How to reduce your use of plastics

Earth Day is officially celebrated on 22 April 2018 during Earth Month. This year’s theme is ‘Plastic Pollution’. As such a crucial topic and one that TerraCycle is heavily invested in throughout April during Earth Month, we will present facts and tips on how to deal with, and essentially help reduce, the problem of Plastic Pollution.

Last week in part 1, we covered the overall topic of Plastic Pollution. In that post, the reasons for why we need to act now were covered highlighting the horrific damage plastic pollution causes to the planet.

In this week’s Plastic Pollution post, we have a number of ideas on how you can reduce your use of plastic. By swapping or even cutting plastic products out of your everyday life, you are contributing to a more sustainable and plastic-free earth.

1. Swap out your plastic containers and bags
Plastic containers and bags are often used in the kitchen to store produce like cucumber, parsnips, leeks, green beans and carrots. You can easily swap out the plastic products with more sustainable alternatives. A clean dish towel or cloth can keep produce like lettuce fresh and crispy, and the produce can even last longer when you wrap them in a damp towel and store it in your fridge. All you have to do is fold it like an envelope and then tie the ends together to make a cloth salad knot.

2. Use mason jars instead of plastic bottles
Condiments like salad dressing, ketchup and mustard usually come in plastic bottles. Try looking in your own fridge – how many different plastic bottles do you have? Think of all the plastic that has gone into making them. You can reduce the use and production of plastic by making the condiments yourself and storing it in mason jars. You can even get special top attachments for the mason jars to make them more authentic.

3. Reusable bulk bags instead of plastic bags
You have probably already made the classic swap from plastic shopping bags to reusable tote bags, but how about the bags you use for produce or bulk items? Before you go to the grocery store think about the kind of produce or bulk goods you like to buy. Bring along jars and/or cloth bags to carry the items in so you can avoid the use of plastic bags altogether.

4. Less plastic bottles for your cleaning supplies
You probably have a lot of different cleaning supplies in your home, and each of them in their own individual plastic bottle. What if you could reduce the number of plastic bottles in your home by swapping almost all your cleaning sprays, scrubs and fluids with one alternative? White vinegar is a great alternative to most regular cleaning products. Vinegar can be used to disinfect bathroom and kitchen surfaces, shine up mirrors and silverware, and even unclog drains. You can add lemon and orange peels to the white vinegar to get a natural citrus scent. You can recycle one of the spray tops from one of your old cleaners (rinse thoroughly first), and make your own hand-held natural spray cleaner.

You can find more great swaps here.

Tune in next week for part 3 of 4 of our series on Plastic Pollution for useful tips on how you can upcycle your plastics in a fun and creative way.

This month you can get a 15% discount on any of TerraCycle’s paid for Zero Waste Box solutions which enable you to recycle pretty much anything that we can’t currently provide a free solution for. Click here to see our wide selection of Zero Waste Boxes.

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