Plastic can take thousands of years to degrade. The more we consume, the more we clutter up our planet. On top of this, plastic can cause damage to wildlife and uses massive amounts of fossil fuels to produce.
By reducing your plastic consumption, you can help to heal the planet. Below are just 7 ways to use less plastic.
Bring your own bag when shopping
Disposable shopping bags are a big source of unnecessary plastic consumption. Most stores now charge for bags and plastic bag tax is thought to go up in the future. By bringing your own bag, you could save yourself money and consume less plastic. If you’ve been collecting shopping bags or have a reusable bag, make sure to pack this with you every time you go shopping (you may find that keeping bags in your car or your handbag prevents you from forgetting to bring a bag).
Invest in reusable bottles and flasks
Plastic bottles and plastic cups are another source of disposable plastic that too many of us are reliant on. By investing in a reusable bottle such as these Hippo Bottles, you can reduce the amount of plastic bottles that you buy and throw away. Many places allow you to now fill up water from a tap and many coffee shops will also pour your coffee into a reusable flask if you ask.
Cut down on takeaway food and drink
A lot of takeaway food and drinks is served in plastic containers or packaging. Instead of buying sandwiches and soft drinks on your way to work, consider packing your own lunch. When it comes to eating at restaurants, dine in where possible instead of taking food away (this may not be possible right now during the pandemic, but could be something to consider afterwards).
Shop at farmer’s markets
Many groceries in supermarkets are wrapped in plastic. While supermarkets are actively trying to reduce their plastic usage, it’s still very hard to avoid all plastic when shopping at a supermarket. Visiting farmer’s markets could give you access to food directly from farmers. Not only will this not be wrapped in plastic, but it’s also likely to contain less preservatives and won’t have travelled so far, making it a greener option all round.
Switch to bamboo toothbrushes
We’re supposed to change our toothbrush every few months. Many of us opt for plastic toothbrushes, but these aren’t the only option. As this guide at Dentaly shows, there are plenty of manufacturers selling biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes.
Try organic clothing
A lot of clothing contains synthetic materials such as nylon and acrylic. Consider looking into sustainable fashion brands that use more natural materials like cotton and bamboo. You can find a few examples of such brands here at Compare Ethics.
Recycle (and buy recycled products)
If you do buy plastic, try to make sure that it can be recycled. You can usually find such information on the packaging. There may also be products that you can buy made from recycled plastics. These are better than products made from newly engineered plastic as they are helping to combat plastic waste.