The problem of plastic is a global epidemic that no one can escape from. It affects our health, our households, our businesses and our habits. Previously, we discussed how we got here—and the role that China plays on a global scale. We’ve also explored how Recycle 1 helps businesses. But now, we’d like to look at what each of us can do individually to mitigate our problem with plastic. Read on to learn our top tips for reducing plastic use in your everyday life.
Tips for reducing plastic use
These are simple things you can do every day to reduce or eliminate your plastic usage. Start today and form new habits – and see just how easy it can be to survive on less plastic.
- Change your shopping bags! It’s time to ditch the plastic shopping bag. If you must use anything, switch to paper immediately. But, an even better approach would be to purchase a few durable, reusable bags. It’s worth the investment, as you’ll get a lot of use out of them.
- Give up a few things . Old habits die hard, but these habits may be worth giving up: plastic straws, gum (yes, it’s made of synthetic rubber which is a plastic!), and plastic ziplock-style plastic storage bags.
- Re-think your approach to containers. All containers – for leftovers, for takeout food, for grocery goods and even frozen foods. When you really look around, so much of what we purchase and store food in is plastic. Not only will bringing your own containers encourage you to eat healthier, but it will also cut down on waste.
- Say goodbye to grabbing water bottles before you go on a road trip or run weekend errands. More than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every day – a total of about 25 billion last year. Humans buy a million plastic bottles per minute. 90% of those are not recycled.A reusable bottle, one which will last many years, is the way to go.
- Pack a leaner lunch. No, we’re not talking about calories; we’re talking about how you pack your lunch. Plastic wrap, plastic bags—these items just create waste. Instead, you can use glass containers and reusable bags to reduce your impact. At a minimum use multi-use plastic containers rather than single-use containers.
It starts with us. You can make a difference.
Don’t underestimate the positive impact you can have by reducing your waste. Eight countries are responsible for nearly 70 percent of the plastic crisis. In short: many of us (most of us) tend to buy a lot of stuff. We buy too much stuff. We’re wasting versus reusing, recycling and making thoughtful choices about the materials we count on in our everyday lives.
Do you have a tip for reducing your plastic usage? We’d love to hear it and share it with our community. Share your tip in the blog comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.