Your plastic waste exposed: How your favourite treats are adding to the rubbish pile
Dip your hand into a box of chocolates and come back with a fistful of individually packaged treats. Half an hour later, and your desk is covered with brightly coloured detritus. What do you do with the mess?
Convenience comes at a cost; the snacks we eat can create an inordinate amount of waste. Worse, while it may first appear that snack wrappers are recyclable, they’re often not – or are so impractical to break apart that they may as well not be.
So, if all these components of packaging are not being recycled and reused, where is it all going? Last year, The Guardian reported that about 12 tonnes of plastic litter enter the oceans every year, some of which occasionally finds its way to our beaches.
The Marine Conservation Society documented last year that beach litter rose 10% in the U.K. alone. About 7,000 volunteers at the 2017 Great British Beach Clean picked up an average of 718 pieces of rubbish for every 100 metres cleaned from 339 U.K. beaches. What’s more, litter from food and drink materials accounted for 20% of the rubbish found on beaches. 138 out of every 718 pieces of junk found were from “on the go” single-use materials, such as food wrappers, straws, drink bottles and plastic cutlery.
To show exactly how much or this packaging goes to waste in the chocolates, crisps and sweets we eat, we took a trip to the snack aisle to show