to do a similar thing in your own area we have a toolkit to get you started. Just ask. 

As we settle into the ‘new normal’, is there anything you’d personally encourage others to do differently this year?

Be mindful, connect with the things that you buy and take responsibility in understanding how food turns up on your plate, clothes end up in your wardrobe and how much waste you create.

Choose to actively consider and be conscious of your impact on the planet and take steps to reduce it where you can. We are crew, not passengers, on this planet and we are all environmentalists – some of us are better and more equipped than others, and the playing field is by no stretch level, but we are all on a journey. Don’t get overwhelmed by what you can’t do and focus on what you can do. Look after your brain and body, get outside as much as you can and find like-minded people to share it with.

Can you tell us more about the ‘Cleanse and Clean’ campaign? It sounds a little bit like our mindfulness initiative, #2minutesofpositivity. 

Yes it is exactly that. Your #2minutebeachclean combined with #2minutesofpositivity seems like a good way to sum it up. It was originally supposed to be a series of beach cleans across the region over the month of January, but the pandemic forced us into only being able to focus on the individual element. Uptake from adults was quite slow (not everyone likes sharing their efforts on social media) but we introduced a competition/prize element for the kids and got all the local schools involved. We had over 200 entries in just over a month, clearing a ton and half of rubbish from our environment. We had the most amazing little stories and mini bios from kids telling us why they were doing it. It really lifted us up and gave us some inspiration and energy to push through the last of the serious lockdowns (fingers crossed) which we are incredibly grateful for.

What small thing do you do each day to put a smile on your face? #2minutesofpositivity 

GET OUTSIDE, listen to the birds, and have some fun (preferably surfing or swimming) but if I can’t do that a skate around my local carpark will do (yes I’ve turned into an embarrassing skating middle aged mum – I don’t care!). Nothing connects me more with myself and the planet than being in the sea. It gives me the space to breathe and clears my brain but most of all it connects me with our precious mother earth and all that she gives and reminds me that she needs ALL of us to speak up and act in her interest.

To find out more about Plastic Free North Devon click here to visit their website.

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Revisiting the Reset

In September 2020 we launched the 2 Minute Reset campaign, an initiative prompting you to get back into the swing of things, find what your ‘new normal’ looks like and persuade you to partake in planet positive actions. Our reset campaign ran throughout September 2020 and everyday we shared a #2minutesolution, a sustainable and simple action, to help you lead a more eco-friendly life. This blog will refresh those suggestions in your mind as they are just as important now as they were then. Every small act makes a huge difference and together we can help make the world a better place. 

Use a refillable bottle

If you pick up litter you’ll have seen firsthand the amount of water bottles that end up on our beaches and streets. Single-use plastic is detrimental to ecosystems and wildlife. It is estimated that an average of 35.8 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK, but only 30% of them are recycled. The rest go to landfill and sadly end up in our oceans too. But we have a solution! Invest in a reusable, refillable water bottle and top it up wherever you go. Download the ‘Refill’ App on your phone. It shows you where you can find water fountains and free water refills stations in your area, plus coffee shops that offer discount when you bring your own cup. 

Do a pencil case audit

Schools are back, some work places are set to open up and work-from-home is more popular than ever. If you’re treating yourself to new stationary consider the sustainable options before the standard single use stuff. Plastic pens like biros run out quickly, are very hard to recycle and often end up on the beach. Why not purchase a classic fountain pen and ink, plus pencils, metal sharpener and a metal ruler? They’ll last way longer than the plastic kit. Looking for a new pencil case? See if you can find one made out of recycled materials; we’ve spotted them made from wetsuits, car tyres and crisp packets! 

Green lunchboxes

To start with, grab a reusable lunch box instead of a plastic bag. BPA free containers are great and metal ones are awesome too. Then, consider what’s going inside it. Fruit is perfect. Bake your own biscuits and ditch the plastic. Cut the plastic cutlery and pack metal or bamboo forks instead. Wrap your sandwiches in bee’s wax wrap instead of clingfilm. Top it all off with a refillable bottle of water or juice instead of Tetrapacks and cartons. Lunch box bingo! 

