Plastic is cheap. Plastic is durable and moldable. But plastic waste is the cause of an environmental disaster for which we still struggle to fully comprehend the consequences on our planet, and our health.
Because plastic waste is not biodegradable, it never disappears completely. Even after 400 years, a single plastic bottle is still present in the environment as microparticles of plastic. We might not always see it, but it doesn't mean that it is not present everywhere around us. In the soil, in the oceans, even in the air.
The good news is, you can do something about it. Really do something about it. Because plastic pollution is mainly due to our plastic waste, reducing our consumption will help reduce the amount of plastic we end up throwing away. It's that simple.
But we all need a little help and a little push with this. Because plastic items, bottles and bags are part of our daily lives and can be found everywhere, replacing them with ecological and biodegradable items can sometimes be a little trickier than it seems.
So we've come up with a short list of simple ways to reduce your plastic waste at home, without affecting your lifestyle.
You might even end up saving some money in the process, so that's worth a try!
1. Use glass jars
Plastic tubs are so convenient and easy to find, aren't they? You can take them to work or on a trip, use them to stock food in your fridge or your freezer. But plastic food packaging is quite bad for your health, and for the environment. An easy solution is to replace them with glass ones. They too can be bought almost everywhere, and are as convenient and resistant as plastic. They might be a little heavier, that's true, but they also are risk-free from swallowing microparticles of plastic, and your health is worth way more than a little extra weight in your bag.
2. Refuse plastic bags with your vegetables
When buying fruits and vegetables, it's an easy mistake to make to carry them in a plastic bag. Especially when we know that plastic bags are responsible for thousands of sea turtles deaths every year. The solution: use a paper, or no bag at all. Your vegetables won't taste any different.
3. Bring your own takeaway box when getting take out
Going for a nice dinner out in a restaurant, knowing that you might not end up finishing your meal and take it home instead? Bring your own takeaway box with you. Restaurants tend to wrap your meals in a plastic tub, and a plastic bag, before handing it over to you.
Bonus point if you use your own personal glass tub.
4. Reuse a coffee lid
Can you not go to work without stopping in your favorite coffee shop in the morning? We hear you. But even then, you can do your little contribution against plastic waste pollution by reusing the same coffee lid every day. Just rinse it up when you're done, and slip it back in your purse or briefcase for the next day.
5. Make your own juice or smoothie
Making your own fresh drink in the morning has multiple advantages, for your health but also for the planet. Most of the fresh juices you can buy in shops come in a single-use plastic bottle, and these plastic bottles are at the very core of the oceans plastic pollution problem. By making your own, you can use a reusable plastic or stainless steel bottle and save up some money.
6. Use a fabric bag to freeze your bread
Here's another waste of plastic bag: bread packaging. When buying it, opt for a plastic-free bag option, like a paper bag or a reusable one. To freeze it, simply put it in a fabric bag. Your bread won't taste any different or lose its moisture, but you will have made a simple yet effective decision against plastic pollution.
7. Say no to plastic straws
More and more countries are joining the fight against plastic waste by imposing a ban on plastic straws. And you should too. Plastic straws are of those tiny items that have a major environmental impact, while we can easily go without them. If you prefer to drink your cocktail with a straw, opt for a stainless steel one, which you can carry with you in your bag. They look much nicer anyway. And it's a great way to start a conversation.
At rOcean, we are devoted to fighting against single-use plastic bottles and plastic pollution. We are proud of being a part of the global movement. Join us in our mission: together, we can #BeTheChange.