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10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste

Updated on July 7, 2017
Non-Biodegradable Plastic Waste
Non-Biodegradable Plastic Waste | Source

The main problem with the use of plastics is the fact that it takes hundreds of years, even thousands, to completely degrade. Unfortunately most of the plastic waste that we trash ends up going into the oceans and destroying marine life. Even though recycling does reduce the amount of plastic waste, not all forms of plastic can be recycled.

As such, taking small steps to reduce the use of plastic out there can go a long way in reducing pollution. Here are ten steps that one can take to reduce plastic waste.

  1. Carry your own shopping bags to the store

The amount of plastic bags that are used every year is extremely high, considering that they are not degradable. This number is especially steep because plastic bags are only useful for a very limited amount of time. Carrying your own bag to the store may seem something small, but it can go a long way in reducing the amount of plastic going into the trash.

  1. Avoid Using Straws

Straws are fun to use, but they also serve their purpose within a very short time and then they are disposed – they are single-use items. Therefore, avoid using them.

  1. Opt for Home Cooked Meals

Besides the obvious health benefits that home cooked meals have, they also help in eliminating take-out containers. Whenever you order a meal from your local restaurant, couriers are bound to deliver it in some form of plastic. It may seem unnoticeable but, over time, it can add up to tons of plastic garbage.

  1. Avoid Disposable Razors

Instead of buying plastic razors that can only be used one time, consider going for those that have replaceable blades.

  1. Recycle

This is the most obvious solution to plastics. Remember that local municipals cannot deal with all plastics that are churned out of every home daily. Therefore, ensure that you recycle plastic items that could otherwise be used only once.

  1. Support Taxation or Banning of Plastics Products

This may mean supporting a cause that will eventually cost you; for example in the form of additional taxes. However, some of these measures have helped reduce the production and use of plastics in most countries. Consider supporting legislation that will reduce the amount of plastics in circulation.

  1. Re-Consider How You Store Your Food

Wrapping plastic bags, baggies, and containers seem quite efficient, especially when they are used to store food-stuffs. However, when you consider the opportunity cost of doing so, then you realize it is not worth it. Instead of using disposable containers, opt for glass tumblers and jugs.

  1. Conduct Your Shopping in Bulk

Of-course doing this has a cost implication, and it may not always be possible. However, when you do your shopping in bulk, it greatly reduces the amount of plastic bags or containers that you carry home. This can be a good alternative to carrying your own bags to the store.

  1. Voice Your Concerns to Manufacturers

While we can make a difference through improving our won habits, turning around the culture of a corporation can have a much wider effect. This is because large organizations and manufacturers have a much wider impact. If you can, make your voice heard.

  1. Participate In Clean Up Exercises

Organizing clean up parties or participating in one can be a very fulfilling activity. This will help you affect your community and the environment directly. It’s also a noble thing to do.


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