When buying groceries it’s hard not to find anything which is not wrapped in plastic. From pasta to veggies and fruits. There are companies who are trying to find solutions to this problem. Companies like Lush who try to ban plastic packaging altogether and in doing so, they have to be very creative and innovative. For example, they have created a solid shampoo bar.Lush claims it saves nearly 6million plastic bottles globally every year*. But now it’s time for the multinationals to step up too and rethink how they will reduce the plastic packaging. This is where the biggest challenge lies but in the meantime we, the consumer, can reduce our plastic footprint too. Here are six tips.
1: The plastic bag.
We all know that cheap plastic bag you get/buy when doing your shopping and the ones you get when ordering take-out. Their lifespan that day or evening is 15 minutes maximum and then hopefully it ends up in the trash. Some countries have already banned all types of plastic bags. But since that is not the case in most countries our tip is to buy a reusable bag made from cotton. Besides them being very sturdy they’re also more fashionable. We have our own Clear Water Initiative cotton bags you can buy!
2: Replace your plastic bottle.
Coca Cola, Pepsi, Sprite, 7Up etc. it all comes in plastic bottles. But also water.. In general, we suggest to stop drinking water from plastic bottles at all. If you don’t want to stop drinking water from a plastic bottle for environmental reasons, than you might want to stop for your own health. Plastics, even BPA free, leach estrogen mimicking compounds (xenoestrogens) into what it contains. This means when you drink water from a plastic bottle, you are filling your body up with xenoestrogen**. Meaning the xenoestrogen mimic estrogens in the body. And an excess of estrogen causes a long term disruption of hormonal balance… How many reasons to buy a reusable bottle do you need? Bottles from companies like Mizu, Dopper or any other brand of bottle which you can refill over and over again is fine.
3: Plastic cutlery and plates.
When going to a pick nick we usually take disposable plates, cutlery and cups. Most of the time they are made from plastic. Once we are done and had a great time at the pick nick the cleaning up is very easy. We just chuck it in the bin. Fine, but you could have used the alternative to plastic. Next time try paper/bamboo plates and cups and get edible cutlery. I can hear you think; ‘Edible cutlery?’. Yes edible cutlery. It is out there in various flavours!
4: Stop sucking.
Go to any beach and you will find a lot of straws left behind after a refreshing drink on a sunny day. The numbers found are dazzling and I am not going to speak of the damage they do to marine wildlife. So to quote Adrian Grenier “stop sucking”. If you want to suck, ask the bartender for a paper, glass or stainless steel straw.
Take away coffee I like just as any other person. Starbucks, Costa, Pret á Manger and other coffee shops are all great places to go to. But when you’re ordering take out coffee it is better to bring your own cup. For the simple reason, the “paper” cups have a plastic lining in them. And some even give you a Styrofoam cup. Bringing your own coffee cup is a simple way to reduce your plastic footprint. There are various brands out there like Mizu, Bodrum. They have great stainless steel coffee cups for a coffee to go. Actually Starbucks have them in their shop too.
Toothbrushes come in various shapes and sizes and they are also made of plastic. Enter the bamboo toothbrush! The design is simple, You might have to get used to them since their surface is less smooth than a regular toothbrush, but once you tried them, they do the same great job. Brands like The Bamboo Brush Society have great brushes.
Well these are six simple ways of how you can reduce your own plastic footprint. We need to take matters in our own hand since the large corporations seem to lack their responsibility. We really need to reduce our plastic footprint before it’s too late. Not for environmental reasons only, but also for our own health! Right now we can still turn the tide. Do you follow us?!
So next time you go out for coffee, bring your own cup., The same goes for the reusable bag and bottles and let’s try and make our beaches and oceans cleaner places!
Image: Canadian Wildlife Federation