What Are You Flushing Down the Drain?

Did you know that 280 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans each year? As a passionate planet protector, you’ve probably already considered reducing your plastic use and practising recycling to help you live a more eco-friendly life. But have you thought about what you’re flushing down your drain and how it could affect oceans and the planet? Now’s the time to learn what’s happening in your own kitchen and for us to start to work together to move toward increasingly sustainable living.

One of the most important ways to promote a more sustainable lifestyle and a healthy planet is to consider the effects of microplastics and how you can reduce harm through your own choices at home. Let us help guide you through an overview of what microplastics are, how they affect our earth, and steps you can take to help.

What are Microplastics?

Microplastics are small pieces of various types of plastics that are less than 5mm long. They enter natural ecosystems through various channels, one of which being your own kitchen! When plastic particles enter waterways, they don’t break down like many other materials do. Microplastics in water can be extremely harmful to ocean and aquatic life. Furthermore, microplastics in the ocean can get caught in the digestive tracts in turtles, birds, and other sea creatures, which affects their ability to eat and stay alive.

What are Microbeads?

Microbeads are manufactured particles made of solid plastic that are less than 1mm long. Microbeads are essentially smaller versions of microplastics and have the same unfortunate effects on our earth and in our oceans, yet their smaller profile means that their potential damage can be ignored more easily. Do your part to avoid microbeads in addition to microplastics.

Practical Solutions for Your Home Life

Don’t get overwhelmed by the weight of the plastic pollution that threatens the wellbeing of our oceans and earth. Instead, let your passion fuel you toward making a series of small changes over time. When we all do our part to alter our daily routines, our planet will benefit. Start with these simple steps.

  • Choose eco-friendly detergent alternatives or make your own! Try this simple solution that will leave your clothes looking and smelling fresh while skipping the toll regular detergents can take on our planet.
  • Check the ingredients on face washes and other skincare products that go down the bathroom sink, as they often have microbeads and microplastic particles.
  • Skip the antibacterial soap and cleaning products that contain a registered pesticide that can harm marine life. Instead, choose natural products that work just as well but don’t harm sea creatures.
  • Shop around and do your research! Get into the habit of checking the ingredients list before buying new products. Double-check that the items you’re buying are microbeads free, so you don’t contribute to the dangerous plastic particles that hurt our beautiful ocean waters.
  • Fix any leaks from your car and line your driveway to collect oil and other potentially hazardous materials that can be emitted from your vehicle.
  • Avoid pesticides or chemical fertilisers.
  • Utilise a high-quality water bottle that you can reuse again and again, instead of plastic bottles that can exist in landfills for up to 400 years before being broken down.
  • Ensure your drinking water has been filtered to reduce impurities that may exist in tap water using a tap filter system or water filter jugs.

Even though these changes may seem small and insignificant to you, when we all do our part to make these small changes, we can make a big difference together. Rely on resources like Plastic Free July if you're looking information and for more ways to cut out single-use plastics and nanoplastics from your drainage and your life.

Filtering out Microplastics

Along with microplastics, elements like chlorine and even some metals can get into our tap water from pipes and the environment. Not only are these impurities going straight down your sink drain, they're also making their way into the water you ingest and the water that goes down the drain.

In Australia and New Zealand, events like drought or fire can further affect our tap water even more than the weather. Using on tap filtration instantly filters your tap water so that all that makes its way to your sink is clean water. All you have to do is replace the filter cartridge as needed, and the LED screen which counts down the remaining litres from 600L lets you know when it's time.

Let’s Improve Our Oceans Together

“The greatest danger to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert Swan

Changing the world and saving our ocean life feels like an impossible challenge to conquer alone, but it's easier when we work together. When we all make small changes over time, we make strides toward an increasingly healthy planet and ecosystem together. Let’s continue to do our part to live sustainably for the sake of our beautiful planet.