Grab your shopping bags

It’s obvious that the single-use plastic bag tax is working really well, so let’s keep it that way! Take your reusable grocery bags to the shops and avoid the single-use ones forever! Who’s with us?

Protect yourself

Chances are we will be wearing masks for a long time to come. Therefore, it’s integral that we choose an eco-option. Reusable, washable options are readily available and will stop millions of single-use masks from being thrown away. Plus, they come in loads of cute patterns too. 

Keep your cup 

If we all used a reusable coffee cup we’d save 16 billion non-recyclable cups being used every year. We’d stop 6.5 million trees being cut down. We’d stop 4 billion gallons of water being used in the production process. Due to the current Covid-19 situation some takeaway coffee shops have been avoiding reusable coffee cups. Environmental charity City to Sea have done the research and released a statement saying: “Over 115 health experts from eighteen countries have signed a statement assuring retailers and consumers that reusables are safe during COVID-19. The health experts emphasise that disposable products are not inherently safer than reusables and that reusable systems can be utilised safely during the pandemic by employing basic hygiene.” Great news. 

Straws suck

Statistics show that 4.4 billion plastic straws are thrown away in the U.K. each year. Ew. Don’t be part of the statistic. Simply ask for your drink without one, or invest in a reusable one and carry it with you. You’ll find straws made from glass, metal, bamboo and even recycled marine plastic! In the words of Martin Dorey, No. More. Rubbish. Excuses!

Party on

Parties! Who remembers those?! Well, hopefully we’ll be dancing and chatting in a room full of friends soon, so let’s try and make our parties as sustainable as possible. Steer away from balloons, plastic cups, disposable cutlery and plastic party bags, and get creative instead! Make decorations that you’ll use over and over, shop for party bag fillers in refill shops (instead of buying lots of plastic packets of sweets) and wrap up pass the parcel presents in newspaper, then chuck it in the recycling when you’re finished.  

Read your tea

Did you know that lots of tea bags contain plastic? Therefore, they aren’t actually always compostable… Go back to basics. Buy some loose leaf tea and a strainer. Or check tea bag boxes before buying as they normally state if they are plastic free, after all, it’s something to be proud of! 

Go Local 

Shopping with your local butchers, bakers and greengrocers is a great way to cut down on plastic packaging. You’ll also be supporting your local community and cutting down on food miles. At your local waste-free shop you can take your own containers. It often works out cheaper and you might even become a zero-waste convert!

Quality, not quantity 

Here’s a fact for you: every person in the UK has, on average, 57 items of clothing in their wardrobe that don’t get worn. Every single one of us! Bypass Fast Fashion (and the petrochemical based man-made fibres that come with it) and opt into buying only sustainable clothing from now on, whilst donating or selling your unworn clothes too.

Walk it off

If it’s within a half an hour walk, why not leave the car at home? It’s really good for your mental and physical health to get outside and active, so instead of driving why not hop on your bike, pull on your roller-blades, dust off your skate board or grab some comfy shoes and walk instead. You’ll be doing yourself and the earth a world of good. 

Planet positive pearly whites 

Did you know that on average you’ll use 300 toothbrushes in your lifetime? To make matters even worse, probably only about 2 of them will be successfully recycled whilst the rest end up in landfill or our oceans. Try using a bamboo toothbrush instead (the handle is biodegradable!), or buy your electric toothbrush heads from one of the several brands that now have a take-back recycling scheme.

Do a bin audit

Go on, put on your marigolds and have a good ol’ root around! We think its worth doing this every year, or even twice a year, as it really helps highlight any areas of your consumption that may have developed some bad habits. Lots of food wrappers? Go to your local greengrocers. Black plastic trays? Take your own Tupperware to the butcher. Too much postal packaging? Give up your internet habits and buy locally (and save all the carbon from the van too!). Give it a go and you’ll soon find another simple swap to try out to make your footprint on the earth even smaller. 

