Sustainable Swaps:
Plastic Free Day

Mikaela Walsh, 4ocean Research Analyst

Take the pledge to reduce your single-use plastic consumption in recognition of Plastic Free Day.

Plastic pollution is widely observed in our oceans and along our coastlines. For International Plastic Free Day, we encourage you to refrain from using as much plastic as possible and reflect on the amount of plastic used in your normal daily activities.

If we are being honest, completely refraining from using any form of plastic is unavoidable in today’s world. Still, you can start by ensuring your single-use plastic consumption is minimal.

We advocate for stopping the use of single-use plastic because in most cases, there are eco-friendly alternatives or it is simply unnecessary. Each time you use plastic and discard it, the item will outlast a human lifespan on Earth.

Step one is being conscious of how many single-use plastic items you use; step two is decreasing the amount and avoiding it when possible.

One of our mottos at 4ocean is "nudge, don't judge," and we recognize that it is impossible to completely avoid all plastic. Ending the oceanic plastic crisis starts at home with lifestyle changes and raising awareness. Eliminate plastic from the source before it enters the ocean.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.


Now let’s talk about some amazing alternatives to plastic items.

Swap single-use plastic bags for reusable options. This is a very easy and powerful way to decrease plastic use. The average use of a plastic bag is 12 minutes. Plastic stays on earth for decades and is arguably one of the most detrimental forms due to its thin flexibility. When this thin material breaks down into microscopic pieces, it is extremely difficult to see and it’s easily ingested by organisms.


Swap traditional sponges
; most sponges used for cleaning are composed of plastic and have non-biodegradable properties. Prevalence of sponges today are made from petroleum-based plastic that can take hundreds of years to decompose in the natural environment.


Swap paper towels
for reusable clothes. Our mission is to end the oceanic plastic crisis. Still, another extremely important conservation effort that we hold near our hearts is decreasing the number of trees being cut down that provide our earth with oxygen. Deforestation is a huge issue, involving cutting down more trees than planting trees.


Swap personal care items
for eco-friendly options. Most razors and toothbrushes utilized today are made from dense, non-recyclable plastic materials. A great way to help end the oceanic plastic crisis is to look for biodegradable items.


So, why is avoiding single-use plastic in your daily life so important? Simply put, plastic is made to last forever. This plastic has been seen across our oceans and has terrible, irreversible effects on marine life. Plastic particles have even been found in human blood. Humans consume up to 90,000 additional microplastics annually when drinking from single-use plastic water bottles. Plastic has been observed in the human body numerous times, but its effects are vastly unknown. Avoiding plastic containers and water bottles can decrease the microplastics and toxins you are exposed to daily.


Making small lifestyle swaps is extremely beneficial to our ecosystem and equally important to your health.