How many times a day do you think you hear the word plastic? Plastic wrapping, plastic straws, plastic waste, plastic pollution… the list goes on. Plastic has become a central topic in our lives over the past deca
de, and not in a good way. The issue is that the very purpose of creating plastic (i.e. it’s longevity) has become its downfall. We are now overrun with plastic that is polluting our oceans, destroying marine life and biodiversity. In fact, the OceanConservancy estimates that every year 8 million metric tonnes of plastic enter our ocean, on top of the 150 million metric tonnes that currently circulate our marine environments – depressing right?
Clearly this amount of plastic waste is not sustainable. A study by researchers from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, University of Oxford, University of Leeds and Common Seas found that if we continue at the rat
e we’re going there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050. This is a frightening prospect. The effects of this plastic on marine life and our climate are overwhelming. The IUCN points to the ‘ingestion, suffocation and entanglement of hundreds of marine species.’ Animals such as seabirds, whales, fishes and turtles mistake plastic waste for prey and die of starvation as their stomachs fill with plastic debris – and that’s just the plastic we can see. The issue of microplastics also has extremely dire consequences for marine life. The National Geographic has said they block digestive systems, diminishing the urge to eat, and alters the feeding behaviour of those animals that ingest them. So, we know there is a plastic emergency, but what can we do as consumers to act on this?
All hope is not lost, given people’s changing mindsets towards waste and the prevalence of these issues in the media – and it’s the small things you can do to make a big difference. Take the image of a turtle with a plastic straw up its nose back in 2015. The widespread public outrage from this image actually led to the UK government banning plastic straws in 2020. There is a myriad of other ways you can help reduce your plastic waste; the WWF has a great list here - https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/ten-tips-reduce-your-plastic-footprint.
At 8six400 we are committed to reducing plastic waste. That is why all our products are made from recycled plastic. This is our solution to the plastic emergency. In producing our products, we are able measure the positive environmental impact. For example, one t-shirt equates to 12 recycled plastic bottles, one cap = 8. By taking plastic from the ocean, (off the coasts of Spain and Portugal to be specific) we are not only lessening the impact on our marine environment, but also creating stylish clothing that you can wear. It’s a win win. We know that there is a huge amount more to do to tackle the plastic problem, but choosing sustainable clothing is a good place to start.