Blog: March 2019

Stop the microplastics
By Jo Mansfield
There's a lot we can do to help cut out the microplastics if we understand some of the main causes of this pollutant:
 
Paint – Dried paint sheds microplastics through deterioration. Apparent in road marking paint, and paints used for ships and houses, they are known as ‘secondary microplastics’ that result from wear and tear. Eco-friendly paints are available as an alternative to help reduce your plastic footprint - for example Edward Bulmer Natural Paints and Graphenstone Paint.
 
Car tyres – Looking for an incentive to drive less? our vehicle tyres are constantly releasing microplastics into the environment and the small pieces of plastic debris then contaminate soil and are washed away with the rain into waterways. A report by Friends of the Earth found an astonishing 68,000 tonnes of microplastic is released by UK vehicles each year, with between 7,000 and 19,000 tonnes ending up in UK waterways. Let's do our bit by taking public transport or dusting off the bicycle in the hall. Or walk. Keep moving..using the power of the human body. 
 
Teabags - Sad isn't it, but not even the beloved teabag is safe from being a microplastic contaminator. And just how do teabags contain plastic? The answer is in the paper - plastic is added to help heat seal teabags during manufacture so that they don’t open and release tea leaves in your cup. This means that when pouring away the dregs, or even composting, you’re releasing microplastics into the environment. To avoid this, try loose tea leaves with a tea ball – they make a great cup of tea! As do those two-in-one teapots with cup. Perfect for a quick cup when you're home alone. And invest in a beautiful teapot for when folks cover round for tea.
 
Clothes – According to Friends of the Earth, up to 64 per cent of are new fabrics are made of plastic such as polyester, nylon, acrylic and polyamide. Every time we wash these clothes, they shed millions of plastic fibres – which end up being drained from your washing machine and heading to wastewater treatment facilities and into our seas. To avoid this stick to materials like cotton and silk and wash synthetic clothes as little as possible. Fill your washing machine and do one big wash every week if possible, not quick washes every day for a pair of socks, one shirt and a T-shirt.
 
Facewipes – As well as finding their way onto beaches after being flushed down the toilet, facewipes are also releasing microfibres, which in turn are being ingested by marine life. Made from plastic, facewipes never disappear – they are simply broken down, becoming microplastics. But this can be easily avoided, simply use a reusable face wipe, otherwise known as a cotton flannel or a piece of muslin. 
 
Tags:
Bathroom, Cleaning, Environment and ecology, Hygiene, Lifestyle, painting and decorating, Wildlife protection, eco friendly, eco home