How to reduce plastic pollution

Discover the simple changes you can make to reduce your everyday plastic use today.

We’ve all heard horror stories about how single-use plastics – like bottles, plastic bags and straws – have polluted our oceans, trapped or choked wildlife and contaminated natural resources. From simple day-to-day changes to taking part in surveys and community events – there are so many ways you can help fight plastic pollution.


Tips for plastic-free living

You can make simple changes to cut down your everyday plastic use. In some cases, going plastic-free could save you money too. Here are some handy tips to reduce your plastic footprint:

  • WWF offers ten tips to reduce your plastic use.
  • Money Saving Expert suggests 13 ways to cut plastic and save cash too.
  • The Women’s Institute has some great advice on buying and washing clothes as part of its In a Spin and End Plastic Soup campaigns.

If you’re ready for a bigger challenge, you could even try going plastic-free for a whole month with the Marine Conservation Society’s plastic challenge. Remember to share your journey using #goplasticfree to raise awareness about plastic pollution.


Recycle what plastics you do use

From bottles and bags to plastic plant pots – find out where to recycle items in your area with Recycle Now.


Watch what you flush

You can also avoid plastic pollution by being careful what you flush down the toilet. Only the three Ps should go down the loo: pee, poo and paper. Everything else should go in the bin.

Sadly, some people flush the wrong things - like wet wipes, dental floss and cotton buds. These often contain plastic. Flushing them down the toilet causes blockages which can lead to flooding, allowing stray plastic waste to litter our beaches and waterways.

Still unsure why what you flush matters? Find out the fun way - meet 'the Unflushables'.  


Support science

You can team up with local people to fight plastic pollution while helping science.

Several research projects are using beach cleans to capture data about the plastic problem worldwide. Here are some studies you could be a part of:


Book a talk

If you’re a member of a social club or community organisation, Southern Water could visit your group to talk about plastic waste.

Enquire about a free community talk to learn how plastic and other unflushable waste impacts your water supply, contributes to flooding and affects our bathing waters.


What about your workplace?

The tips above can help you cut back on plastics in your everyday life. But have you considered how your workplace could reduce its plastic use?

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