11 SIMPLE HACKS THAT YOU CAN DO TO REDUCE YOUR PLASTIC WASTE

(Check out our Pinterest Page for more inspiration on ZERO Waste alternatives HERE)

This one is so simple, it’s crazy.

Just make sure you get the bars wrapped in eco-packaging (like paper) rather than plastic.

Plus, if you want to wash your hair without plastic bottled shampoo – check out Lush’s shampoo bars. Each bar is designed to last for around 60-90 days (so much longer than standard bottles) which means it can end up being much more cost efficient too.

Plus, you can take these in hand luggage on the plane too!

2. SWITCH YOUR PLASTIC TOOTHBRUSH FOR A BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH 

Did you know that over 1 billion plastic toothbrushes end up in landfills in North America every year? 

Dentists recommend we replace our toothbrush every 3-4 months. That means that we should use 4-6 toothbrushes every single year. And that’s probably why so many plastic toothbrushes end up in landfills in the USA every year.

Swapping your plastic toothbrushes for bamboo toothbrushes can make a big difference. Once we throw the bamboo toothbrush away, the handle will decompose – meaning that it won’t contribute to the increasing plastic pollution.

There are a ton of bamboo toothbrushes out there. While we’re trying to be as plastic-free as possible, our preference is the bamboo brush with nylon-4 bristles. We find these work better on the teeth. Just make sure you pluck out the bristles before throwing the brush away!

3. KEEP A REUSABLE BAMBOO UTENSIL SET IN YOUR BAG SO YOU CAN DITCH THE LUNCH-TIME PLASTIC

We know how hard it can be having lunch in the city that’s convenient, quick, and eco friendly.

Too many single-use plastic utensils are given out way too regularly in cafes, shops, and restaurants all around the world. They may be cheap and convenient, but they are so costly to the environment.

4. SWAP YOUR PLASTIC STRAW FOR A BAMBOO STRAW SET

 If you like to order smoothies, frappuccinos, or even cocktails out, then investing in a bamboo straw set could be a good option.

Saying no to the plastic straw might seem like a tiny act but it really will make a big difference. 500 million straws are used in the USA every year!

Just remember to tell your waiter that you’ve got your own straw so they don’t open the pack for you!

5. MAKE YOUR OWN TOOTHPASTE 

Apparently, we each buy 14 million gallons of toothpaste every year!

So making your own will save a huge amount of plastic every year. With this simple recipe, you no longer have to buy the plastic tubes of toothpaste. Just mix together the following ingredients in a bowl:

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 20 drops of peppermint essential oil

And apply to your toothbrush with a teaspoon, and brush in the normal way!

(Make sure you store it somewhere cool so it doesn’t melt)

6. MAKE YOUR OWN MOUTHWASH 

Now you can also say goodbye to the expensive plastic bottled mouthwash brands and hello to homemade mouthwash.

It’s super easy. Just mix together the following:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp xylitol
  • 10 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil

7. ALWAYS KEEP A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE WITH YOU

It’s been predicted that 1 million plastic bottles are used every single minute around the world, almost 20,000 plastic bottles are produced every second.

That makes water bottles one of the worst offenders for their contribution to plastic production around the world.

Try investing in a reusable bottle and always keep it in your bag.

8. TEA: BAIL ON THE BAG  

Did you know that tea bags contain plastic in the lining of the bag? 

It’s only a small amount it all adds up. In the UK where 6 billion cups of tea are brewed every year, the plastic in the tea bags adds up to 150 tonnes of polypropylene being produced every year.

This can easily be reduced if we bail on the bag and use loose leaf tea instead. You can also reuse the loose leaves and brew a second cup so it doesn’t have to be too costly.

Or if you’re a herbal tea fan- try using fresh herbs and spices. Replace your lemon & ginger tea bags with fresh ginger and a squeeze of lemon in hot water. Or replace your peppermint tea with some fresh mint leaves steeped in hot water.

9. MAKE YOUR COFFEE AT HOME AND GRIND THE BEANS YOURSELF

Coffee is another deceptive drink which is often not fully plastic-free. 

If you buy it on the road, chances are you’ll get a plastic lid; and the coffee itself may well be stored in a bag containing plastic to keep it airtight.

If you want to make your coffee without it touching any plastic at all, then you can invest in a plastic-free french press machine.

