REDUCE PLASTIC

Why Do We Need To Reduce Plastic? 

Did you know that more than 8 million tonnes of plastic leaks into the ocean each year – equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic every minute(1)

Up to 80% of all litter in our oceans is made of plastic(2)

According to estimates, by 2050 oceans will have more plastic than fish if present trends are not arrested(3)

How Can You Reduce Your Plastic Usage.

We need to act and this starts by saying «NO» to disposable plastic! That’s one of the first thing we should consider to reduce the amount of plastic that goes to trash and pollutes our oceans. 

Below a list of actions that will help reduce your waste, reduce pollution and also help your wallet!

Straw

Did you know that over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States (enough to circle the earth twice) and dropped into a garbage can with no further thought, instantly becoming a source of plastic pollution(4)

You can act by: 

  • Saying« NO» to plastic straw whenever ordering a drink.

  • Using your own paper, glass, bamboo, or stainless steel straw instead. 

  • If you are having a party, prefer compostable paper straws.

 

Plastic cups

​There are a loads of options for your to-go drink: glass, stainless steel.... bring your own and say «NO» to plastic, cardboard (which by the way have plastic lining inside) and styrofoam cups!​

 

Take home container 

Think about all the plastic we waste when we order food, and most of it goes to the garbage can. What a waste! Here is what you can do: 

  • As much as you can, bring your reusable take-home container. 

  • Cook home!

 

Plastic forks, spoons and knives

It is estimated that more than 100 million pieces of plastic utensils are used every day in the U.S.(5). As a reminder, plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. 

  • Say « NO» to disposable plastic cutlery when ordering food! 

  • Use reusable metal cutlery such as stainless steel. 

  • Check bamboo or compostable options. 

 

Having a party? Need some disposable plates, cups and spoons? ​

  • Prefer compostable or biodegradable plastic options or even made from recycled material. Compostable or biodegradable paper for straws and plates! There are loads of funky and nice options for all occasions. ​

 

Water bottle

Do you know that the U.S. consumes 1,500 plastic water bottles every seconds?(6) How can you act? ​

  • Use refill water fountain at your grocery store​. 

  • Install an under counter water filter, filter water through a pitcher (Brita type) or through purification system (Zen water) and drink water from your tap. Most of the bottled water sold in the U.S. is bottled and purified municipal water. So bottled water is basically tap water that you pay 1,000 times the price. And if you have doubt about the quality of your tap water, be informed that public water is tested daily and regulated by the EPA.

 

Plastic bags

Plastic bags are one of the largest source of marine pollution. Yes, this inexpensive and lightweight bag you use for your grocery will most likely end up littering parks or in waterways and eventually in lakes or oceans.  In the U.S., according to the EPA, we use over 380 billion plastic bags and wraps yearly, requiring 12 million barrels of oil to create(7)

Think about it, do you really need all these bags?  

  • Bring your own reusable bags when shopping. And in addition to be eco-friendly these reusable bags are more resistant. 

  • Sign the Bag Free Bayous petition asking the City of Houston to ban single use plastic bags. 

 

Produce bags

Two carrots, one plastic bag. One potato, another plastic bag. Brocoli, again one plastic bag….  that’s a lot of plastic bags for an average use of only 20 minutes. What can you do? 

  • Get some mesh reusable bags for your grocery.

  • If you forgot them, don’t bag your produce.

  • Store refrigerated produce in towels or cloth instead of plastic bag. 

 

Food storage bag (Ziploc type)

We use million of those food container bags which end up in landfills or in oceans. ​How can you reduce? 

  • Store refrigerated produce in towels or cloth instead of plastic bag. 

  • Silicon reusable bags are a great option for food storage in fridge, freezer or for on-the-go. 

  • Reuse and recycle plastic storage bags at your local grocery store. 

  • For snack use reusable cloth bags. There are a lot of nice options. 

 

Dry cleaning bags

1, 2 or more plastic bags per week. You can avoid this extra pollution​. 

  • Bring your own dry cleaning garment bag. 

 

Plastic cling film food wrap

Yes, there are alternatives: 

 

Plastic packaging

Think about all the plastic we waste in packaging: body lotion, laundry detergent.... . 40 percent of plastic produced is packaging used just once and then discarded(8)

  • Choose products packaged in natural materials such as bamboo, corn-starch, potato starch, cocoa bean shells, glass, grass paper, wood, cotton, hemp, algae, lignin or mycelium (mushroom). Try to avoid products in excessive plastic packaging.

  • Prefer glass containers for your products.

  • Where possible, buy your milk or juice in a glass returnable/reusable bottle.

  • Use soap bar instead of body lotion (it will also end up to be cheaper).

  • Buy loose items when you can and store food in reusable glass container. 

  • And if there are no non-plastic options buy bulk and recycle your plastic packaging!

 

Goodie bags

All these plastic trinkets that end up in the garbage! What a waste for your wallet and for the planet! Check for eco-friendly gifts options. 

And if you still end up with some plastic.... think about reusing and recycling: 

Sources

1, 2, 3-web.unep.org/unepmap/un-declares-war-ocean-plastic

4 -www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/pft/2017/1/3/the-problem-of-plastic-straws-and-how-each-of-us-can-make-a-difference?rq=jackie%20nunez

5-www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/guides-eats/

6-www.treehugger.com/clean-water/the-us-consumes-1500-plastic-water-bottles-every-second-a-fact-by-watershed.html?dcitc=th_rss_design

7-blog.epa.gov/2016/11/01/confronting-plastic-pollution-one-bag-at-a-time/

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

 
 
 

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Last update

October 2019