In response to the recent surge of awareness about the excessive volume of single-use plastic products and foam containers that we generate and the serious effects these have on the environment, we’ve compiled 15 simple changes you can adopt in your daily habits as a way to help reduce plastic pollution.
Combined with simple actions you can take to press businesses and the authorities to introduce more eco-friendly measures, these are ways you can make a difference in your daily life towards reducing plastic usage and pollution.
15 easy ways to reduce plastic contamination.
- Carry a reusable water bottle and lobby local businesses and authorities for drinking water refill points and serving water in bottles, jugs/pitchers or carafes. Water bottles make excellent gifts.
- Carry your own cup for places that serve drinks in disposable cups or choose cafes that serve drinks in washable cups. Tell the café/restaurant management – in person or via social media – that you are concerned about this, always making constructive suggestions. Cups also make excellent gifts.
- Refuse plastic straws – encourage local businesses to consider (a) giving customers the choice before serving the drink (b) using paper straws (c) not using straws at all (d) reusable plastic or stainless steel straws
- Avoid excessive food packaging by choosing products with least packaging, buying fruit and vegetables loose, or bringing your own reusable bags. Tell the store management – in person or via social media – that you are concerned about overpackaging.
- Say no to disposable cutlery, plastic/foam cups, and plates, takeout containers – take your own container if possible. Start the conversation: encourage family and friends to do the same thing.
- Stop using cosmetic products with microbeads. Tell the manufacturer via email or social media – that you are concerned about this.
- Carry a shopping bag, go a step further, and reuse the fruit and veg bags. Give shopping bags as gifts to friends and family.
- Go back to using soap bars instead of handwash liquid, body wash/shower gel and shampoo. These products make great gifts and may persuade your friends to make the change too.
- Use cloth diapers instead of disposables.
- Use washable cloth sanitary towels, tampons with cardboard applicators or menstrual cups; panty liners that are not individually wrapped.
- Use razors with replaceable blades. If not available, contact the manufacturer or retailer and ask why.
- Use cotton buds with cardboard handles. If not available, contact the manufacturer or retailer and ask why.
- Alternatives to plastic or foil wrap include reuseable products like Bee’s Wrap or make your own cloth and elastic band covers.
https://www.beeswrap.com/Give up chewing gum: it’s made with non-biogradable plastics.
- Choose boxes instead of bottles for laundry detergent.
- If you want to take it further, you can complement your personal lifestyle changes with lobbying your local and national authorities to regulate and restrict single-use plastic and campaigning for businesses to provide alternatives.
Do you have any more suggestions? Please share in the comments.