A recent study has shown that 32% of fish in the River Thames have microplastics in their gut. Tiny bits of plastic that have the potential to impact entire ecosystems and food chains. In fact, you may be eating microplastics without even realising it. Apparently, they can be found in canned fish, mussels, sea salt, and much more.

They’ve even made their way into our tap water.

Here are five ways you can turn your back on single-use plastics and help save the oceans:

1. Switch to reusables

Instead of continually buying plastic water bottles and then endlessly searching for bins, why not switch to a reusable water bottle? (And most businesses will be happy to refill this free of charge). Check out these cool ones with a water filter.  

2. Tame your coffee habit

If you love coffee as much as we do, then you’re probably drinking way too much of it. Which means that you’re contributing to the fact that up to 2.5 billion non-reusable coffee cups are thrown away every year across the UK. Most shockingly of all, 99% of these cups cannot be recycled.

Switching to a reusable coffee cup is very easy and there’s loads of choice. Check out the Independent’s list of the top 10 reusable coffee cups.

With the introduction of the 25p charge on disposable coffee cups, you’ll literally be saving money by making the switch (as well as reducing the chance of anything you buy ending up in the sea – or on your plate).  

3. The final straw

This is probably the most easily avoidable plastic imposter on the list. When you’re next down your local, remember to refuse a plastic straw with your drink. Luckily many establishments now offer paper alternatives, but if not just drink straight from the glass.

4. Your toilet is not your bin

So don’t treat it like one. Throwing things like wet-wipes, cigarette butts or anything else that is not paper down the loo can end up swimming in our rivers and oceans. Which isn’t what any of us want.

5. Make the government take action

It takes up to a thousand years for plastic to degrade, and yet we only use a non-reusable coffee cup, water bottle or plastic bag for about 12 minutes on average. It’s a disaster to our environment and deadly to wildlife.

Whilst taking small steps in your life to reduce the impact you have on plastic pollution is incredibly valuable, the most important solution to this disaster is for the government to take action.

Why not start tackling plastic pollution by signing this petition from Friends of the Earth to stop plastic choking our oceans, killing marine life and infecting our food chains.

Featured image credit: Plastic washed ashore in San Francisco. Credit: Kevin Krejci