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how to reduce plastic waste

Millions of plastic microbeads are washed down the drain each year, posing a serious threat to marine life who mistake these small plastic particles for food. If that’s the case, this can be a great opportunity to introduce the idea of Plastic Free July to like-minded individuals. An example of plastic waste impacting tourism is one area of coastal Los Angeles, California where marine debris costs an estimated $68 M per year from lost tourism revenue. by 4ocean Team December 24, 2018. Life cycle inventories of waste management processes. Stop buying plastic bottles of water Stop buying bottles of water, and unless it’s necessary, politely decline them when they are given to you. The fraction that does get recycled still requires a lot of energy and water which just isn’t a good proposition when it comes to single-use items. You wake up this morning and go to brush your teeth. November 19, 2020, by 4ocean Team If a family of 5 all hopped on board with this greener practice, that means as a family they would stop about 850 water bottles from having to be produced. by 4ocean Team It's 2018... and you still get your bills mailed to you? Plastic garbage that ends up in landfills and oceans take hundreds of years to degrade, and there’s increasing concern about the toxins they release into the environment. How To Reduce Plastic Pollution: 2 Approaches Involving Products Or People As consumers rebel against plastic waste, there's a growing question: Do we invent something people can … One billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown out every single year, creating about 50 million pounds of waste annually. In the UK we plow through 7.7 billion single-use plastic water bottles every year. You’re not going to end the problem overnight, but here are some simple tricks to waste less. If you’re privileged to live in a place … 3. Another way you can easily reduce the amount of plastic waste you create at home is by stopping to buy one-time-use plastic bottles. Tips to Reduce Plastic Waste and Plastic Pollution. Cardboard can be more easily recycled and unlike plastic, will biodegrade over time. To start with, your school may also already have a sustainability committee or environmental club. Even better would be to check for companies that source their cardboard sustainably or have a strong stance on deforestation. A single person using a reusable, refillable water bottle instead of single-use plastic water bottles can save as much as 170 bottles from being produced each year. Instead of sandwich baggies, why not pack a bento box or a cute tiffin (shown at the top of this post) for lunch? Shopping with jars is a great option, and keep your eye out for brands with refilling stations, like Ariston oils and Common Good cleaners. The first step towards a plastic pollution solution is learning how to reduce plastic use. Think about it: when you order coffee at a restaurant or cafe, you don't use a straw to drink it. The average American household can save 6.6 pounds of paper each year and avoid producing 171 pounds of greenhouse emissions. Unless there’s some kind of contamination crisis, plastic water bottles are an easy target for reducing waste. At the same time, we know … Recycling helps keep plastics out of the ocean and reduces the amount of “new” plastic in circulation. We're all guilty of this. Think of all the unnecessary packing that goes into the food on the shelf. Saying NO to single-use straws is easier than you think. Instead of throwing away plastic zipper bags or wrapping things in Saran wrap, why not use jars or glass containers in the fridge? More than 1 million bags are used across the globe every day and annually, about 500 billion plastic bags are produced. Margaret Badore is a multimedia reporter in New York City. Chang Michelle. In 2014, her nonprofit, My Green Lab, developed a lab certification scheme to set a standard for best sustainable practices, encompassing everything from reducing … Instead, keep a refillable bottle handy. Summary – How To Reduce & Better Manage Plastic Packaging Waste, & Other Plastic Waste Save packaging, colored paper, egg cartons and other items for arts and crafts … Anderson, Marcia. To reduce plastic waste, you’re better off buying a big container of what you need. Sure, a metal razor may be a little heavier to hold than a plastic one, but the long-term result of discarded plastic razors is even heavier on the heart. Many schools produce a large amount of plastic waste, but you can change that. These plastics can come from bigger items breaking down, but they are also commonly added to consumer products like face wash and toothpaste. These little beads are intended to be exfoliators, but many wastewater treatment facilities aren’t able to stop them. There are many biodegradable alternatives, so avoid items with “polypropylene” or “polyethylene” on the ingredients list or consider making your own. All these choices reduce incredible amount of packaging that most pads and tampons are encased in. Whether you are going grocery shopping at the supermarket or going on a shopping spree at the mall, bring your own bag with you. Reducing your plastic use, however, is surprisingly easy and pain-free. Before you take your food, make sure to ask for no plastic fork, spoon, or knife. 