Plastic is a big problem for the environment. It ends up in landfills and it’s regularly eaten by numerous marine and land animals, to fatal consequences. It does not biodegrade. Ever. It just sits and accumulates in landfills and in the oceans forever. It might be difficult to stop using plastic products from one day to the other, but little by little it is possible. Searching for easy tips to reduce plastic consumption I found from The Plastic Soup Foundation the following infographics that I want to share with you.
1. Swap a plastic toothbrush for bamboo or wooden toothbrush.
Throughout your lifetime, you are estimated to use about 300 toothbrushes. Plastic toothbrushes are difficult to recycle and end up on the river banks, beaches and in the ocean. Bamboo toothbrushes are biodegradable thus better for the environment.
2. Swap plastic bottle shampoo for a shampoo bar.
Skincare products and cosmetics may contain microplastics. These tiny plastics are hardly visible to the naked eye, they flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewer system. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to filter out microbeads and that is the main reason why they contribute to the plastic soup in the ocean.
3. Swap disposable razors for a metal razor.
Our shaving routine might be contributing to the 2 billion razors and cartridges disposed of each year. A metal razor can be used for a long time and it can be recycled once you are done using it.
4. Swap disposable menstrual pads and tampons for a menstrual cup or reusable cloth pads.
Disposable menstrual pads and tampons may contain plastics and are often flushed down the toilet. On average, a woman is estimated to use and dispose of about 10,000 menstruation products in her lifetime.
5. Swap plastic brushes for wooden brushes.
Even though plastic brushes are not single-use, they are made for short-term use. The best is to replace all the brushes that you use for wooden ones. You can find one at a local green store near you.
6. Swap plastic sandwich bags for reusable cloth bags.
From the 380 million tonnes of plastics produced worldwide each year, more than 40% are used in packaging, of which the majority is used in food packaging.
7. Swap plastic straws for bamboo or stainless steel straws.
Plastic straws are one of the most common types of litter found on beaches. They can’t be recycled and don’t biodegrade. Instead, they end up in landfills and in the ocean.
8. Swap plastic wrap for Bee’s wrap.
The chemicals which are added to a plastic wrap to make it more clingy make it harder to recycle. On top of that, plastic cling films are single-use plastic. Bee’s wrap is an eco-friendly way to wrap food. It is easy to wash and it can be reused for a long time.
9. Swap packed tea bags for loose tea and a tea-ball.
A lot of tea bags that appear to be made of only paper, may also contain plastic. The added plastic, however, is rarely mentioned on the packaging, and the consumer remains unaware. Plastic tea bags are just another way for microplastics to end up in our body, and potentially in the environment.
10. Swap single-use plastic bread bags for a reusable cloth bread bag.
The plastic around store-bought bread is single-use and not recyclable. Instead, you can go to your local bakery with a cotton bread bag, which you can use for a long time. If you have plastic-free options available to you in the form of a paper bag packed bread, then that’s an option too.
11. Swap disposable to-go coffee cups for a reusable coffee cup.
To-go coffee cups are made of plastic. Even paper cups are lined with a plastic coating on the inside, making them non-recyclable. Reusable coffee cups are so diverse that you can use them for tea, smoothies, or any other liquid. Having one with you at all times is a great way to reduce your plastic consumption.
12. Swap plastic baby bottles for metal or glass bottles.
Baby plastic bottles are lightweight and inexpensive, but sometimes they may release endocrine disruptors (BPA) which can potentially mess up hormones in our bodies. Metal and glass baby bottles are environmentally friendlier. They are saver for babies and can be passed over to family and friends because the nipple can be replaced.
13. Swap regular chewing gum for non-synthetic rubber chewing gum.
A lot of regular chewing gum brands contain synthetic polymers, polyethylene, and plasticizers. This is to make the gum stretchy, soft and flexible. On top of it, chewing gums are not biodegradable.
14. Swap plastic laundry clippers for wooden or stainless steel laundry clippers.
Plastic laundry clippers are often found in the litter polluting our beaches and river banks. They can easily get lost and end up breaking down in the environment.
15. Swap a plastic watering can for a metal watering can.
Plastic is not made to resist outdoors in the long term. When plastic withers away it loses particles over time. This is because of the gradual degradation caused by outdoor weather conditions like sun-light.
16. Swap plastic plants holders for holders made from cardboard, glass, bamboo, wood or cellulose.
When buying new plants, try to find them without a plastic holder. If you can’t find a plastic alternative, try to reuse the holder as much as possible. When you are done using them, return them to your gardening center instead of throwing them away.
17. Swap single-use cigarette for matches made of wood or a metal lighter
Single-use cigarette lighters are found on almost every beach around the world. According to Ocean Conservancy, all the cigarette lighters collected during beach cleanups performed in 2017 together would have stood 10 times higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.