Plastic can take over 400 years to decompose. WOW!
(In fact, this is a guess from the experts as we’ve never seen any plastic decompose as it hasn’t been around long enough.) Combine the fact that plastic isn’t biodegradable with the explosion in population numbers, that’s a scary amount of plastic.
As a species we seem to have gone totally plastic mad, the stuff is EVERYWHERE. It feels deeply ingrained in our society.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
These are the buzzwords that will assist you in reducing your plastic footprint in 2020.
According to The Economist, we now create 380 million tons per year of global plastic production. Since the 50’s only 9% of plastic has been recycled and another 12% has been incinerated. The remaining has been dumped into landfills, or our natural environment.
Eat A Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet
Fundamentally this one also means eat less convenience foods. Often, convenience processed foods are sold in plastic packaging.
Eating a fresh produce plant-based diet means getting your protein from sources such as lentils, beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas). It can also act as a huge money saver, try purchasing these dried and see how much money you can save.
Supermarkets and grocery stores are also taking note and now making commitments to try and eliminate plastic packaging especially around fruit and veg. If they haven’t started putting something in place already, then it’s likely they will soon due to consumer pressure.
Use A Refillable Bottle
To cover your water needs in the office or at home also have a refillable water bottle instead of using single-use cups or bottles. The idea is that you never need to buy a bottle of water in a single-use bottle again.
Only Use Reusable Steel Straws Instead Of Plastic Straws
Plastic straws somehow end up in our oceans and can take up to 200 years to decompose! They find their way into turtle’s noses. It’s time we stop using them in restaurants, perhaps say ’no straw’ when you order.
Steel straws are brilliant to keep in the draw at home and are easy to clean. It can be a good idea to also carry one around with you for when drinking out. They are also better than plastic straws as far as straws go as they just feel more substantial than a plastic one.
NO straws is also an option!!!!
Take Reusable Fabric Tote Bags Or Backpacks When Buying Groceries
In the United Kingdom, customers are charged 5p per bag they take from the store. Canada is looking to ban them by 2021. San Francisco has started banning them all together.
Instead of using plastic bags, invest in fabric bags, backpacks or even a trusty wheeled shopping trolley. If you have a car, it can be a good idea to keep a bunch of spare fabric bags ready to go. Also, it’s good to think further than just grocery shopping, carry all your purchases from electronics to toiletries in tote bags too.
Use Soap Bars To Reduce Plastic Waste
Making the switch from bottle to bar is inevitable in the fight against plastics. Plastic shower and hand-wash bottles are used once and tossed away. There are lots of organic and natural scented soaps in the market that are both more environmentally friendly plus boasting that they have zero plastic waste. They can smell nicer and feel more moisturizing to your skin than a gel from a bottle.
Bulk Buy Wholesale Products Such As Oats, Dried Lentils/Beans, Pasta and Rice
Many dried foods can be purchased wholesale. Not only is this much cheaper, but it means you’ll have to purchase it less often and you’ll reduce your plastic purchases.
Glass jars filled with the dried foods also look chic in your home either on the side or when you look in the cupboard and will look in freshness.
Buy Boxes, Not Plastic Bottles
Purchasing juices, plant-based milks or laundry detergents? Opt for those sold in carton cardboard material over those in plastic. The cardboard options are much easier to recycle than plastic bottles, plus paper-based products decompose much easier. Even better would be to choose companies who source their cardboard sustainably or have a strong stance on deforestation.
Compost Your Plant-Based Waste
When eating a plant-based diet, much of your waste can be the scraps of the food itself. For example, potato or squash skin, the ends of vegetables, orange or banana peel or the ends of a cucumbers. Rather than natural waste taking up space in your garbage or rubbish, why not get a composter and dispose there? This reduces your contribution to landfills. Then every once in a while, you can dispose of and give back to the soil. The ground and critters will be grateful for the addition as the natural waste helps soil to retain moisture, enriches and helps to suppress disease and pests. Composting also encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that breakdown organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient filled material. Lucky critters, I guess.
Additional Ideas For Reducing Plastic
Do you have any other ideas to reduce plastic waste? Which one do you think will be the easiest to implement?
Let us know!