How to Cut Down on Plastic – Some Ideas for a Zero Waste Life
It can’t really be avoided any longer. Single-use plastics are a human addiction that we must face head on. Plastic pollution is not only impacting our waters and marine life, but also the human food chain and our overall health.
Every year 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced and almost half of that is single-use plastic which we only use once before throwing away. Think plastic bags, drinks bottles, crisp packets and disposable razors.
It is estimated that more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are in the world’s oceans with 8 million tonnesentering the ocean each year. Experts think that in 30 years, the amount of plastic in the ocean will weigh more than the fish in it.
Whilst recognising the benefits of plastic, we clearly need to cut down and find alternatives. At Manly Stuff, one of our values is being sustainable and we’ve taken steps to minimise the use of plastic in our business from products to packaging.
Here are some quick fixes that can help us all do more to protect our planet;
DITCH THE DISPOSABLE RAZOR
In the US alone, 2 billion disposable razors are thrown into landfill every year. Opt for a traditional single blade razor which takes disposable metal blades or, a better option, a fixed blade straight razor and you will never need to buy blades again. You’re also going to save a huge amount of money as they can last a lifetime and the blades cost next to nothing! And did we mention you will get a superior shave? It’s a no brainer.
GUILT-FREE CAFFEINE FIX
Despite looking like they’re made of cardboard, 99 per cent of disposable coffee cups are not recyclable and every minute over 1 million cups end up in landfills. Opt for a reusable coffee mug and enjoy a guilt-free, sustainable caffeine fix. Coffee houses are encouraging and often discounting those who make the effort to bring a reusable cup.
One company making beautiful sustainable and Zero Waste Coffee Cups is Ogato! You can check out their reusable coffee cups here. From their website – “The Otago cup keeps hot drinks hot and it keeps cold drinks cold. We are able to do this because unlike many other reusable coffee cups, our cup takes advantage of double wall insulated technology. The Otago cup comes in two sizes, 12oz (350ml) and 10oz (295ml). We tested many sizes and the feedback always came back to these two. Your cup will fit nicely in your hand, they are lightweight, easy to transport and will fit nicely in your bag without taking up too much space. The Otago cup has been designed with the driver in mind. The base is designed to fit perfectly into almost all car cup holders.”
A key thing here is the car point! The likes of Keep Cups don’t fit in to my car holder and it drives me mag, Otago Coffee cups fit perfectly – Winning.
CUT DOWN & RECYCLE WATER BOTTLES
A million water bottles are used around the world every minute! Most water bottles are highly recyclable but only a small percentage of them actually are recycled – most end up in the ocean or landfill. A quick fix is to make sure you recycle your bottles, a better option is to have a dedicated water bottle or opt for a reusable stainless steel or glass one. Water companies are getting pressured to do their bit so you should hopefully see free water stations popping up in a public space near you.
The supermarket is full of unnecessary plastic packaging, convenience foods being the worst. Try heading to your local butchers or green grocers where the packaging is minimal. As well as cutting down on plastic, you will be helping your local businesses. If you do hit up the supermarket, remember to take a reusable bag or cardboard box to carry your groceries. Shops like Aldi & Lidl have committed to removing plastic from their fresh fruit and veg – a huge step in the fight against plastic. If you do end up using a plastic bag – recycle it! Most of us just chuck it in the bin.
RE-USE & RECYCLE
The first and probably the easiest place to reuse and recycle is in the kitchen. Get creative and reuse glass jars for storing dry goods, takeaway cartons for lunch boxes etc. A lot of people know you can recycle glass and tin cans but did you know that many plastic pots, tubs and trays can be recycled? Increasingly these items are being accepted in recycling bins, find out what is accepted by your local council and refer to the on-pack recycling labels.
Little by little, our crew are working on making a difference to the environment, making products from natural, sustainable materials and avoiding plastic packaging. To make a difference, we all need to be mindful of the plastic we use in our daily lives, small changes over a lifetime will make a huge difference for our planet and future generations.
Got any additional ideas, hit us up and we can add to this article. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: BBC, Plastic Oceans Foundation, Forbes
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