Top 5 Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste
Look around you and count the number of things that are not made from plastic. Now look around again and count the number of items that are made from plastic. The latter will definitely outweigh the former by a large margin. We live in a world where plastic is omnipresent. Most of the things we buy, sell, own, use, give and receive have some sort of plastic component in them. Right from the smallest items like straws to cosmetic containers to furniture – almost everything has plastic in it. But what we don’t realize is how harmful plastic is to our environment. It takes about 450 – 500 years for a single use plastic bag or bottle of water to decompose. Most of our plastic waste ends up in the landfill or in the ocean, and neither is equipped to handle the amount of plastic waste that we generate every day. While plastic is a menace, it is not yet completely avoidable in daily life. But there are certain ways by which you can reduce plastic waste and make your own little contribution to saving the earth. Become an eco-warrior and try out these top 5 ways to reduce plastic waste.
Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste – Try Reusable Produce Bags
One of the biggest culprits of plastic waste is single-use plastic, and consists of plastic items that are used just once and then discarded. Items like plastic grocery bags, bottled water, forks and knives, coffee cup lids, straws, etc. are examples of singe-use plastic. One of the easiest ways to reduce plastic waste is to stop using plastic bags while shopping for produce in the supermarket.
Most supermarket produce sections have a roll of single-use, thin plastic bags that customers can use to bag, weigh and tag their produce for the cashier. But most often these plastic produce bags just end up in the trashcan after you’ve transferred the produce to your refrigerator. Cut down on your plastic bag consumption and try reusable produce bags instead. You can use cloth, mesh, jute, paper or any other sustainable option to bag your vegetables and fruits at the supermarket. Plus, these are easy to weigh and tag at the supermarket, store in your purse or car, and will last you for years!
Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste – Carry Your Own Steel or Paper Straws
Another felon in the single-use plastic category, plastic straws are notoriously difficult to recycle or decompose. Think of the number of plastic straws that you use every day with your iced coffee, cocktails, sodas, etc. and how much plastic waste they generate. We are facing such alarming levels of plastic pollution that cities like New York have now completely banned the use of plastic straws!
Do your bit to save the planet and ditch the plastic straws completely: carry your own steel or paper straws instead. Personal-use steel straws are easy to use, clean and carry around. Likewise, paper straws are lightweight, convenient and add a bit of fun to your drinks with their pretty colors and patterns. Easier still, have your drinks straight from the cup and eliminate straws completely.
Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste – Buy Refillable Cosmetics
Makeup containers are one of the products responsible for the tons of plastic waste being dumped into our oceans. Even though many cosmetic brands have started manufacturing vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics, they are still being packaged in plastic containers that ultimately end up in trash.
Go the extra mile and try to buy refillable cosmetics or ones that come in glass or paper containers. Many cosmetic brands these days provide the option of bringing in your own refillable containers that you can top up with your favorite shade of lipstick, eye shadow or blush. Brands like Lush are known for creating products that are completely free of containers. Other ways to reduce plastic waste is buying products of companies that have refillable packaging like Kjaer Weis, Stila, Myro, Rituals, Aveda, etc.
Ditch Body Wash for a Bar of Soap
Remember a simpler time not so long ago when we used just a bar of soap instead of body wash, shower gels and a range of other fancy bath-time products. Maybe it’s time to go back to the good old days of soaps since all the fancy bath product containers these days are made from plastic, which just adds to the problem of plastic pollution.
One of the ways to reduce plastic waste is to switch to bath soaps that are packaged in paper and much better for the environment. And you don’t need to compromise on the quality of your bath products; try handmade artisanal soaps with beautiful fragrances like lavender, rose, jasmine, honey, lemon, etc. Some companies even offer shampoo bars that help you cut back on plastic shampoo containers.
Say No to Bottled Water
It is estimated that more than a million plastic bottles of water are bought each minute, and less than 25% of these bottles go to recycling bins. The rest make their way to landfills or clog up our rivers, lakes, and oceans. But there is an easy solution to this problem; all we need to do is say no to bottled water. Use a refillable water bottle when you are out, and drink tap water when you are at home. If you are not too sure about the quality of tap water in your city, fit a water purifier to your faucet. This is one of the easiest ways to reduce plastic waste.
If you look closely, finding ways to reduce plastic waste isn’t all that difficult. All we need to do is find eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives that will help preserve our planet for the generations to come.