Ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? It is a giant floating mass of plastic trash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. According to experts, the size of the Garbage Patch is somewhere between the size of Texas and of the continental United States. But one thing is for sure - about 20 billion pounds of plastic are added to it each year. It means approximately 10 per cent of the plastic is tossed as trash annually.
Is there a way by which we can minimise the huge and deadly plastic mess which might envelope the globe? Think of the drastic effect the plastic wastage can have on the green cover, the plants and animals, and humans.
Here are a few helpful tips for reducing the plastic waste we create daily:
1. Choose reusable water bottles
Paper coffee cups are made with a plastic lining – which can’t be recycled. Go in for reusable water bottles and travel mugs which are made from a variety of materials. Carry your own thermos or mug when you are going to coffee shops. This will save on the plastic mugs and let you drink from safer options.
2. Reusable cloth bags. sandwich bags
On your shopping trip, it is worth carrying reusable cloth bags (which you can make from old fabric). You can also choose reusable snack/sandwich bags over disposable ones. They just need to be washed between uses.
3. Chuck away disposable straws or utensils
When ordering a beverage, tell your server that you don’t need a straw. Just in case you like to use straws at home, you can always go in for reusable ones such as steel, glass or bamboo. Office goers can use reusable steel or bamboo set. Say no to disposable utensils when picking eatables from outside.
4. Swap your plastic food containers for the ones made from glass or metal
There is Iife outside of plastic and disposable. Go in for glass containers. They are safe (in fact, oven-safe) and very much usable. To reheat food, you don’t have to use multiple dishes. Just be careful they don’t break. And glass utensils don’t stain or age like their plastic counterparts. Bring reusable containers to restaurants, so that you can carry back home the leftovers in a healthy way.
5. Choose boxes over plastic bottles
When buying pasta or detergents, choose items packaged in cardboard instead of plastic. Cardboard is easier to recycle, and bio-degradable items are certainly safer than plastic.
6. Save money by buying in bulk
Instead of buying foods that are packaged in single-serving, go in for bulk version. Things like granolas, nuts, pastas, grains, candies, dried fruit are better bought in bulk. This works out to be cheaper too. Skip using the plastic disposable bags kept at the grocery and departmental stores. Instead bring your own refillable containers which you can ask the store personnel to weigh them first.
Even though these choices seem small, the effects are massive to be missed out on. The tiniest of actions on your part can help reduce waste and protect our environment.