We’re always trying to highlight the devastating impact that single-use plastics have on our planet.
It’s easy for it to go over our heads when we hear overwhelming stats and figures about the issue on a larger scale, but it’s only when we look closer to home that we start realising the horrifying reality.
Recently litter pickers in London found 2,500 plastic bottles in just ONE DAY on the Thames. Just one day!
Volunteers from London based charity, Thames 21, collected the huge amount of rubbish from 11 different sites on the river. The event has given an eye-opening indication on how many plastic bottles are in the Thames at a particular time. The charity plans to repeat the study 4 times a year which will help determine how long it takes to build up and what times of year it’s at its worse.
The charity decided to use the ‘cleaner’ river as a test to see how quickly new bottles were junked. Monitoring the sites for 8 days after the litter pick yielded some interesting results. On just one of the eleven sites, they recorded 10 bottles wash up on the Friday and a staggering 117 bottles on the Saturday! (Site: Battersea). These figures show how consistently plastic bottles polluting our rivers and ultimately (if it wasn’t for the amazing work of charities like Thames 21) our oceans.
AJ McConville, who conducted the study has said:
“It’s sad that mineral water is the most common plastic bottle we’re finding, when bottled water is no better for us than water from the tap.”
“We urge Londoners– use reusable water bottles, and demand more water fountains around the capital.”
Each filter in one Water-to-Go bottle can treat 200 litres of water anywhere in the world. That’s 400 single-use plastic water bottles. That means just 6 of Water-to-Go filters would be equivalent to nearly the same amount of plastic bottles that were pulled out of the Thames in just one day (6 filters = 2,400 50cl water bottles).
‘Deposit Return Systems’ (DRS) have been suggested as a good way of encouraging those who do use plastic bottles to recycle. DRS is where a tax is added to plastic bottles and can be redeemed when returned. Such systems are used across Europe, America and Canada. The idea to introduce a similar scheme in the England has recently been rejected by the Government.
The recent levy on plastic bags has seen a dramatic 80% reduction.