31 Jul 2019

Wightman & Parrish


Since the daunting episode of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II aired, showing the ugly truth of what single-use plastics are doing to our environment, the worldwide movement to reduce the use of single-use plastic had a huge kick-start.

Here are the facts:

  • 350 million tonnes of plastic is produced each year
  • Around 8 million tonnes of plastic litter enters the ocean annually[1]
  • 718 pieces of litter were found for every 100m stretch of beach surveyed during the Great British Beach Clean Up in September 2017[2]
  • Plastic takes more than 400 years to degrade
  • Only 12% of plastic waste has been incinerated
  • Plastic in the ocean breaks up into smaller fragments called micro plastics that can be identified in commercial fish that is consumed by humans

So where does plastic waste go?

Empty bottles, straws, carrier bags and food packaging are just some of the items filling up worldwide landfills, cluttering beaches and contributing to ocean plastic pollution.

When plastic ends up in the natural environment, it clogs up the seas and damages the health of wildlife. Fish, birds and mammals are unable to distinguish what is food from plastic, resulting in death from consumption.

How does the plastic we use every day get into the oceans?

The three main ways every day plastics end up in the oceans are littering, throwing plastic in the bin when it could be recycled and flushing products down toilets.

Plastic that could be recycled but is thrown in the bin, ends up in landfills. During the transportation of waste to landfills, the lightweight plastic is blown away and litters beaches and other public areas.

Litter dropped on the street or at a beach doesn’t just sit in one place for the rest of time. Rainwater and wind carries plastic waste into streams and rivers and even through drainage systems into sewers. Drains, streams and rivers all run into the ocean so it acts as a giant conveyor belt of plastic waste.

Daily products such as wet wipes, cotton buds and sanitary products contain microfibers of plastic. These microfibers are often too small to be filtered out by wastewater plants and end up in rivers and oceans. Small marine species consume these microfiber particles, so as well as polluting the environment, we are polluting the food chain.

“We have to act now to try and clear up some of the appalling damage we have made to the ocean … and that is going to require positive action” - Sir David Attenborough.

Environmentally Conscious Product Choices

The rising awareness of this damage to our environment and wildlife has lead people to make more conscious decisions about their actions and purchases. The Wightman & Parrish team are on hand to help you make swaps to eco friendly and plastic alternative products.

We hugely support the movement to cut down plastic waste. From in office recycling to eco-friendly products and the promotion of recyclable packaging, every little helps.

To discuss the range of sustainable products available from Wightman & Parrish, click here or contact us today and we can arrange for a member of the team to contact you to support with your businesses needs. 



T 01323 445 005  

E sales@w-p.co.uk 

[1] Key facts on plastic pollution, Plastic Oceans, Viewed 25th July 2019 https://plasticoceans.uk/the-facts-plastic-pollution/

[2] The Great British Beach Clean 2017 Report, Marine Conservation Society (MCS) 2017