Plastic is everywhere. It’s a useful and strong material that is easily molded to fit most applications., but it is also harmful, and not just because of the chemicals that can leach out of plastic.
Every year, millions of tons of plastics end up in the ocean, and those microplastics are making their way back into our food chain – they’ve even been found in human blood.
Why Reduce Your Plastic Footprint?
A lot of us buy plastic containers, bags, and utensils every day – these products are very useful and practical but not very environmentally friendly.
If you don’t think about it, you’ll probably continue to use them without thinking of the consequences. Most of us know, however, that we should be more environmentally aware but are not sure how to go about it.
Here are some tips on how to reduce your plastic footprint:
Use Reusable Products
Reusable products are the number one way to reduce your plastic waste. From reusable sandwich bags to metal water bottles, reducing plastic waste is easier when you use reusable products.
Changing to a reusable water bottle will allow you to save possibly hundreds of plastic bottles per year. A reusable coffee mug could also result in hundreds of fewer plastic mugs a year.
Using reusable products has many advantages, including cost savings and less damage to the environment.
The thing about plastic is that it is useful. There is a strong belief in repairing rather than buying new, and this ethos fits in very well with a zero-waste lifestyle.
Get yourself a plastic welding rod and see if you can repair that plastic tub or plastic bottle you have instead of buying a new one.
Replace Plastic Grocery Bags with Paper or Reusable Ones
Many of us use plastic grocery bags to carry our shopping from the car and then bring it into the house. This is a totally unnecessary use of plastic in this day and age.
Instead of using plastic, use reusable cloth bags or paper bags.
Invest In Bioplastics
Biodegradable plastic is generally thought of as a good idea. There are lots of different options out there, and many are just as good as plastic, if not better!
There is a strong warning with so-called “biodegradable plastic,” though; just because they will degrade, it doesn’t mean they will degrade in your lifetime. Some bioplastics have been accused of being nothing more than greenwashing.
Change Your Habits
The best way to cut down the amount of plastic you use is to change your habits. For example, instead of using new plastic bags for every grocery trip, learn how to reuse a shopping bag.
Other things you can do are to start washing your reusable containers in the dishwasher and opt out of plastic bags at checkout. The more recycling options you create in your life, the better!
This is a good place to mention that a lot of the products people buy are made from recycled plastic waste.
There is more information about this than you might think, so check out some online resources for more information on how much material goes into everyday products.