5 Easy ways to reduce plastic waste
Date Posted:5 August 2021
Each year the waste we generate in Australia is growing at twice the rate of the population.
1. Carry a reusable water bottle
Around 373 million plastic water bottles end up in waste each year. Many of these will be single-use, plastic water bottles. If you’re lucky – like so many of us in Australia are – to have drinkable tap water then switching to a reusable water bottle is the way. Taking a reusable water bottle wherever you go will help you stay hydrated and save on plastic waste. There are countless different designs of reusable water bottles. An insulated water bottle is great because it keeps your water cold for longer, which is what you want on hot days. An insulated water bottle can also be used as a flask – to keep hot tea and drinks hotter for longer. If you want to shop a more classic style then a stainless steel water bottle is for you. A stainless steel water bottle will also, naturally, keep your water cold and fresh. Plus, a stainless steel water bottle is naturally BPA free and easy to clean and keep hygienic. Looking for something sleek? A glass water bottle is great for those that like something simple and stylish. A good glass water bottle will be non-toxic, stain and odour resistant and thick enough to resist breakages.
2. Opt for reusable bags
It’s well known now that plastic bags are terrible for our planet. To start with, the greenhouse gases emitted to produce plastic bags have a massive impact on the environment. But beyond that, plastic can take up to 1000 years to fully decompose. And plastic that winds up in the ocean never fully decomposes – instead, breaking up into tiny pieces, ultimately being consumed by marine life.
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. While you can reuse plastic bags at most major supermarkets, they don’t last as long as reusable shopping bags. Bringing your own reusable shopping bag is not only more sustainable in the long term but also more stylish.
3. Say no to disposable plastic lunch boxes
Eating out or buying pre-packaged food on the go is a major cause of single-use plastic waste. Although it can be hard to avoid this sometimes, bringing your own food with you is a great way to not only reduce waste and single plastic use but also money. There are so many reusable lunch boxes to choose from. A bento-style lunchbox 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. A stainless steel lunchbox is a great choice as it is naturally BPA free and works to keep food fresher for longer. Plus Bento box lunch boxes are a great idea for a kids lunch box as you can separate their snacks without excessive plastic wrapping.
4. Sip in style with a reusable coffee cup
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 around the world…twice! That’s a lot of coffee cups. While the hard plastic lid can be recycled, the coffee cup itself has to be put in the regular waste bin. reusable coffee cupreusable coffee cup
5. Swap plastic straws for reusable straws
Due to their small size, plastic straws can’t be recycled. Plastic straws in Australia represent 7.5% of all plastic in our county, with that figure growing each year. Plastic straws can be dangerous to our planet and wildlife. With so many plastic straws winding up in landfill, waterways and in nature, our wildlife is vulnerable to ingesting this plastic. Being sharp, plastic straws can cause harmful lacerations to animals’ internal organs.
Luckily you can still enjoy all your favourite drinks without the environmental damage thanks to reusable straws. There are so many reusable straws to choose from. Metal straws are a great option as they are easy to use and wash. You can shop metal straws and stainless steel straws in straight, bent and even rose gold designs. If you’re looking to use eco-friendly straws for your little ones, then silicone straws are a great option. Silicone straws are easy to bend and use to help little ones sip safely. Bringing environmentally friendly straws with you when on the go is a great idea to help you say no to single-use plastic.