330-333., doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.10.074. Countries are making this easier to do as more and more countries are putting a ban on the production of plastic microbeads in most cosmetic items. On the other hand, a plastic toothbrush will never biodegrade and will remain in the environment forever. As they taxied closer, cleanup gear at the ready, they noticed something alarming: an animal was entangled in the debris. There’s even an app that tells you where you can refill your bottle … In addition to bigger carryall bags, you can further reduce waste by bringing your own reusable produce bags or skipping them entirely. Speaking of flimsy, we move on to plastic hampers. If you’ve got a young baby, you know how many diapers can end up in the trash each day. Disposable coffee cups might look like paper but they’re usually lined with polyethylene, a type of plastic resin. Shifting to sustainable land-based aquaculture systems could reduce a number of pollutants associated with coastal aquaculture, such as plastic pollution from lost or discarded gear and untreated waste with high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous. We use more than 500 MILLION plastic straws every single day. Bring a reusable cup to coffee shops and ask … 2018, vol. It was a routine cleanup mission for Vessel Unit 4 when the crew spotted a floating patch of debris in the Pebuahan Ocean on Tuesday. One big … Everything from the toys that kids are playing with to the many plastic supplies used for a birthday party, plastic items are all around us. If you would prefer to use a straw, there are great alternatives such as steel, bamboo, and glass straws that you can carry with you and can use them time and time again. Most reusable bags are only about 99 cents - a small investment to help out our planet. Effecting systemic change. Plastic baggies, plastic wrap, and plastic storage containers are worth re-evaluating. Chances are if you are taking the food home, you have silverware readily available and do not need to waste the plastic cutlery. Even though the Centers for Disease Control has not yet documented transmission of the … When you get a take-out order, you will automatically be given a set of plastic cutlery. Bring your own thermos to the coffee shop, 4. Keep waste out of landfills by using school supplies wrapped in minimal packaging, and buying in bulk when possible. This also guarantees that you will never be utensil-less for another lunch again! Among plastic pollution, one of the most commonly littered items are plastic … However, chances are, whatever headlining story will be on the front page of the newspaper has already aired on every televised news station and you've already read about it online. By getting your school on board and educating them about the effects of plastic pollution, you can make a huge difference. Instead, fill up at the tap. Plastic … By simply refilling a reusable bottle, you’ll prevent some of these plastic bottles from ending up in landfills and oceans — but don’t stop there. Ditching plastic lighters and using matches instead is another way of reducing plastic waste. Plastic containers for food, … Carrying a reusable bottle is a great way to cut your plastic use and save money too! So what can we use instead of plastic hampers? Also, some supermarkets will wrap each fruit or vegetable individually in plastic wrap. While there may not be a whole lot of plastic involved with receiving bills in the mail, there are many over ecological benefits for signing up for e-billing. Refillable storage containers or bees wrap (natural alternative to plastic wrap) can hold a leftover sandwich or chips more safely than a cling film or plastic bags. This will also save you money and eliminate … You buy a huge plastic bag filled with even smaller plastic bags of snack-size chips. So why do you need a straw for your water or soda? 30 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste Clean With Baking Soda and Vinegar Clean with baking soda and vinegar instead of cleaners packaged in plastic. You then go get dressed and take a shirt and a pair of pants off your hangers in your closet. Use sustainable metal "Zippo" lighters, instead of … Reusable drinking straw s are another … Try bamboo! Then there are lids, stirrers, and coffee vendors that still use polystyrene foam cups—which can all be avoided with your own mug. You then go get dressed and take a shirt and a pair … “Making Sense of the Mix: Analysis and Implications of the Changing Curbside Recycling Stream.” American Chemistry Council. When it comes to carryout, these types of containers be used instead of disposable ones—although it can definitely take a bit of courage and some explaining to help your local restaurants to understand. You wake up this morning and go to brush your teeth. In the UK we use over 35 million plastic bottles every day! The UK is the latest country to issue a ban which will become effective beginning in July of this year. Here are 17 ways to reduce your plastic waste: Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants. In just the 30 minutes it took you to get ready for the day, you used 7 plastic items, which could easily be replaced with more sustainable products, that will most likely find their way into the ocean where it will turn into a threat for marine life. Food containers and packaging in 2017 comprised about 80.1 million tons of trash, or 29.9% of total municipal solid waste generation, according to the EPA. While this last point is not a specific item, we realize that there are many other ways to help reduce your plastic intake than the 14 listed on this blog. For something we can readily get from a tap that is a lot of plastic … 49. Disposable shopping bags have been banned in a number of cities, like San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Haupt Melanie, et al. 85% of these hangers do not get reused or recycled but instead, end up in a landfill. 