It takes 450 years, for plastic packaging to break down. It lays in a landfill in great amounts, hurting wildlife and polluting oceans. However, there are actions we can take to mitigate this crisis.

Governments need to continue introducing regulations for businesses to eliminate or reduce excessive packaging and single-use plastics. The UK introduced a law which requires all shops to charge a fee for plastic bags. Previously, many retailers would be giving bags for free. Nowadays, people are encouraged to bring their carrier bags when shopping. It’s even better when businesses act on their own. Another example is the German train company Deutsche Bahn] which will introduce an option to serve food and drinks in porcelain.

We, as individuals, also can make small changes in our daily lives which can make a great positive impact. Such as using our bags when shopping, buying fruits by weight and choosing products with less packaging. Using reusable water and coffee bottles also helps save money and reduce the amount of waste. Handwash can be purchased in larger containers to refill smaller dispensers because the dispenser counts as hard plastic and can’t be recycled. Anything which can be recycled should be carefully sorted, washed and stored. Remembering that some of the items, like film, greasy paper, soft plastics, and most hard plastics – like the white top of the ketchup bottle, can not be recycled at all. It would be better to throw those items into general waste instead of putting them into the recycling bin. This term when we put items which are likely impossible to recycle called “wishcycling” and it causes a significant amount of contamination.

Plastic pollution is a great problem, and we must save the planet for future generations.