We miss the milkman! 

In the U.K. we drink BILLIONS of litres of milk every year, which in turn come in BILLIONS of plastic bottles. If even 10% of us switched to a glass bottled service, we would reduce the number of plastic milk bottles by over 340 MILLION!

Shake up your shower

There are loads of plastic free alternatives for your favourite bathroom products. Plastic free deodorant, shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste are all readily available and will wash you just as well! We love shampoo bars, glass jars of natural toothpaste and eco-floss. 

Spread the word! 

Half of the challenge is making the changes yourself, the other half is getting everyone else to do it too! Spread the word by telling your work colleagues about your awesome new lunch box, remind your friends about when the milkman was a thing and point your family in the direction of this blog! Together we can make the world a better place. 

Our three favourite R’s

First of all, reduce. Do you really need that? If you need it, and now it’s finished, can you reuse it? It’s been reused to within an inch of it’s life (or it can’t be repurposed at all) so now it’s time to recycle. Make sure it’s clean (and recyclable) and pop it in the right bag or bin! 

Plastic free periods

Tampons, pads and panty liners, along with their packaging and individual wrapping, generate more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per year. To make matters worse, in 2010, a beach clean study found an average of 23 sanitary pads and 9 tampon applicators per kilometre of British coastline. Ew, no thanks! Make the swap to reusable menstrual products such as period pants or a Mooncup and save a lifetime of period plastic from ending up where it shouldn’t. Check out 2 Minute friend and period campaigner Ella Daish for more info and inspiration. 

Download our BeachClean App

Our BeachClean App is a way for you to log the litter you find. Through the data we collect we are able to see trends and correlations, therefore helping us to minimise and prevent littering in highly polluted areas! You can download the App by searching BEACHCLEAN on the App Store. Let us know what you think! 

Seek out the alternative 

So many items nowadays come wrapped in plastic packaging. However, so many places now offer an alternative too. Try to buy things that are unwrapped or come in paper, you’ll be surprised by how many options there are if you simply look a little further afield. 

Bigger is better

Not everybody is lucky enough to have a zero waste shop in their local area but there is still so much you can do to help reduce your plastic footprint, even in your regular supermarket. Buy bigger bags of stuff like pasta, rice and flour. You’ll not only save money but you will end up with less plastic packaging too. Oil, toiletries, snacks and cheeses are the same. Shop smart and go BIG! 

The 2 Minute Catch Up

Our newsletter drops into inboxes every Saturday morning and is always packed full of #2minutesolutions, positive stories and information from HQ. Click here to sign up and keep in the loop with everything 2 Minute! 

Plant a Tree

Our #2minuteregeneration challenge is well underway. We are crowdfunding a forest! If your saplings have started sprouting we’d love to see your snaps, and if you haven’t got involved yet it’s not too late! Spring is a great time to sow seeds and the more the merrier at our planting party! 

Don’t be a loo-ser 

Seek out eco-friendly toilet paper and help save the planet one flush at a time! Lots of companies make it out of recycled paper and supply their loo roll in cardboard boxes or paper wrapping instead of plastic bags. Be kind to the planet and choose a greener option for your bum! 

Do a 2 Minute Litter Pick

Let’s get right back to the 2 Minute roots! Head outside and do a litter pick. On the beach, in the park, down the street, up a mountain – every single time you pick up a piece of litter you are directly contributing to cleaning up our planet, 2 minutes at a time. So thank you! 

We hope some of these ideas will help you make small, sustainable changes, resulting in a more eco-conscious lifestyle. If you try any we’d love to see. Tag us on social media using #2minutesolution and @2minutesolution. Plus, if you have any extra ideas of your own, please let us know too! 

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