How to Reduce Your Daily Plastic Use?
Plastic is a material that you can find everywhere and that you use almost every minute. It’s found in all kinds of objects, especially in containers, construction materials, accessories, and even in clothing and some cosmetics. However, it’s possible to reduce your daily plastic use, and we’ll find out how.
Why is it important to reduce your plastic use? In this article we’ll talk about that, and we’ll also propose some practical measures that you can start to put into practice every day.
Plastic and pollution
According to the well-known ecological organization, Greenpeace, every year the oceans and seas are inundated with the equivalent of 1200 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower in plastic. This amount isn’t the only problem, it’s just a part of it.
In fact, the most worrying aspect of plastic is that, once it has been thrown out, it takes a long time to decompose. For example, a plastic bottle can take up to 500 years to break down.
In view of the fact that the world’s plastic production is growing to millions of tons per year and that we continue buying all sorts of products and throwing them anywhere, the rate of waste won’t stop growing.
The vast majority of plastic ends up in seas and oceans around the world, seriously harming those ecosystems. The impact is dramatic. And, although recycling your containers is a good step to reduce waste, in reality, it would be better to reduce your daily plastic use.
How can you reduce your daily plastic use?
The following measures we’re going to list are very practical and simple. They’ll help you reduce your use of products made with plastic (containers, utensils, bags, etc.), without much effort and without feeling like you’re missing something.
Use cloth bags instead of plastic bags at the grocery store
Since July 1, 2018 in Spain, for example, this became a very important measure. Many stores aren’t allowed to give clients plastic bags for free. And if someone asks for one, they have to pay for it.
The idea is to create awareness of the issue and help reduce plastic consumption. Likewise, this measure helps people get used to bringing their own bags (made of cloth or other materials) and using them more, instead of using them once and throwing them out like they used to.
Plastic isn’t the best option. There are many ways to avoid using it. One of them is to bring your own cloth bags to the store when you go shopping.
Tote bags have become very popular and, thanks to that, you can find ones with all kinds of designs. Monochrome, stamped, smooth, etc. There are designs for any style!
However, there’s more. By the year 2021, light and very light, non-biodegradable plastic bags will be completely banned. Especially, the breakable, most toxic ones. This measure won’t just be adopted in Spain, but also in countries like Italy and France. The end goal is to implement it in the entire European Union.
For your part, either from the point of view of saving money by not paying for plastic bags, or for environmental awareness, the best thing to do is choose to use cloth bags every time you go to the grocery store. That way you’ll be reducing your environmental impact.
Buy loose items and avoid excess packaging
If you think about it, it’s even cheaper to buy loose items: you get exactly the amount you need, and you can pick the best products. On the contrary, products in packaging contain a lot of plastic (trays, wrappers, etc.) that will end up in the oceans.
When you weigh your fruit, avoid wrapping it in a plastic bag. Instead, put the sticker and price from the scale directly on the peel or skin. Then, you can put it in your tote bag to bring it home.
Avoid cleaning products in plastic containers
To avoid using cleaning products and, once you’ve finished with them, to avoid throwing the plastic containers out, the best thing is to use natural homemade options.
For example, forever people have used certain ingredients like soap, vinegar, and baking soda to wash and clean things. This way, you’ll be using eco-friendly products, avoiding using too much plastic, and cleaning things equally well.
We recommend you read: How to Use Lemon and Other Natural Cleaning Products
Check the ingredients in your cosmetics
In case you didn’t know, many creams and other beauty products contain plastic microbeads. Additionally, microbeads are very dangerous for the environment, since they can be easily eaten by animals and end up poisoning them.
These are microbeads made of nylon, polyethylene, and polypropylene, that are often included in creams and exfoliants.
For this reason, it’s better to choose natural cosmetic products that don’t include plastic in their ingredients. Another good idea is to make your own homemade creams.
You should read: Try This All Natural Homemade Deodorant
Recycle to reduce your daily plastic use
Separating your garbage is very easy. In one bin you can put everything made of paper and cardboard, in another, plastic and aluminum, and in another glass. There are countries (like Switzerland) where they’re a little more specific and separate plastic into PET containers, aluminum, and other types of plastic.
According to information from Spain from Eurostat, only about 29.7% of waste is recycled in the country. This means that we’re very far from a general awareness of the benefits of recycling.
By reducing your plastic use, you’ll be greatly minimizing your environmental impact. Although you might not see the results directly, your actions are definitely worth it, and you should keep at it every day. That way the oceans will be cleaner for the future. In addition, you’ll also be keeping plastic production from increasing CO2 emissions.
If you just change a few habits, you can efficiently and effectively reduce your plastic use. You just need to think of smart ways to reuse the objects you already have.