Did you know? According to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report, our oceans become the dumping ground of almost 32% of 78 million tonnes of plastic packaging production every year. Also, as the New Delhi-based Energy and Resource Institute estimated, packaging accounts for about 43% of manufactured plastic. Whatâ€™s really alarming is that this is primarily single-use!Â So, itâ€™s clear that plastic will have to go! But what are the alternatives? What are the easiest ways to eliminate plastic from your daily life?
1. Pick a Reusable Bottle
Over 40 million plastic bottles are used (and discarded) worldwide every day. To eliminate this, you can:
2. No Plastic Straws
No matter how insignificant a little straw seems, it is hazardous to the environment. You can ditch the straw and try to:
- Â Sip on the drink directly from the glass.
- If you must use a straw, carry a metal one with you.
- Ask your local pub to replace paper/bamboo straws and stirrers with eco-friendly alternatives like bamboo/paper strawsÂ
3. Use Reusable Coffee Cups
That morning cup of coffee is a life-saver! You can pass on the benefit to the environment as well when you:
- Saying â€œnoâ€ to disposable cups, especially those with plastic lids
- Carrying a reusable insulated cup to reduce your plastic footprint
4. Avoid Packaged Foods
The food industry is constantly trying to reduce waste and preserve food for more extended periods. The solution? Plastic! This then ends up in our landfills and oceans. Some food items are unnecessarily packaged, such as peeled bananas!
To check this:
- Skip buying packaged fruits and veggies as well as other food items that are wrapped in plastic.
- Donâ€™t buy small packs; instead, go for big refills. It works out well financially as well!
- Try to buy cardboard or paper packaged food items.
5. Donâ€™t Use Plastic Cutlery
Disposable plastic cutlery is a regular feature with almost all takeout or home-delivered food. You can easily reduce this by:
- Carrying a fork/spoon (or spork) or keeping it handy in your office
- While ordering food online, check the box that says â€“ â€œI donâ€™t want cutlery.â€ One click, and it’s Goodbye, Unnecessary Plastic!
6. Get Milk in Glass
By â€˜In glassâ€™, we’re talking about glass bottles.
Although carrying milk in plastic packets is convenient, it is harmful to the environment. So, if you must buy milk, use your own pitcher.
By the way, if you go for a frothing milk pitcher, you can even create your very own latte art!
To get it home delivered, request glass bottles, which are easy to wash and reuse. Think back to about 40 years or so ago, and this is how it used to be. Maybe going back in time works well occasionally!
7. Avoid Microbeads
Toothpastes, face scrubs, etc., have plastic microbeads that claim to give you a cleaner and fresh feel. However, the tinier these beads are, the faster they get into the oceans through sewage and harm marine life. So, another way to cut plastic out of your daily life is:
- Understand which products use microbeads
- Avoiding these products and spread awareness until the brands choose to make the switch to less harmful alternatives!
By incorporating the steps above, you can make a significant impact on plastic use. As this is Plastic-Free month, the best time to start these practices and spread the word to increase awareness is now!