Plastic is all around us. We use it for almost everything, from storing leftovers to lining our drawers to packaging our food. But along with this convenience, we’ve created an enormous amount of plastic waste that makes its way into our landfills and oceans. If this sounds startling, you aren’t the only one! There are ways to reduce your plastic waste.
Act Now for the Future
As you probably know, the environment is in big trouble. Global warming is on the rise, and sea levels are already threatening coastal cities. It doesn’t help that our oceans are being filled with trash. The worst part about this whole situation is that we, humans, are the ones responsible for this. It’s not a natural disaster. It’s not a plague of locusts. It’s not a super-volcano. It’s us. And we have to do something about it.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that almost everything we own, from our phones to our clothes to the glass in our windows, is made from some form of plastic. While plastic offers a wide range of benefits (not to mention it’s inexpensive and easy to produce), it is also one of the biggest contributors to the world’s mounting trash problem. For every pound of plastic waste created, roughly 5 pounds of CO2 are produced via the manufacturing process, production of raw materials, transportation, and breakdown of the final product.
If you are like most people, you have grown increasingly concerned about the amount of plastic you use each day. This is a good thing since there is no question that plastic waste is an environmental concern. In fact, scientists warn that there will be more plastic in as little as four decades than fish in the oceans! If you are like most people, you are looking for ways to cut back on the amount of plastic you use on a daily basis.
Reducing your Plastic Waste
Plastic waste is something that can’t be ignored. Every year, more and more plastic is produced. Sadly, that plastic, much of it, ends up in landfills and oceans, where it is hazardous to marine life and enters our water supply and food chain. Despite the dangers of plastic waste, it’s unlikely that many people are aware of the dangers. That’s entirely understandable: plastic is an incredibly useful material, and it’s so prevalent in modern life that it can be difficult to see how much of it we use.
While it’s impossible to eliminate your plastic waste completely, the good news is that we have here 4 ways that we can do to reduce plastic waste:
- Refuse the single-use plastic bag at the checkout line. While some bags are reused as trash bags, dog poop bags, and even lunch bags, most of them end up in landfills or blowing around in the wind. Not only do they take a very long time to decompose, but they also have a negative impact on wildlife. By refusing those plastic bags at the grocery store, you are taking an important step in reducing your plastic waste.
- Start reusing the plastic bag yourself. You never know when you are going to need to reuse a plastic bag. So instead of throwing it away when you are done, store it in your car or in the trunk of your car. You can also roll up the bag and keep them in your purse so that you always have a plastic bag when you need it.
- Use reusable bags for grocery shopping and bringing our own canvas totes to the beach instead of using a single-use plastic bag. Every time you bring your own reusable bags grocery shopping, you are making a stand for the environment and your health. You can contribute to a better planet for your kids and future generations by taking a small action today.
- Do your part by recycling. Plastic bags are so handy that we sometimes use them until they’re no longer useful, but before you toss them in the recycling bin, check the bag for a recycling code. If you have a recycling center or facility in your area, many facilities will not accept bags that don’t have a code printed on them.
There are plenty of ways to reduce plastic waste if you’re willing to get serious about it. For example, you could opt for canned goods over those that come in plastic packaging. You can use reusable cloth bags for your groceries and reusable containers when shopping for other items. And, if you’re planning a road trip, why not carry your own water bottle and avoid buying bottled water, which often comes in plastic?
A few small changes, however, can make a big difference.