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10 stylish ways to remove single
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The UK government has announced plans to ban the sale of many single-use plastic items, including plastic straws, drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds. Get ready for it now with this list of great eco-friendly alternatives that are already on the market. SEE ALSO: Plastic straws, cotton buds, and drinks stirrers could be banned in the UK According to the UK government,"There are over 150 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans and every year one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals die from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste". We all know that this level of waste is unsustainable and with the ban looking like it could apply as early as next year, it's a good time to start thinking about ways in which you can minimise your plastic waste.  Cotton buds  The hazards of plastic stemmed cotton buds have long been recognised. According to The Ecologist, "The plastic from cotton buds has been discovered in the stomachs of Loggerhead Turtles, seabirds and many species of UK-caught fish. The bits of plastic that aren't eaten get broken down into micro-plastics — of which the dangerous effects are still unknown".  Do your bit for the world's waterways with these Simply Gentle organic cotton buds; produced on biodegradable paper stems with 100 percent organic cotton tips grown without artificial pesticides.  Image: Amazon Simply Gentle organic cotton buds - Pack of 200. £2.99 See Details Drinking straws According to the recent UK Government report, "8.5 billion plastic straws are thrown away each year in the UK". Upgrading to an eco-friendlier lifestyle is easy by switching from petroleum-derived plastic straws to reusable natural bamboo straws. Dishwasher-friendly, durable, and reusable, these straws can be used for hot or cold drinks and even include a free cleaning brush. The straws are also compostable, so, they will never end up polluting the environment. If you prefer a more disposable option, these biodegradable black straws by Bendy Eco (pack of 250 for £4.99) are also a great alternative. Image: Amazon Reusable Biodegradable Bamboo Drinking Straws - £12.99 See Details Toothbrushes Plastic toothbrushes are a big contributor to pollution and these Amazon Choice bamboo toothbrushes are another way to keep plastic out of the ocean and landfill. The Tevra toothbrushes are 100% biodegradable and boast zero-waste packaging, which means everything is recyclable. The charcoal bristles are a good choice for and those who have sensitive gums but still want white teeth and also means you can avoid using chemical-laden whitening gels that can damage the enamel of your teeth. Tevra are so confident that you will love their toothbrushes that they are even offering a money-back guarantee. Why not also upgrade to natural toothpaste and dental floss while you are at it? Image: Amazon Tevra Biodegradable Bamboo Toothbrush with Charcoal Bristles - £10.86 See Details Sandwich wrappers Banish disposable cling film or foil with these reusable sandwich wrappers. BPA free, machine washable and adaptable to different shapes and sizes, there ain't no lunch these bad boys can't handle. Image: Amazon Roll'eat Boc'N'Roll Reusable Sandwich Wrapper - £7.95 See Details Bin Liners Plastic bags can take up to 1000 years to decompose. Unlike everyday plastic bin bags, these compostable bin liners will break down to CO2 and bio mass in 6-12 weeks depending on the composting conditions. They can contain up to 30 litres and are suitable for medium-sized pedal bins, garden waste, grass clippings, local authority kerbside waste bins and pretty much anything. Image: Ethical super store Compostable Bin Liners - 30 litre - Pack of 25. £10.65 See Details Napkins Table napkins can have a surprisingly significant environmental impact. According to Groundswell, "if 50% of the U.S. population (about 150MM people), used 1 paper napkin per meal 3 times a day, 164,250,000,000 (yes billion) napkins would be used over just a 1-year period."  Selecting napkins that are made from recycled paper not whitened with chlorine bleach and can be composted after use can go along way to helping to combat this. These eco-friendly and biodegradable 2-ply napkins from Greencane made from sugarcane and sustainably sourced wood pulp are a step in the right direction.  Image: Mashable Greencane 2-ply Napkins (100) £2.79 See Details Handcrafted Wireless Bamboo Keyboard  Although not generally of single use, the quantity and speed that we discard consumer electronics has increased rapidly in recent years, fuelled by the industry-wide push on consumers to buy new items quickly by artificially reducing the lifespan of products. Discarded plastic electronic devices can produce large quantities of waste, so why not consider this handcrafted wireless bamboo keyboard or a biodegradable laptop case. Beautiful and stylish and one step closer to reducing your plastic footprint. Image: Amazon Handcrafted Wireless Bamboo Keyboard. £39.99 See Details Biodegradable Laptop case This case features mould-proof lining material, soft wear and scratch resistance flannel, and high quality grey felt for shock absorption. It's made using sustainable, chemical-free materials that are plastic-free and metal-free. Did we mention it’s biodegradable?  Image: Amazon Inateck 15.4 Inch MacBook Pro Retina Case, biodegradable, with Small Case for Accessory - £15.99 See Details Reusable water bottles and coffee cups Single-use plastic water bottles and disposable coffee cups are definitely not helping the environment. It's time to seriously consider alternatives and the Miu Glass water bottle or Contigo Steel travel mug are some great options. Image: Amazon Glass Water Bottle, with Eco-friendly Borosilicate Glass Bottle, BPA, PVC, Plastic and Lead Free - £12.99 See Details Reusable Coffee Cup This cup made out of BPA free translucent tritan copolyester, with vacuum-insulated technology, keeps beverages hot for 4 hours and cold for 12 hours. You can also save money with the discount that many coffee outlets offer when you bring your own cup. Image: Amazon Contigo Autoseal West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug - £19.85 See Details read more
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