More than ever we are aware of the harm plastic is causing to our environment.

Ramsey Grammar School students handed their petition against the selling of single-use plastic bottled water in the school canteen to the Chief Minister on Friday.

Their actions have prompted us to ask residents what habitual changes they’ve made as their knowledge of environmental damage grows.

Dawn Quayle, from Douglas, said: ’It was at Cubs that my children were asked to think of how they could save water. As a family we had to think of certain ways we could do this, like switching off the tap when brushing your teeth and making sure the dishwasher was absolutely full when we were putting it on.

’The table water that’s not used at dinner is given to our house plants, such as the kitchen herbs so we’re not buying packets of herbs.’

She added that they use paper straws and have looked at bamboo toothbrushes and even electrical cars due to a lot of media coverage on the environment.

Rob Clynes, 54, from Onchan, said: ’I walk or cycle into work from Onchan. I made the choice with my wife as we thought "why not leave the car at home?". It was more for health purposes to be honest.’

However, he recognises that it reduces his carbon footprint. He wonders what impact Douglas workers who live in the area could make if they did the same.

As well as using reusable bags, he avoids plastic cups. ’These are little things, but does that make a difference?’ he asked.

’One of my girls is really into the plastic issue about micro-plastics. The education system is quite switched on.’

Regaby residents Margaret and Douglas Dodd have a habit of re-using shopping bags. They find the plastic ones unreliable compared to the fabric bags which don’t wear out as quickly.

’When I was a kid, ladies didn’t go out to work. They took their shopping bag so they could only buy what they could carry and it was probably a better way of doing things,’ said Douglas.

Margaret added: ’There’s too much plastic packaging in shops and it’s hard to get them off sometimes.’

Douglas continued: ’You go to the butchers and supermarkets and everything is in plastic.’

They said they make sure to fill their reusable bottle from home every time they go out.

Richard and Susan Robertson, from Union Mills, are grateful at having a kerbside collection, which they use.

’It’s brilliant!’ said Richard. ’In one bin we recycle paper and cardboard and the other is glass and plastic bottles.’

Susan said they try to do their bit to make eco-friendly changes following the publicity on the subject such as not buying water when out and about.

Megan Kneale, 18, from Douglas, said: ’I use a refillable bottle because I thought it was easier to refill a bottle than buy them. I use reusable bags, which are kept in the boot of my car so I remember them. I think the bag charge is a good idea otherwise people just throw them away.’

Megan, who will be doing a beach clean with work this month, added: ’We have two public bins in my estate and I always see kids throwing stuff on the field.’