Make sure you grind your own beans yourself (they have a stronger flavor too) and keep them fresh by storing in a glass jar.

10. KILL THE CLING FILM AND START USING BEESWAX WRAPS

Whether you use cling film, plastic wrap or glad wrap (it’s all the same thing), there’s no denying this is one of the worst offenders for the single-use plastic.

It’s almost impossible to reuse this as it’s so flimsy so there’s a high chance of puncturing this if you try to use again.

Reusable beeswax wraps make a great alternative. They keep your food fresh, last up to one year, and can be moulded around any food with the warmth your hands. Plus they brighten up your kitchen!

12. SACK OFF THE SUPERMARKET: GET YOUR FRUIT & VEG FROM LOCAL MARKETS 

Go fresher, tastier, cheaper AND more eco-friendly by shopping at local markets. 

Large grocery stores and supermarkets use a lot of unnecessary plastic especially in their fresh produce section. As well as this, often they source foods from far away which have a high carbon footprint just to get to the shop. That’s why we prefer to shop at our local markets.

They often hand pack the fruit and veg in paper bags rather than plastic – and the food is often fresher, tastier and cheaper too.

Just remember to take a tote bag with you so there’s no need for any plastic bags at all.

SO THERE’S 11 TIPS FOR WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR PLASTIC WASTE & SAVE MONEY.

Each time you say no to a plastic item, you’re doing your bit to stop fuelling the plastic production. If we can all cut down our use of plastic, less plastic will be required and less plastic will be produced.

We can’t change the world overnight but our small changes can help be part of the solution.

Repost @barevida

Be part of the “No Straw” movement, which is spreading and promoting non-plastic straws – recently the Bacardi spirits company instituted an in-house initiative to remove plastic straws and stirrers from all its events.

Most plastic straws end up in landfills or as pollution!

Providing a plastic straw with a drink is automatic in many restaurants and bars. For those straws that are actually used, it’s likely just for minutes. Then most are thrown directly in the garbage (a very small proportion are recycled). They end up in a landfill, or worse, as waste that “leaks” out into the broader environment of urban and rural landscapes and waterways.

The Last Plastic Straw

Eco-Cycle estimates 500 million plastic straws are used and discarded each day in the United States alone. That amounts to 175 billion each year just in the USA! To provide more perspective.

Eco-Cycle notes the following:

500 million straws could fill over 127 school buses each day, or more than 46,400 school buses every year!

500 million straws per day is an average of 1.6 straws per person (in the US) per day. Based on this national average, each person in the US will use approximately 38,000 or more straws between the ages of 5 and 65.

Note that these estimates do not include all the straws attached to juice and milk cartons handed out in school lunchrooms and included in lunch boxes every day.

Most straws are made of polypropylene plastic (recycling symbol #5) – a petroleum-derived plastic that does not break down easily.

The Worldwatch Institute describes plastic straw production as follows:

Colorants, plasticizers (which make the plastic more flexible), antioxidants (which reduce the interactions between oxygen and the plastic), and ultraviolet light filters (which shield the plastic from solar radiation) are added. Straws are then individually wrapped in sleeves or bulk-packed in plastic or cardboard containers.

These plastic straws do not biodegrade, they photodegrade, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces that are easily eaten by wildlife.

Because it is a tougher plastic, when polypropylene goes into the marine environment it absorbs toxins for a long time. These toxin-heavy plastics are then often ingested by and slowly poison wildlife.

We have included a powerful video that went viral of researchers removing a plastic straw from the nostril of a sea turtle. (Warning: The video is very sad and graphic).

It Just Makes GOOD SENSE 

The Environment

Appleton Waste Services is committed to protecting the environment and reducing waste. Wherever possible, Appleton Waste Services promotes the efficient use of energy and natural resources, innovative solutions to reduce pollutants and exercise environmentally safe disposal methods. To this end, Appleton Waste Services:

• Routinely assesses the impact that its activities have on the locations where it operates, its generation of pollution and waste, as well as its impact on natural habitats.

• Implements programs based on a sustainability perspective to assess, avoid, reduce, and mitigate the environmental risk and impacts of its activities.

• Follows the principles of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle as the primary initiative to support our environmental responsibilities.

2018-10-24T17:49:12+00:00