Plastic pollution has made the headlines in recent months with the government promising to tackle the problem around the country.
The largest amount of single-use plastic waste coming from the food and drink sector, so what can you do to help reduce your plastic waste?
As part of our plastic pollution series, we have spoken to people across the Midlands who are helping find a solution.
- Reusable bottles
The UK uses 13 billion plastic bottles a year, yet only 7.5 billion of those are recycled. The rest is taken to landfills, incinerated or littered and it costs councils on average of £778 million a year to clear it up.
A reusable bottle can be the answer to reducing plastic bottle waste, however ITV News Central found that there were only a handful of public water fountains in the region.
Now some businesses are trying to change that by providing free refills to whoever wants one.
Nicole Barratt-Phillips runs a grocery store in Hednesford and has signed up to the refill scheme, an app that shows users where they can get a free drink of water.
Recycling items is one way to reduce waste and the impact on the environment. Plastics can only be recycled a few times before it becomes unusable, but recycling materials still reduces plastic pollution.
Veolia, who run a recycling plant in Mansfield, are advising people to separate their rubbish properly in order for them to recycle it properly and ultimately save money in the long run.
The company is also calling for a unified recycling systems around councils across the UK to make it easier for households.
- Being ‘plastic clever’
Some councils, like Gedling Borough Council, have pledged to become a 'plastic clever' authority.
This is where they aim to reduce their use of single-use plastics.
The council plans to phase out all sales of plastic, such as bottles, cutlery and straws and even provide free reusable bottles at council-run leisure centres.
Jenny Derry from Staffordshire has started running a plastic free shop online from the bedroom of her parents' home.
She decided to run 'Anything But Plastic' after growing tired of the amount of plastic packaging in shops.
The business has taken off and she's reported a £17,000 turnover in just four months.