Plastic People: how to reduce our waste in the modern world

Wherever you are in the world and no matter what you are doing, plastic is everywhere. From bottles to straws to wrappers, these are just a few small items that combine to create a huge amount of destruction. And these are just the plastics that we can actually see. We are all slowly being educated about the harmful effects that plastics are having on our planet but still we fail to move away from the mentality of it being acceptable by passing it off as being ‘just one bottle’ or by claiming that ‘it’s recyclable’ but unfortunately this doesn’t suffice. The scary truth is that it is this mentality which has got our planet into the mess it is in today.

It may seem like an impossible dream to end the use of harmful plastics, but we can hinder the effects that our consumption is having on ourselves and on our planet. By adopting new behaviours we can gradually become more aware of how to reduce our destructive ways. Whether you are a gal that gigs or an emerging environmental trooper (or both!), here are some top tips for those who want to take a stance on this overwhelming outbreak of our own disruptive actions!

Pamper yourself clean

As girls, we use hundreds of different items from our favourite stores on a day to day basis and many of us would find it hard to resist from doing so. The scary thing is that our cosmetics come packaged in plastic bottles and once we run out we throw it away because they become ‘useless’ to us! But, why not switch to shampoo and conditioners bars? Not only are they plastic free but they last so much longer working out cheaper for us! Shampoo bars are usually made of more natural products and companies such as LUSH will guarantee cruelty-free products too so it’s a win-win situation! The great thing is that our hair will glow, our bank accounts will be happier and that’s less plastic bottles ending up in landfill or in our oceans.

That time of the month

Girls spend their time awaiting their periods, going on our periods and recovering from our periods until it starts all over again. Every single woman will have a period at some point in their lives which means that almost 3.5 billion women are buying and using sanitary products during their time of the month. Over time, we notice how expensive these items become as well as the amount of waste which is produced as a result. Tampons are often packaged in plastic applicators as well as the packaging that holds both sanitary pads and tampons. The amount of extra plastic around these products is horrendous. This waste is not usually biodegradable and as a result it will remain on the planet for hundreds of years. So, girls must unite to tackle period problems and not let mother nature be a reason to affect our mother earth. Buying biodegradable products can reduce the amount of sanitary waste going to landfill or ending up in our oceans. Even better, purchase a menstrual cup! They may seem pricey but in the long term they will save you hundreds of pounds as well as ensuring a plastic free period!


We need to drink 2 litres of water every day no matter who we are to stay as healthy as possible! Save time, money and the planet by purchasing a reusable water bottle which you can fill up anywhere at anytime! Again, this is a one-time efficient purchase as they can save you on buying unnecessary bottles of water so that ultimately we can cut the demand of plastic bottles!

Going out-out

If you’re heading out to restaurants or bars for some celebratory drinks, tell the bartender that you don’t need a straw. Again, it seems like a very small action to take but if you imagine that everybody starts to refuse straws then pubs and bars will realise that they are no longer necessary. The easiest thing to do is to ‘stop sucking’ but failing that try to use biodegradable or paper straws.

As women, we are gradually coming together to target current affairs. Eco-feminist approaches fight for the right for women to be liberated in turn with an equal attempt to liberate nature. Nature is often viewed as being inferior, just as women are often perceived in modern societies. During this empowering time of female voices, we can cooperate whilst simultaneously highlighting the importance of mother nature to ensure we protect everything we have. Just as women fought for equal rights, we must now continue this demand to ensure that all living things are treated intrinsically just as we as women want to be.

As  young women, the ability to have your voice heard is still a difficulty in the modern day, and with few women being recognised for their environmental work, it is a persistent struggle to get your point across. Although the above pointers are basic and self-descriptive, the ultimate aim is to ‘encourage encouragement’ to hopefully create a chain reaction of boys, girls, men and women working together to fight for the right of the environment to survive and flourish just as humanity also plans to do.

Sadly it is true that we are not going to eliminate plastic waste completely, but by making smarter and more decisive choices about what we need to use, we can join together to encourage others to join us! Not only will you feel better about your actions, you will also be contributing to protecting the planet that we live on. Plastic has only been a mass produced item for the last 100 to 150 years, so as a species we have survived for millions of years before this wasteful product took over so why do we need to be reliant on it? Let’s unite as a team to make empowering decisions and encourage others to make rational choices to save our earth and to flourish as future decision makers.

Charlotte Grisenthwaite

Image by Jess Brown

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