Tips To Reduce Single Use Plastics
Author: Guest blogger Alex Morrison Date Posted:28 May 2019
By now, the havoc single-use plastic is wreaking on our environment is becoming all too clear. The enormous volumes of plastic filtering into our oceans is devastating our rich ecosystems and threatening the aquatic environment’s delicate balance.
So, if we don’t start changing our own personal habits and implement systemic change in the way we view plastic, it won’t be long before plastic suffocates our oceans.
The solution to this ever-expanding environmental nightmare is comparatively simple. Cut the volume of single-use plastics in our economy. Sounds good so far, right? However, acting on this simple strategy can prove to be rather more daunting. If you want 2019 to be the year you weaned yourself off single-use plastics, here are some simple ideas on how to embrace the concept.
1. Reusable Shopping Bags Are The Ocean’s Friend
Rather than simply accepting those plastic bags at the checkout, start taking your own reusable shopping bag with you. This single action on your part could cut your personal single-use plastic consumption by over 300 bags each and every year.
Australians burn through an estimated 3.92 billion plastic bags every year. That’s 160 bags for every man woman and child in the country. Only one in every 200 bags finds its way into the recycling bins. That means billions of plastic bags end up littering our streets and the countryside, clogging our stormwater drains and polluting our rivers and the ocean.
2. Opt For A Reusable Cup For Your Morning Coffee
Australia enjoys a vibrant coffee culture. Unfortunately, the downside of that is we churn through one billion single-use coffee cups each year. These cups range from cups made totally from plastic to plastic lids and paper cups lined with plastic. Most of these used coffee cups are destined for our overflowing landfills. Once in the landfill sites, they require years to fully decompose and breakdown. By bringing your own reusable mug or cup to your favourite coffee shop, you have the opportunity to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
3. Bring Your Own Reusable Water Bottle
Australians buy more than an estimated 118,000 tonnes of plastic drink bottles a year. As with coffee, bringing your own reusable water benefits the planet and your local ecosystem. Worldwide, only around 23 per cent of these water bottles finds their way into the recycling system.
Not only are the bottles themselves bad for the planet, but their manufacture requires enormous amounts of fossil fuels as does their distribution. This exacerbates the volume of greenhouse gasses being released each year into the atmosphere.
4. Shop At Your Local Market
Shopping at a local market makes sense on so many levels. The fruit and veggies are typically fresher and are often grown close by, reducing the fossil fuels needed for transportation and distribution.
And at a local market, your fresh fruit and veggies don’t come wrapped in all that unnecessary secondary plastic packaging that the major supermarket chains are so obsessed with.
Naturally, bring your own reusable shopping bag is another way to step into a more plastic-free life.
5. Reject Plastic Straws
Paper straws make a far more acceptable alternative to plastic straws if you absolutely have to use a straw with your beverage. One much-quoted statistic indicates Australians use 10 million plastic straws annually.
Plastic straws are a clear environmental problem. When people are pulling them out of turtles' noses, we really need to be taking more care about what we use and how we dispose of them.
6. Choose Boxes Or Glass Over Plastic Bottles
Many everyday products such as laundry detergent, dog kibble and juice come in cardboard, which is far more easily recycled than their plastic equivalents. Choose these or glass packaging over plastic where you can.
7. Say Goodbye To Frozen Pre-Prepared Meals
Sorry but these late night dinners are almost entirely packaged in plastic. Even those meals that seem to be packed in cardboard come coated in a thin layer of plastic. By saying goodbye to this seductive plastic, you'll be generating less plastic waste while eating less processed meals! And that has to be a good thing.
By adopting a few simple new habits, you can help improve your environment while reducing plastic waste, the volume of plastic entering our shrinking landfill sites and the plastic epidemic that’s smothering our rivers and the oceans.
Alex Morrison has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in depth understanding of many different industries including home improvement, financial support and health care. He has used his knowledge and experience to work for clients as diverse as MyHome Clean, Cosh Living and Biogone to help them reach their business goals.