10 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Single-Use Plastic Waste

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Reducing your single-use plastic waste doesn’t have to break the bank or be a major inconvenience. In fact, reducing your plastic footprint can be as easy as adopting some new, but very simple, habits — the most comprehensive of which is to become more aware of which products you purchase and use.

Here are some of the easiest ways you can reduce your single-use plastic consumption!

Switch to Solid Soaps
Not only do solid soaps last longer than their liquid counterparts; they’re often a lot more efficient as well. Liquid soaps such as hand soap, body wash, shampoo, and conditioner tend to come in plastic containers that are used for the duration of the product and then thrown away.

Meanwhile, solid soaps come with little to no packaging and you can get fresh ones almost anywhere.

Ditch the Plastic Cutlery
Each year, billions of plastic knives, forks, spoons, and straws are used once and then thoughtlessly thrown away. To combat this, always keep a bamboo or metal set with you for just in case.

Rethink Your Cosmetics & Hygiene Products
Cosmetic and hygiene products are one of the household’s biggest single-use plastic perpetrators, and yet there are alternatives. When looking for more eco-friendly hygiene products, choose ones that have minimalist or biodegradable packaging, are made without microbeads, and are cruelty-free.

Get a Reusable Tote Bag
Reusable tote bags are great as they roll up small and can fit into a purse or a pocket for a day out. While it may be second nature for you to carry a few reusable tote bags while you’re out shopping, bringing a small one wherever you go will get rid of the need to ever use a plastic one again.

Carry a Reusable Water Bottle
Plastic water bottles, while extremely convenient, create such unnecessary waste. To cut down on plastic water bottle use, carry around a reusable alternative. Not only can you fill up on clean, fresh water pretty much anywhere, but you’ll also save yourself money in the long run.

If you’re somewhere that requires water filtration, then note that there are plenty of portable water filters on the market that will do the job – some are even built right into the water bottles themselves.

Use Compostable Products
Did you know that many of your standard plastic household items have compostable alternatives? It’s true, everything from garbage bags and toothbrushes to cleaning product containers have eco-friendly substitutes. If you can’t find the compostable versions of these items in your local store, then take a look online!

Buy Fresh Food
Food manufacturers are notorious for packaging their products in flimsy plastic. By purchasing fresh food, not only will you cut down on your plastic consumption, but you’ll tend to purchase healthier snacks as well.

Further to this, carry your own reusable containers and use your grocery store’s bulk bins. You can get everything from pasta and spices to cereal from these.

Assess Your Food Storage
Not all plastic food storage containers are single-use, but for an option that has greater longevity, get into the habit of using either compostable food storage containers or glass ones for when you cook at home.

Sources:

http://www.worldwatch.org/system/files/M-A%2007%20Life-cycle.pdf

https://www.earthday.org/2018/03/29/fact-sheet-single-use-plastics/

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/05/plastics-facts-infographics-ocean-pollution/

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