11 Easy Ways To Reduce Plastic Use Today
By now, we are all aware that plastic garbage takes hundreds of years to degrade. And although recycling can help reduce the waste that lands in waterways and ecosystems, only a few plastic types can be recycled fully. This increases the toxins that they release into the environment.
It is true that in our modern lives, plastic surrounds us everywhere. Getting completely rid of it might be next to impossible. However, here are some easy ways to reduce plastic use and try to make this world plastic free.
1. Shop in bulk
For many of us, most plastic waste is generated in the kitchen. Hence, one of the best ways to reduce packaging waste is to carry your bags and stock up on groceries in bulk. If possible, carry paper containers or jars and fill them up. Not only is this more convenient and saves time, but also saves on a lot of packaging.
2. Carry your shopping bags
Studies show that up to one trillion plastic bags are used each year all over the world. And even though they are very readily available to shoppers, these bags have a high environmental cost and are one of the most abundantly present forms of garbage. Bringing your reusable cloth or canvas bag is not common yet but great for the environment. Some governments have even implemented policies to encourage people to do it. Disposable shopping bags have even been banned in a lot of countries. If you aren’t carrying much weight, you may even choose to skip the bag altogether and take the groceries yourself.
3. Stop buying bottled water
Until and unless there is some severe contamination crisis, plastic water bottles are an easy target for reducing plastic waste. Instead, keep a refillable steel or glass bottle handy.
4. Carry your own thermos/glass mug to the coffee shop
Extending the use of “refillable”, taking your thermos or even a glass mug with a lid to your regular coffee shop is a great way to reduce your use of plastic. Disposable coffee cups usually look like paper, but they are usually lined with polyethene, a type of plastic resin. These materials can be recycled, but most places lack the infrastructure to do so. The lids and stirrers, polystyrene foam cups, can be avoided entirely with your mug.
5. Choose cardboard over plastic
It is easier to recycle cardboard than plastic. Besides that, paper products tend to biodegrade more easily without adding a lot of weight, the way glass or aluminium can. An even better choice will be to check if companies source their cardboard sustainably.
6. Avoid using straws
Whether at home or ordering a drink at a bar or restaurant, plastic straws are often a single-use item which is entirely unnecessary.
7. Replace disposable diapers with cloth
If you have a young baby, you must be well aware of how many diapers can end up in the trash every day. Use reusable, washable cloth diapers and notice the difference.
8. Make your period waste-free
There are many non-disposable options available that are defined to cut down on period waste – menstrual cups to DIY cloth pads – all these choices reduce the incredible amount of packaging that most sanitary napkins and tampons are packaged in. If you do not wish to skip using tampons, do consider avoiding brands with plastic applicators.
9. Eco-friendly parties for the win
Host parties and get-togethers that are eco-friendly – Children might love balloons, but it is not good for animals, especially marine creatures who mistake it for food. That is why we suggest you switch to eco-friendly and reusable decorations at your next party. You can also encourage your guests to use recycled paper as a gift wrap. Another good idea is to use jars instead of plastic cups and bottles.
10. Replan your food storage ways
Plastic bags, plastic wraps, and plastic storage containers are worth re-considering and evaluating. Why not pack your food in bento boxes, tiffins, etc.? Stop using plastic zipper bags, use jars or glass containers in your fridge. When it comes to carrying your packed lunches or snacks, these containers can be used and reused.
11. Never Litter
The simplest way to reduce plastic waste is to never litter your surroundings. Always put your trash in dustbins to reduce the amount of waste going into rivers and lakes. Also, don’t forget to inculcate this habit in your children.
Tip: Head to DBS to check out their sustainability approach and their constant endeavours to promote responsible and mindful business practices.