With a local group of like-minded people, I go out to pick up plastic along the beaches. The last two times we were out we got about 2 tonnes of plastic! Most of it is washed up from the storms. If it isn't in the ocean in the first place it can't wash up on the beach.
There were loads of soda bottles and hundreds of plastic ear bud sticks! How did so many Q-tip sticks get in the ocean? I'll tell you. When some people clean their ears, they flush the Q-tip down the toilet. It then ends up in the sea.
Please don't flush ear buds, tampons, plastic tampon applicators, condoms or wipes! None of them are disposable. They DO go away once you flush them, but they don't disappear!
I have started to take little steps in the reduction of plastic in our lives. Farewell to disposable and convenient plastic containers. As a family we have been recycling for years. Our area is the worst in the UK for recycling. There are no collections or separating out the plastic and metal for recycling. So we do that here at home.
I planted a box hedge years ago. It's all mature and dense now. We hide the empty chicken feed bags behind it and fill those up with plastic milk jugs and dog food cans. When we have a huge amount or they start blowing around in the wind, we take them to the nearest recycling centre.
The baby steps included going back to big box powders when buying laundry soap. It is considerably less expensive. Bars of soap instead of liquid hand soap.
Trying really had to NOT use plastic when I buy produce at the supermarket. They shrink-wrap EVERYTHING and put bananas in plastic bags! Fruits and vegetables don't need that! They come already protected from the elements! We have a way to go with supermarkets.
I was told that every toothbrush I have ever had is still around. With this in mind, I bought some bamboo toothbrushes for our family.
I also got The Man of the Place a replica of his dad's old safety razor.
We are now regretting that we had thrown out his dad's razor and his uncle's old razor when we cleaned their houses out. Disposable razors are a nightmare to recycle as they have plastic and metal in them. He is delighted with the shave he gets with the old fashioned razor. We will save a load of money on not buying those super expensive disposable razors anymore. I haven't tried it on myself yet. Eek. We have to make a container for the old blades so that they're just not lying around.
Driving out of the way to a market or making a special trip to the recycling centre defeats the object of recycling. I just try to incorporate the journey into daily life.
There are some areas where you just can't avoid plastic. . . but if we all start taking small steps.