Plastic is bad; we all know that. It takes over 450 years for a water bottle to break down into microplastics. Yes, that bad! Because it doesn’t break down easily, it ends up in oceans and other water bodies where it is a major threat to the aquatic life. Moreover, plastic accumulated in open spaces releases chemicals that harm the environment.
Most dangerous among plastics are the single-use plastics because they can’t be used more than once and end up forming the major portions of plastic garbage. These include plastic cutlery, coffee cups, shopping bags, takeaway containers, etc. Plastics are so overused these days that it is nearly impossible to cut them overnight. In order to protect our environment and our health, we need to start cutting it from life bit by bit.
Since the global plastic pollution crisis is becoming a major concern, more and more people are quitting using single-use plastics that form the largest portion of the plastic garbage. Some of the countries have imposed a ban on single-use plastics. However, there are still a large number of countries that are doing nothing to tackle this crisis.
Straws, bottles, and cutlery are just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless items made from plastic we use in everyday life. Plastic litter in the streets is the proof of that. We have to stop waiting for the time when the governments will ban them and start replacing our daily use items with safer products one by one. We suggest that we start by cutting the single-use plastics from life one by one. This article provides insight into most commonly used single-use plastic items and their alternatives.
1. Water PET Bottles
That plastic water bottles we buy every time we feel thirsty when we are out are one of the major causes of plastic pollution. And this can be easily avoided. As mentioned previously, it takes 450 years for biodegradation of one bottle. Therefore, before you leave your home, fill your own stainless steel or glass bottle with water and carry it with you. It will not only reduce the plastic pollution but also save you money.
2. Plastic Straws
Plastic straws that are given to you when you drink something on the go are another big cause of plastic pollution. Data suggests that America alone disposes off over 500 million straw in one day. Imagine the havoc they are wreaking worldwide. Ergo, quit using straws or switch to the safer versions like stainless steel straws.
3. Plastic Take-Out Containers
When you get the food packed at some restaurant to take with you, they mostly pack it in single-use plastic containers. The better option is to carry your utensils with you and get your food packed in it. Or better yet, quit eating out at restaurants too often and cook your own food.
4. Plastic Cutlery
Just like straws, plastic cutlery like spoons, forks, etc. are contributing largely to plastic pollution. Whenever you eat out or order food at home, request them to not to use disposable utensils and cutlery. Also, when you pack food at home, include eco-friendly cutlery in it.
5. Prepackaged Food
Prepackaged foods like chips, cookies, and other snacks are given in plastic pouches that are also single-use. Instead, get your food from the zero-waste supermarket and opt for recyclable packaging if you must.
6. Coffee Cups
Paper cups given at coffee shops, often touted as recyclable, are also a major threat to the environment. Neither are they eco-friendly nor healthy. If you often have coffee outside, always carry your coffee mug with you, which you can get filled from the shop.
7. Shopping Bags
And lastly, the shopping bags. Every time you go grocery shopping, you tend to accumulate a huge number of plastic bags that later end up in the garbage. Quit using plastic bags. Instead, carry your own bag made from cloth to the market to bring your grocery home.
The problem of plastic pollution is grave and more critical than we think it is. It is high time that we start ditching the plastic and go for a plastic-free lifestyle.