zero waste design. use less plastic

Tips on Reducing Plastic Use

Headlines on environmental problems stemming from single-use plastics are common. Also, about eight to nine million tons of plastic finds its way in oceans, harming marine resources. Not to mention, an equal amount of plastic stands in landfills. While governments are taking the necessary steps to bring down the usage of plastic, it’s the responsibility of people to make the government initiative a big success. If you want to make the world plastic-free, here are important tips on reducing plastic use. 

Switch to reusable carry bags

When shopping for fresh vegetables and fruits, most of the people choose plastic packing options. After reaching home, these plastic packing bags are thrown out as trash. It’s this plastic waste that poses serious environmental issues and impacts your surroundings.

So make it a habit to say no to such plastic packing bags. Instead, use a bag made out of thin clothing. You can also opt for paper bags for shopping. These bags can be reused again and again for buying fruits and veggies. As well as saving money and resources, you contribute towards a better living planet with reusable carry bags. 

Store leftover items in glass jars

Various uncooked cereals, grains, beans and pasta for healthy cooking in glass jars on wooden table, white background, close-up. Clean eating, vegan, balanced dieting food

According to many studies carried all over the world, storing food products in plastic jars is harmful. Plastic destroys the nutrients in food. Also, the toxins leaching in plastic get passed on to whatever food products you store inside the plastic jars. When consuming food, you gulp down those harmful elements in your stomach.

As an alternative to plastic jars, glass is a safe option. You can put leftover food items in glass jars without worrying about any health issue. By saying good-bye to plastic jars, you not only reduce plastic use but also ensure your health and hygiene. 

Give away disposable cutlery and straws

Plastic cutlery

Disposable cutlery and straws are some of the worst plastic polluting culprits. Like plastic bottles and bags, single-use straws and utensils (made out of plastic) are only used once before they’re thrown away. Then these pollutants litter your countryside and town, enter your waterways or get collected in a landfill. Doing away with straws and cutlery is one of the best tips on reducing plastic use.

There are many options and alternatives, and you don’t have to expend anything on these options. You can grab a fork, spoon or stainless steel knife from your home cutlery and keep them in a napkin or handkerchief with a handy rubber band around it. As far as straws are concerned, they’re not a necessity. You can just skip them and take the drink directly from a glass or bottle. 

McDonald’s recently made a change from plastic straws to paper straws to help reduce the amount of one time use plastic. While I personally don’t mind them, there are some which are calling for a petition to bring back plastic straws. I really hope McDonalds ignores this petition – its a great step by one of the world’s biggest companies.

Pack your lunch and snacks in reusable boxes

There are various reasons why you may want to take lunch/snacks with you at work, school, park or beach. As well as saving money, you’ll be happy to eat healthier foods prepared at home. Although grabbing a lunch box saves a lot of single-use take-away plastic, there’s one challenge that you face – plastic lunch box.

If you’re serious about reducing plastic from your day-to-day life, you should look for an alternative to such boxes. A stainless steel lunch container is the best choice to get rid of plastic containers. In addition to avoiding the risks of toxins leaching in your food, you play an important role in curbing the usage of plastic. 

Carry a reusable glass water bottle

Many people are in the habit of using plastic water bottles. Some of them even argue that they reuse those bottles and don’t throw them away. However, plastic bottles are bound to break after some time. When this happens, you simply dispose of those bottles. Also, the water that you drink through plastic bottles isn’t hygienic. Toxins from plastic bottles leech into the water and find their way into your body.

Carrying a reusable glass or steel bottle is among the best tips on reducing plastic use. They’re easy to clean and last longer with little care and attention. Also, if these bottles get completely damaged, they can be reused for good. Plus, the waste resulting from glass or steel bottles doesn’t pose any serious threat to the environment. 

Bring your reusable cup

Nowadays, it’s usual to spend your days racing from one commitment to another without having time for making a coffee. To do away with tiredness resulting from daily stress, people often grab a cup of coffee on the go. However, most of these cups are made of plastic. After sipping coffee, people just throw them in a dustbin or trash. This kind of habit is actually having harmful effects on the environment.

Around 2.5 billion plastic coffee cups are thrown each year alone in the United Kingdom. That equates to 5,000 plastic cups every minute. Out of these thrown away cups, 99 percent aren’t recycled. Even paper cups lined with plastic are hard to recycle. Consequently, the disposable cups as well as their lids finish up in a landfill or pollute oceans and waterways.

The best way to ensure that you don’t contribute to this problem is to carry a reusable cup. When it comes to Eco-friendly coffee cups, the choices are endless. You can either use a clay cup or a cup made out of thick paper. Besides being one of the best tips on reducing plastic use, Eco-friendly cups can save some money on your coffee. Many Eco-conscious coffee shops offer generous discounts to customers who bring reusable cups with them. 

This is one great tip you can use when travelling as well, take your own reusable cup and reduce your plastic usage as you explore the globe.

Buy milk in glass bottles

In order to protect the milk from getting spilled during transportation and delivery, many milk suppliers have been using plastic bottles. However, such bottles end up in waterways or landfills, thus creating environmental hazards. If you wish to do away with this issue and want to be remembered as a better citizen of a green planet, don’t buy milk in plastic bottles.

Instead, insist on milk filled in returnable glass bottles. Various Eco-minded shops have started delivering milk in glass bottles. Just get in touch with such shops to safeguard your health as well as the environment. 

Bottom line

Getting rid of plastic is a collective responsibility. Instead of blaming the government and municipal corporations, take an initiative to reduce the usage of plastic from your daily life. Be an active and alert citizen and stick to the above tips on reducing plastic use. After a couple of decades, you’ll see a greener planet that you can leave for your generations and be remembered for contributing to a big cause. 

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