The Guardian reported that more than 40 percent of all plastic used worldwide is used just once and then thrown out. Whether it has been recycled or is just sitting in a landfill, nearly every piece of plastic ever created still exists in some form. The fraction of plastic that does get recycled is low, sitting at just about 30%. With plastic, there really is no ‘away’.
While all these issues seem overwhelming and big, we, as individuals can solve them!
So in case, one of your New Year’s resolutions is to do something that has positive impact on the world, start reducing your plastic usage!
There are many ways to get started, and many swaps that have to be done, but for beginning, you can choose a few that seem doable and easy for you on a long term. No one can do it all at once, but everyone can get started.
The truth is that even small changes of habit, accumulated over time, add up to a big difference. Then when you have in mind the fact that there are many like-minded people making the same positive changes as you, to reduce the plastic waste they are creating, you can see that together we can make a massive difference for the better.
Here is one infographic with a few advices on how to reduce your plastic usage in 2021!
Have your own shopping bag
Some people like reusable canvas totes. Others prefer to put their purchases into a backpack or messenger bag. Do what works for you!
If you have a car, keep your grocery bags in it and remember to bring them into the store with you! And one more thing: reusable bags are not just for groceries! Carry them for all your purchases, from electronics to clothing.
Have a reusable water bottle
Get a reusable stainless steel bottle or stainless steel travel mug, fill it up with tap water before leaving the house, and refill it wherever is empty.
And remember, the best water bottle is the one you already have!
Avoid plastic straws
Instead of using plastic straws, consider investing in a glass or stainless steel straw. That way, you can wash and reuse your straw. This is a small price to pay to reduce the amount of plastic that you use and help the environment.
It’s never too late to stop using plastic straws. Drinking your favorite coffee might be the best part of your day, but it will taste just as delicious without the toxic plastic straw.
Buy local and fresh
Farmers markets are a great way to buy fresh, local produce without plastic, as long as you remember to bring your own bags. Normally, the fruits and vegetables at farmers markets don’t even have those little plastic stickers on them. And for small fruits like berries and cherry tomatoes, use your own container or bag.
Try a bamboo toothbrush
Plastic toothbrushes represent 1% of the wastes in our oceans. We’re used to change them every 3-4 months, so every year we throw away more than 4.5 billion plastic toothbrushes.
Benefits of using a bamboo toothbrush:
– It reduces environmental pollution and plastic waste in our oceans.
– It uses eco-friendly material as bamboo.
– The antibacterial properties of bamboo allow to cultivate it without using toxics.
– It has a biodegradable handle that easily deteriorates.
– Sea animals will eat less plastic.
Borrow or buy second hand
Buy used. You can find everything from clothes to building materials at specialized reuse centers and consignment shops. Often, used items are less expensive and just as good as new.
Reuse what you already have
One way to reduce is to reuse.
Reuse provides an excellent, environmentally-preferred alternative to other waste management methods, because it reduces air, water, and land pollution, limits the need for new natural resources, such as timber, petroleum, fibers, and other materials. So make sure to get crafty and creative.