Bottled water: the facts
Bottled water has a huge carbon footprint. It’s over 1,000 times that of tap water. In fact, a 2013 study estimated that it takes 1.39 litres of water to produce a single litre of packaged water.
If we stopped producing plastic bottles, we’d save more greenhouse gas emissions than if we scrapped 1 million cars.
Eradicating plastic bottles entirely might be a little ambitious, but the 65% reduction by 2025 target is certainly doable. It’s set to create over 115,000 jobs, too!
More on Microfibres
When some fabrics are washed, they release small fibres, known as microfibres, into the drainage system. Acrylic, polyester and nylon are the main fabrics involved.These microfibres can’t be captured by sewage works and so end up in our rivers, lakes, seas and oceans. They do not biodegrade, instead they break into smaller pieces and absorb pollutants found in the environment.
Fish mistake them for plankton and so eat the plastics and pollutants, impacting on behaviour and health. The toxins bio accumulate, concentrating pollutants higher up the food chain and ultimately into the fish we might eat.
The clothing industry is looking for solutions but there are also things that we can all do to minimise the production of microfibres:
Fill up your washing machine: washing a full load results in less friction between the clothes so less fibres are released
Use washing liquid instead of powder: the ‘scrub’ function of the grains of the powder result in loosening the fibres of clothes more than with liquid
Use a fabric softener
: some ingredients in fabric softeners reduce friction between fibres so the release decreases Wash at a low temperature: when clothes are washed at a high temperature some fabrics are damaged, leading to the release of fibres
Avoid long washes: long periods of washing cause more friction between fabrics
If drying clothes is unavoidable, dry spin clothes at low speeds: higher revolutions increase the friction between the clothes, resulting in higher chances of fibres loosening. Put the dryer lint in a bin not down the drain
Minimise washing frequencies
Consider a specialist washing bag to wash clothes in to reduce microfibres
Until the ban on the sale of microbeads comes into force in July, look for cosmetics and personal care products that are microbead free.
Why your reusable coffee cup matters
In the UK, 2.5 billion coffee cups a year are thrown away. Around 1% of them get recycled. Sounds small? That’s because most coffee cups have a coating that means they can’t be easily recycled. Remember: bringing your reusable coffee cup could have a huge impact on our recycling culture.
Reducing plastic pollution is something we can all do together.
Sustainability at WWT
We have a responsibility to future generations to look after our planet. In carrying out our conservation, education and visitor attraction roles, we're committed to having a positive impact on the environment.
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