10 plastics you can kick right now
Plastic pollution is a huge problem, affecting wildlife, the environment and even our health. It has been estimated that 8 MILLION TONNES of plastic enter our our oceans each year. Certain plastics can release harmful chemicals into the environment, while other plastics can be mistaken for food for animals causing them to starve to death. Other plastics breakdown into microplastics which are ingested by small animals. Those that survive are often then eaten by bigger animals, and so on and so forth, in a process called bioaccumulation, which can result in these microplastics ending up on our dinner plates and could potentially cause health issues for humans.
To help you kick your plastic habit, we have put together a list of 10 common plastic products that you can quit right now!
1. Plastic water bottles
Not only is the plastic bottle itself bad, but there is a huge amount of resources that go into producing and distributing this product. It's also a huge waste of money. Bottled water costs 300 TIMES that of tap water.
Get your hands on a reuseable water bottle and you can fill up anywhere with a tap! When you're out and about, you can usually find a bubbler or tap, otherwise many cafe's and shops will fill your bottle for free.
2. Plastic straws
In the states, over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used daily. Yep, 500 MILLION each day going into landfill and washing into our oceans.
The best way to kick this plastic item is to just refuse. Alternatively, many cafe's and bars are now using paper straws which can be recycled. If you just really love sipping from a straw then you can buy reusable stainless steel and glass straws.
3. Take away coffee lids and cups
Coffee cup lids are one thing, but many don't realise that coffee cups themselves are lined with plastic and they are piling up in landfill.
4. Grocery bags
Recently, Coles and Woolworth and Harris Farm announced they are phasing out single use plastic bags. Woohoo! Why not beat them to the punch and bring your own reusable bags to the grocery store. Not only can you fit WAY more in them, but they are stronger and more durable!
5. Take away containers
Get yourself up 10 minutes earlier and pack your lunch, or take your own container to take away shops. You can buy stainless steel lunch boxes or take a container from home.
6. Plastic cutlery
7. Plastic produce bags
When I can I avoid using those little plastic produce bags at the shops. Big fruit and veg like apples and capsicums I leave loose in the trolley. You're just going to wash and/or peel them when you get home anyway! For the smaller things like beans, I use the paper mushroom bags.
You can now even buy mesh produce bags, that are lightweight and reusable.
8. Products packaged in plastic jars
For things like sauces, marinades and spreads, you will often find similar products packaged in glass containers with metal lids. Not only are both the glass jars and metal lids recyclable, but you can reuse them!
Once you have a good stock pile and are continuing on your plastic-free journey, you can start making your own sauces, marinades and spreads to put in them or take them to bulk buy stores and fill them with other things you need.
9. Chewing gum
Most people don't realise that chewing gum is made from plastic. Here is a great blog that goes into the nitty gritty of it all. If physically chewing on plastic isn't bad enough, it's also often sold in plastic-heavy packaging.
If you just can't quit chewing, why not check out these chewing gum alternatives.
10. Plastic packaged toilet paper
One of the best things I stumbled across in my journey of becoming plastic free was 100% recycled toilet paper, packaged in paper and cardboard, with 50% of proceeds going to building toilets in the developing world. Introducing: Who Gives A Crap.
Not only does it kick the use of plastic packaging and is good for the planet but this stuff is cheaper than toilet paper you buy in the store, it's delivered to your door (usually for FREE), it doesn't feel like sandpaper on your tooshie and they're double length rolls! You can also get paper towel and tissues!
By kicking these 10 single-use plastic habits, you will help stop a HUGE amount of plastic from entering landfill and our oceans, and help save countless animals.
Have any plastic habit kicking tips or tricks? Leave us a comment and let us know!