Solutions for Eliminating Single Use Plastics
Single use plastics are one of the biggest waste issues we face today. At least 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year and make up 80% of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea sediments. Plastic pollution endangers the marine ecosystem and is a direct outcome of human consumption behaviors.
Many of us have already taken steps to reducing single use plastics through the choices we make. Here are a few ideas for upping your game!
- Replace plastic food wrap and baggies. Convenience often wins the day in the choices we make but using plastic wrap and baggies in the kitchen is a costly habit, and recycling soft plastics can be difficult, as many local programs don’t accept these items for recycling. The good news is that sustainable alternatives to plastics often save you money and don’t leave you holding the bag! One of our favorite products is food wrap made from beeswax. This product can be reused for up to year, is washable and it seals really well, unlike plastic wraps that are ineffective for saving half an avocado, for example. BEE’s WRAPS featured on ziggie also come in beautiful bright colors and prints, adding some serious fun to your kitchen. Another alternative to plastic wrap is recycled aluminum foil, like this one from the brand If You Care. There are also great alternatives for plastic baggies, including paper, mesh and silicone baggies for everything from veggie shopping to snacks for the kids. Although it may take a little extra effort to bring reusable bags for shopping, you’ll save money by doing it. I also reuse the compostable produce bags from stores like Whole Foods as compost bin liners at home.
- If you have to buy bottled water, choose large/refill size bottles. Eliminating the single use of plastics is the goal, so pour yourself a glass of water or refill your reusable bottle instead of reaching for a single serve plastic bottle.
- Say no to plastic straws and disposable cutlery. Using stainless steel or paper straws at home is a great start and foregoing a straw altogether when you’re out is healthy habit to form. Also remember to let the restaurant or delivery service you’re using know that you don’t need disposable cutlery with your order.
- Buy products made from recycled plastics. From Green Toys made from recycled milk jugs to Preserve’s toothbrushes made from yogurt cups, there are recycled materials being used across a wide range of items for the family. And consuming recycled plastic is the epitome of reducing our single use footprint.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more low waste ideas!