Plastic is responsible for many of the comforts we enjoy today, like cell phones, food supply, and modern medicine. Being lightweight and versatile, it’s no wonder that it’s so pervasive in our everyday life.
Unfortunately, though, plastic has its downsides like anything else. The biggest concern with plastic is that it’s not biodegradable and only breaks down into smaller pieces. This plastic accumulates in the environment and, in the process, harms wildlife, water supplies, and human health.
For Plastic Free July and every day, let’s try to reduce our single-use plastic waste. Try to reduce and reuse plastic items that you are using in your everyday lives. For items that you may not be able to reduce or reuse, recycling them properly through our Zero Waste Boxes ™ diverts this single-use plastic waste from ending up in our landfills.
Here’s a list of plastic that you may not realize you’re using and solutions to create and recycle single-use plastic waste:
- Cleaning products
Unfortunately, nearly every cleaning product is packaged in plastic. Even more unfortunate, though, is that most of these plastics used for cleaning products are non-recyclable through your curbside recycling programs.
But! There’s an easy solution to this, make your own cleaning products. A quick internet search for DIYs of whatever cleaning product you need will make it an easy and fun activity. Plus, you will know exactly what goes into your cleaning products, instead of a long list of chemicals that you can’t pronounce.
Bear in mind, though, that as you make this switch, be careful not to let these non-biodegradable plastic containers sit in a landfill. To ensure that your plastic is recycled responsibly, the Cleaning Supplies and Accessories Zero Waste Box is the way to go.
- Food packaging
If you go to any supermarket, you are guaranteed to see two things: food and plastic. Plastic has made it easy for food to be shipped and stored without expiring or being damaged. That’s good news for our consumption habits, but bad news for the planet.
As a solution, skip the produce bags and individually wrapped snacks. Both are unnecessary and wasteful. You could even start shopping locally whenever possible. After all, the tomatoes at the farmer’s market are rarely in a plastic box! For the truly dedicated, try creating a garden to grow in-season produce for some delicious, plastic-free food. Of course, for the plastic food packaging you just can’t get rid of, the Kitchen Separation Zero Waste Box should do the trick.
- Take-out containers
In light of the pandemic, take-out became the way of life. Sitting down for a meal at a crowded restaurant to eat on a real plate was no longer an option. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
For those that are in areas with lightened restrictions, slow down and dine-in. Even if you have leftovers, you can always bring your own container to take your food home in. For those still in areas with restaurant restrictions, though, the simplest way to reduce your take-out container usage is to cook at home more. Not only does it help the planet, but it also helps your wallet!
In the meantime, though, as you make those changes, the Plastic Packaging Zero Waste Box can keep that junk out of our landfills.
- Plastic food storage containers
Plastic containers may not seem like “bad” plastic because you reuse them repeatedly, but waste is not the only problem that plastic creates. We have to remember that each time plastic is made, it uses energy, releases toxic chemicals, and pollutes the environment.
The greener option here is to make the switch to glass containers. Glass has the bonus of being much less likely to leach chemicals into your food, which has been a recent concern with plastic food storage. As you replace your food container drawer, consider using our Kitchen Gear Zero Waste Box.
- Garbage bags
It’s easy to forget that garbage bags are a form of waste instead of just something to hold our waste. In reality, though, they may be more harmful than plastic sandwich bags, given their size. The average household may use anywhere from one to three garbage bags per week, which ends up being a lot over a lifetime.
The best way to reduce your use of plastic garbage bags is to reduce your overall waste, whether it be through refusing to use wasteful products, repurposing old items, composting your food scraps, or recycling through your municipality (or even a Zero Waste Box!). Garbage bags are just another example of the benefits of reducing your overall waste.
It’s essential to be conscious of how much plastic we use regularly because only then we can start to tackle our plastic obsession and use less. A Zero Waste Box can help on that journey to less plastic. Remember: small changes add up!
3 thoughts on “5 Sneaky Ways You’re Using Plastic… And 5 Solutions”
Suggestion to add under the “Garbage Bags” section: Instead of tying waste up in plastic bags two or three times per week, use paper bags in the bin. Line the bottom with newspaper or a piece of cardboard. Request only “Paper” at the grocery, so there are ample free bags. Also: when discarding a food product, open it (from container) and empty it. Food discarded into the waste stream, packaged to stay contained for months, will not degrade.
Clean and air dry cereal bags. They are fantastic to keep in freshness.
“Take Out Containers”: Ask the server for cardboard instead of Styrofoam. You will be surprised at its availability. Also – if they don’t have cardboard, ask for a piece of tin foil.