From problems with the disposal of plastics on land (recycling mechanisms are patchy and inconsistent) to the vast amounts that escape the waste stream every year, plastics are causing numerous issues in the environment. Our oceans, in particular, are being affected, as this is where much of the plastic waste ends up. This week we take a look at a few actions you could take to help reduce your plastic consumption.
Many of us have things like a reusable water bottle, coffee cup and shopping bag, but it can be difficult to get into the habit of carrying these things around with us, so we remember to use them. Leaving a few items by the door can help serve as a reminder to take them out to the shops, and once you are in the habit, it should stick. The same goes for packaging-free or zero-waste shops. It can be tricky to plan ahead and bring containers for all the different things you will need, so starting small with a few items bought here, rather than the usual supermarket, can help form a habit.
This room is where an awful lot of our plastic waste can originate. Again, don’t try and switch everything at once. Bamboo toothbrushes and shampoo bars won’t be suitable for everyone. Refill cosmetics might be more similar to those you used before, so why not give those a try before you test packaging-free alternatives. If you have existing plastic products, such as an electric toothbrush, don’t throw them away! Keeping something until the end of its life can be just as good for the environment as swapping it out while it still works.
Keep it clean
Natural cleaning products don’t always have the best reputation, but a bit of trial and error can help find one that works. Lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda and refills of brands can give a clean home without all the nasty chemicals that come with the packaged alternative.
Most importantly, keep going! It doesn’t matter if you have to buy the occasional plastic-wrapped item or you really can’t get used to a bamboo toothbrush. Every action adds up and sends the message that people want these alternatives to plastic in their lives.