The Plastic Problem

The Plastic Problem

The Plastic Tide is growing by 8 million metric tonnes a year. If nothing is done, it is estimated that this figure will rise to 80 million metric tonnes a year by 2025.  

Sadly this is a tide that does not recede. It consists of all sizes of plastics, with larger pieces taking at least 400 years to break down, into fragments known as microplastics.  These and other tiny pieces of plastic, like microbeads, accumulate, forming an oceanic soup that recent estimates put at 15 to 50 trillion pieces. 

Increasing numbers of marine animals die each year through starvation due to eating plastic that stays in their stomach making them feel full. This also affects sea birds; a recent study estimates that 90% of seabirds carry around 10% of their body weight in plastics. In the next 30 years this figure is expected to reach 99%.

To put this another way….out of 100 sea birds flying in 30 years from now 99 of them will have stomachs full of plastic.

We can all do more to reduce our dependency on plastic, the biggest of these is through our choice of products, and through proper recycling Voting with our money is one of the best way to minimise our contribution to the problem.

For more information about the plastic problem, please read more about our Plastic Relief Campaign

and have a look at the following two videos:

Plastic Pollution – Kurzgesagt

What really happens when you throw plastic away? –

Why Recycle?

Why Recycle?

With the negative environmental effects of the Western World increasingly on everyones radar we are all looking for ways to do our bit. But while we are all aware we should recycle more, do we actually know why? Is there any benefit to us as individuals? And how does it help the environment?

This post covers a few environmental facts, but primarily focuses on the benefits of recycling to hopefully give you food for thought the next time you throw away that empty plastic bottle or drinks can.

Conserving Natural Resources

Every time you recycle it keeps valuable resources out of the waste stream. Resources such as oil, trees, water and mineral ore can all be put back into the beginning of the production cycle and save unnecessary energy wastage. For example, paper can be recycled up to seven times and aluminium, steel and glass infinitely, so it’s hugely wasteful to be using raw materials each time to manufacture new products. The process required to recycle paper also uses 90% less water than making it from scratch.

Reduces Energy Consumption

The processes required to bring the recycled materials back into a new product often uses substantially less energy than using virgin materials. With regards to energy, the paper recycling process uses 50% less energy to produce the same amount of paper when recycled than if using the raw materials.

Saves landfill space

Landfill space takes up a colossal amount of our natural environment. The waste is trucked around the countryside to one of the 300+ landfill sites we have in the UK, and then piled high. Needless to say, every item that is recycled is one less item that makes it way to the top of this pile. A large number of the landfill sites in the country are now reaching capacity and our waste is increasingly having to be shipped abroad for processing. This releases even greater amounts of CO2 and just hides the problem. Recycling is key in saving the space of our landfill sites for genuine non-recyclable items.

Decreases Pollution / Cuts out greenhouse gases

These landfill sites not only smell horrible, they look disgusting and attract flies and other scavengers. But looking past the superficial characteristics, far more importantly, they are emitting dangerous greenhouse gases, deadly toxins and leachate. When organic waste such as food scraps and green waste is put into landfill it is generally compacted and then covered. Eventually this releases methane gas, a greenhouse gas which is 21 times more harmful than CO2. To help reduce this methane release process we can compost our green waste and leftover food scraps at home. Then use the composted material for fertiliser.

Fuelled by firepot – outdoor food review (plus shop links!)

Fuelled by firepot – outdoor food review (plus shop links!)

Made in a Dorset barn, Firepot Food is healthy, nutritious, lightweight and delicious – James and I approve it for any adventure, big or small! Having tested it on an arctic training expedition in Norway we are now using Firepot food for all our adventures, and they’ll be the fuel we use to power us across Greenland too. We’ll be brief, but below are the 2 things we love the most – aside from the delicious taste of course…

Made with the environment in mind
With no palm oil and vegan/veggie options available (like the posh baked beans which are my favourite – see links below) Firepot are by far the best zero impact option we’ve found in this space. What’s more you can order your meals in compostable bags too!

Just look at the ingredients:
Firepot is made from 100 percent natural products and the flavour really shows as a result. 

In short we at ZIA are proud to be #fuelledbyfirepot !!

#fuelledbyfirepot - and running up those hills in Norway!