Did you know that half of the 300 million tons of plastic produced each year is used only once and that 91 percent of plastic waste isn’t recycled? Meanwhile, around 18 million pounds of plastic waste flows into our oceans each year, and now there’s more microplastic in oceans than stars in the Milky Way galaxy. By now, we’re so used to reading statistics like these that protecting the planet may seem like a hopeless endeavor. However, if every person simply reduced his or her own plastic waste, we would live in a much cleaner and greener world.
Here are some tips for reducing your plastic waste consumption and why it’s so important to start now.
The Importance of Curbing Plastic Waste
Everywhere you look, there’s plastic. From plastic bags at stores to straws at restaurants and bottles of water, it’s hard to imagine life without plastic. Some plastic is necessary and very useful, and local governments have been implementing laws that govern plastic bag and straw distribution, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Nearly all plastic that has ever been created still exists in some form because plastic is not nearly as biodegradable as paper or natural materials. Our landfills are filling up, our wildlife is suffering because of our littering habits, and a lot of energy is going into producing plastic in the first place.
Bring Reusable Bags to Stores
Even if you live in or travel to a state that doesn’t yet have a plastic bag ban, bring along cloth reusable bags when you shop for groceries, clothing, and pharmacy items. Just make sure to wash those reusable bags every once in a while to prevent the spread of germs.
Bring Reusable Straws to Restaurants
More and more local governments are passing plastic straw bans too, which is good news for the environment. If you simply must sip with a straw, bring a reusable one with you when dining out – this goes for milkshakes and smoothies on-the-go too!
Eat More Whole and Natural Foods
Rather than choosing pre-packaged items that come in plastic containers sealed with plastic wrap, focus your diet on whole foods that come from nature and that can be brought fresh or in bulk.
Reuse Plastic Containers
After using items that come in plastic containers, such as Seagate’s all-natural supplements, find clever ways to reuse those empty containers rather than instantly tossing them into the trash. Cleaned and rinsed out pill bottles, for example, are great for storing jewelry, arts and craft supplies, nails and screws in your toolbox, and cotton swabs for your travel toiletry kit. If you do toss them out, they are all recyclable. Place them in recycle bins.
Change the Way You Store Food
Ziploc bags and Saran wrap are common kitchen staples, but there are much better ways to store food. When you have leftovers, consider storing them in reusable containers that are made from stainless steel or glass. Mason jars and silicon storage bags and also good food storage options that avoid plastic waste.
Buy from Eco-Friendly Retailers
Another way to consider the environment in daily life is to buy items from companies that keep the environment in mind too. Eco-friendly retailers don’t include excess packaging, they source products from sustainable sources, and they produce non-toxic items that don’t pollute the earth.