Single-use plastics, reduce waste for a more Eco-friendly home.
Did you know that an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic flow into the oceans every year? And around 40% of all plastic made every year is plastic packaging that is used once and discarded? Plastic packaging and other types of single-use plastics are a major contributor to plastic as a global pollutant.
There are ways that you can help reduce plastic pollution by limiting the amount of single-use plastics that you use in your everyday life. It may seem overwhelming, but limiting the number of single-use plastics is not as complicated as it appears! The following are some simple and effective ways that you can reduce waste and create a more Eco-friendly home.
#1: Make the switch to reusable bags
Start switching out plastic bags for reusable bags and you will drastically reduce the amount of single-use plastics in your home. Reusable bags come in many different shapes and sizes.
Some of the most common reusable bags include grocery store bags, but don't limit yourself to bags you take when shopping. For instance, reusable sandwich bags can replace plastic zipper bags that you might use for work or school lunches. Small canvas bags can be used to carry produce instead of the thin plastic bags you find in the produce section of the store.
#2: Buy a reusable water bottle to replace plastic ones
Water is delicious, but plastic water bottles contribute to a significant amount of plastic waste every year. Reaching for a plastic bottle that you throw out after the last sip, buy a good quality reusable water bottle. Bonus: these often come with material that will keep your water cool all day, so you don't even have to store them in the fridge! If you're worried about the taste, water bottle with a built-in filter.
#3: Have a set of containers and bags in your car for take-out
If you go out to restaurants, then you will probably come home with a doggy bag of leftovers—but don't let the restaurant pack them up with wasteful single-use plastic boxes and bags. Instead, always have a set of containers and bags in your car that you can bring into the restaurant so that you can pack up your food in something less wasteful.
#4: Phase out plastic straws for more Eco-friendly home options
500 million plastic straws are produced in the United States alone every year, so you can imagine the tremendous amount of waste that plastic straws have created over the past decade alone. Switching to a different material will help you reduce waste and reduce the number of single-use plastics you use throughout the year. Alternative materials include metal straws, recycled paper straws or silicon straws.
#5: Avoid too much-frozen food
Frozen foods are very convenient, but a lot of pre-made frozen foods use a lot of single-use plastics, which are simply thrown out whenever it's time to heat up your next meal. You should avoid these store-bought frozen meals as much as possible, or at least look for brands that specifically use recycled materials or don't use single-use plastics. You can also reduce waste by making your own frozen meals. For instance, instead of buying a bag of frozen pineapple that uses single-use plastics, buy fresh pineapple and freeze it yourself.
#6: Don't buy snack packs and small bags of food
Snack packs—such as those convenient 100-calorie snack bags or kid lunch-sized treat bags-are convenient, but they also produce a lot of waste. You can create a more Eco-friendly home pantry by avoiding the plastic-heavy snack bags and opting for the most significant sizes instead. If you want them portioned out for convenience or so that you can stick them in your kid's lunchbox, simply get a few reusable canvas bags and portion them out on your own.
Single-use plastics contribute heavily to pollution, but if you implement the above 6 simple steps, you will go a long way to reducing waste and helping the environment.
- Fast Facts About Plastic pollution. National Geographic.