3 Easy ways to reduce plastic waste
Date Posted:31 March 2019
If you need some convincing to reduce your plastic waste, here are some war on waste facts: Each year the waste we generate in Australia is growing at twice the rate of the population. Australia uses over 10 million plastic bags a day. The average Australian family throws away $3.5k worth of food every year. That's a lot of food and plastic waste! Here are 3 simple ways you can help to reduce plastic waste.
1.Swap plastic straws for stainless steel straws
Plastic straws are extremely dangerous to wildlife. Being incredibly sharp, plastic straws waste ingested by an animal can cause harmful lacerations to their internal organs. Marine life are largely affected by plastic waste, with single use plastic drinking straws causing as much harm as plastic bags. Plastic straws in Australia represent 7.5% of all plastic in our county, with that figure growing each year.
Plastic straws environmental impact
Due to their small size, plastic straws can not be recycled. This is because when going over the conveyer belt at a recycling plant, small items such as straws fall down the cracks and never make it to be recycled. Environmental groups are working on a plastic straws ban, aiming to reduce single use plastic straws waste at both a consumer and business level. Eco friendly straws such as paper recyclable straws are encouraged to replace plastic waste as an alternative in businesses that rely on single use drinking straws. Stainless steel straws are a great option for environmentally friendly straws, with conscious consumers willing to bring their own, much like the reusable coffee cup. Eco straws Australia may be the way forward and the future in banning straws that contribute to plastic waste.
2. Opt for reusable bags
Why are plastic bags bad for the environment? To start with, the green house gases emitted to produce plastic bags have a massive impact on the environment, but the other factor is that plastic can take up to 1000 years to fully decompose. Plastic that ends up in the ocean never fully decomposes, instead, it breaks up into tiny pieces, ultimately being consumed by marine life and ending up in the food chain. If we look at waste facts Australia, our country uses over 5 billion plastic bags each year, with less than 4% being recycled. To put that into perspective, that’s 7,150 plastic bags contributing to landfill every minute. The good news is, we can all play a part in reducing this burden to our environment by opting for reusable shopping bags. The best type of reusable bag is a cloth shopping bag, which can be used and washed over and over again. The new bags at most supermarkets are recyclable shopping bags, so when you’re finished with these, ensure the empty bags are placed in to your recycle bin.
3. Say no to disposable plastic lunch box and coffee cup
A bento style lunch box is perfect for eliminating the need for plastic wraps and zip lock bags by keeping food separated yet contained in one stainless steel lunch box. If you calculate how many plastic wraps are used each day for a single lunch, then times that by how many days per year… that’s a lot of rubbish! Bento box lunch boxes are a great idea for a kids lunch box, as using a lunch box with compartments means you can separate their snacks without excessive plastic wrapping.
It is estimated that Australians consume more than 50,000 cups of coffee every half hour, and an estimated 1 billion takeaway hot drink cups every year. If we lined up all the coffee cups used each year in Australia they would stretch round the world…twice! That’s a lot of coffee cups. While the hard plastic lid can be recycled, the coffee cup itself should be put in the rubbish bin. Changing your habits and mindset is easier than you think. Once you try a reusable coffee cup, you will wonder how you didn't do it earlier. Start today by changing the world you live in, one reusable coffee cup at the time.