Apart from the obviousness of avoiding plastic straws, plastic water bottles and takeaway coffees like the plague, there are some other simple ways to avoid single use plastics that you may not have thought of. And they start around your home.
First of all, what exactly is single use plastic? Simply put they are goods made from fossil fuel–based chemicals and are designed to be disposed of right after their first use. So basically they’re created with one outcome in mind, to throw away.
Single use plastic is one of the biggest threats to our wildlife, ocean, and our health. Reducing plastic use is the most effective means of minimising the throwaway culture we’re living in.
If you can start with at least one of these ideas, that’s better than doing nothing at all.
- Use a sustainable alternative to cling wrap and foil such as beeswax wraps, silicone pouches, reusable stretch lids, or simple glass tupperware containers to store food in your fridge.
- When buying clothing, shop consciously and try to buy natural, safe, and organic fabrics. As everytime we wash our clothes, microplastics (more on this another time) drain from our washing machines into the ocean.
- Swap plastic storage containers for glass and recycled material containers to store foods in your pantry. Bonus: these make for a much more aesthetically pleasing pantry.
- Think about the food you are buying and what it has been packaged in. Ask yourself if you could make that food at home and avoid the single use plastic it’s been wrapped in. Most times, the answer will be yes. For pantry items, buy from your local bulkfoods store.
- When doing your grocery shop don’t forget to pack your reusable shopping bags, better yet stock up on small mesh produce bags to fill with loose produce.
- Give back to the soil and swap your plastic toothbrush with a bamboo one. When ready you can cut off the bristles and recycle your bamboo toothbrush in your compost. That’s one less plastic toothbrush floating around in the ocean.
- Batch make your own cleaning products (which come in plastic bottles). It’s not as hard as it sounds. If you really cbf most bulk food stores like Source and Scoop Wholefoods sell these in glass bottles which you can bring and refill.
- Cut down on animal products. So many animal products come in plastic even if you purchase from a local butcher. It’s all good and well to recycle your plastics but many plastics, especially smaller sizes don’t get recycled in the process and end up in landfill.
- Re-consider your single use cleaning cloths (which come wrapped in plastic) and use washable ones.
- Line your bin with biodegradable bin liners instead of the generic plastic liners.