Plastic is handy. It allows people to store things conveniently and cheaply. It is also an easily acquired resource. There probably isn’t a single family out there that doesn’t use some form of plastic.
However, with all its practical uses, plastic comes with a dire consequence—its effects on the environment. It takes ages for plastic particles to break down. When they do, the wildlife ingests the broken down particles, which could kill them. Should they survive, the plastic particles will remain in their system and be passed on to whatever they fall prey.
To prevent the harmful effects of plastic from continuing, we have to stop it at its source. One way to work toward this is to lessen one’s plastic use. Here are a few ways to reduce one’s consumption of plastic in the household.
Stop Buying Unnecessary Plastic Items
When you buy some food to take home, a lot of restaurants pack the meal with plastic forks, spoons, and knives. This practice is a massive waste of plastic since you have your own set of utensils at home. You’d end up throwing the plastic utensils in the garbage.
When ordering take out, make sure to request the waiter or server to give you your packed meal minus the plastic cutlery. By doing this, you lessen that amount of plastic you have to throw out.
Another thing to stop collecting is the plastic water bottle. Invest in refillable water bottles, like tumblers or jugs, instead of buying ones that you’ll only use once and then throw out.
A single person who drinks water from a reusable container can save hundreds of plastic bottles from being produced annually. If a family of five chipped in as well, that would stop a little over 500 plastic bottles from being manufactured per year.
Avoid Buying Products That Contain Microbeads
Apart from the distinguishable plastic choices in the market, some products contain microplastics. Found in most cosmetics, microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that are less than five millimeters long.
The next time you go shopping for bath soaps and shampoos, find out which ones do not contain microplastics. They go straight down the drain and make their way into the ocean, where they harm marine wildlife.
Invest In Reusable Items
As was mentioned above, it would be beneficial to start drinking from reusable bottles. Well, why not invest in a whole set of reusables?
Bring your shopping bag so that you don’t have to take your groceries home in more plastic bags. Pack your to-go meals in glass containers instead of using Ziplock bags. Choose metal razors with replaceable blades over plastic ones that are discarded entirely after use.
These are only a few goods that are effective plastic alternatives. There are a lot of other eco-friendly products that you can use. They’re sure to reduce your family’s plastic footprint!
Reuse Plastics You Already Own
Reducing one’s plastic use can go a long way. But let’s not forget that there are still the plastics that you already have at home. A lot of single-use plastics will have to be thrown out, but there are sure to be those that you can reuse.
Most plastic bottles and containers are for one-time use. They can be reused once or twice after being cleaned thoroughly. However, it is recommendable that they’re not used again for drinking and storing food. Commercial plastics may begin to degrade and ooze out harmful chemicals when they’re overused, especially when they’re under hot temperatures.
It might be harmful to eat or drink from industrial plastics, but there are other ways you can use them! Some art skills can transform a plastic water bottle into a pencil case. You can turn a carton of milk into a small flower pot. These are only a few examples of how to reuse plastic creatively.
Apart from plastic bottles and containers, there are also plastic bags. These are easy to acquire and store. As much as possible, don’t throw them out. You can reuse plastic bags for a lot of things within the household.
Recycle Unusable Plastics
Once you’ve set aside the plastics that you can reuse, all that’s left is to dispose of the ones that are unusable. When throwing out your garbage, make sure to segregate. Separate the plastics from the biodegradables. By doing this, waste management workers can dispose of them properly and more quickly.
We wrongly dispose of too many plastic products because of incorrect segregation. Taking the time to sort your trash appropriately can help in alleviating this problem.
Again, plastic has its uses, but if you think about it, its harmful consequences outweigh its benefits. Given this, it’s high time we stop using it so much—for our sake and the entire planet’s.