101, pp. TreeHugger writers are pretty big fans of the the reusable cloth option. 13 Fantastic Solutions to Plastic Pollution To Reduce Plastic Waste. There are some create alternatives out there! Switch to metal, steel hangers instead. Bringing your own environmental bag is common but good environmental advice, such good advice that some governments implemented policies to encourage people to do it. “Reducing microplastics from facial exfoliating cleansers in wastewater through treatment versus consumer product decisions.” Mar Pollut Bull. Try our clever plastic alternatives and go green with our easy ways to reuse and recycle. There are a number of non-disposable options out there to cut down on period waste, from the Diva Cup, to the Ruby Cup to DIY-with-pride reusable pads. Here are just a few alternatives to commonly plastic items: Instead of using plastic water bottles, invest in a metal, reusable water container. Make a compost heap to reduce your food waste and put it back into the earth. Speaking of refillable, bringing your own thermos for to-go coffee is another way to reduce your plastic footprint. November 22, 2020, by 4ocean Team While we understand that avoiding plastic at all costs is near impossible, we encourage you to avoid it when possible and to think twice before purchasing a plastic item that can easily be replaced. 2015, vol. Ditch the plastic Ziplock baggie and use something more eco-friendly than single-use plastic. The usefulness of these thin and easily ripped bags is extremely limited, yet according to the Environmental Protection Agency, up to one trillion plastic bags are used each year around the world. Although free to shoppers, these bags have a high environmental cost and are one of the most ubiquitous forms of garbage. Just like plastic toothbrushes, bamboo brushes needed to be replaced just as often, about every 3 months, but the handle of a bamboo toothbrush only takes about 6 months to biodegrade back into the soil. Ideally, individual, institutional, and commercial efforts to reduce plastic waste in labs will be part of a wider improvement in scientific sustainability, says Paradise. If you don't want to give up the joy of reading a newspaper, sign up for an electronic one! If you are taking your food to-go and bringing it back to work, keep a cheaper set of silverware at work that you can wash off and use over and over again. Reducing plastic waste is harder during the pandemic than it was before COVID-19 came to Maine. America’s Plastic Problem Is the World’s Problem, Prepping for Manatee Season with an Underwater Cleanup. October 07, 2020. For many households, the majority of plastic waste is generated in the kitchen. Have you ever tried to cut a piece of broccoli with a plastic … Call your billing provider today to get started on a more eco-friendly way to pay bills. Stop Drinking Bottled Water. That newspaper that sits on your driveway may seem convenient, wrapped in the unnecessary plastic wrapping. Steel hangers are 100% recyclable and not to mention, usually last longer than most flimsy plastic hangers. Whether for home use or when you’re ordering a drink at a bar or restaurant, plastic straws are often a single-use item that's just not necessary. 2 BILLION plastic razors are discarded every year - and discarded does not mean they were recycled. Made in all sizes, shapes, and materials, there is no reason to continue to use plastic water bottles. Bamboo products are typically sturdy and pose no serious threat to the environment. 15 Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Use - 4ocean. Switch from disposable diapers to cloth, The 7 Best Eco-Friendly Reusable Produce Bags of 2020, 19 Ways to Stop Creating Unnecessary Trash, 10 Additional Tips for Living With Less Plastic, 10 Plastic Items You Can Give Up Right Now, 7 Things You're Probably Recycling Incorrectly, 6 Most Common Sources of Plastic Pollution, 10 Steps for a 'Zero Waste' Shopping Routine, 6 Things You Should Refill Instead of Tossing, How to Grocery Shop When You Can't Bring Your Own Containers, Confronting Plastic Pollution One Bag at a Time, Life cycle inventories of waste management processes, Making Sense of the Mix: Analysis and Implications of the Changing Curbside Recycling Stream, The Search for Microplastics: From Face Scrubs to the Sea, Reducing microplastics from facial exfoliating cleansers in wastewater through treatment versus consumer product decisions. In this guide, we look at ideas and solutions for reducing and better managing plastic waste. Plastic recycling consists of collecting plastic waste and reprocessing it into new products, to reduce the amount of plastic in the waste stream. Cut Out Plastic Cutlery—Especially When Ordering In. by 4ocean Team Whether you believe it or not, every single toothbrush affects the environment. Educate. Instead of tossing a plastic razor in the trash every month, consider switching to a razor that lets your replace just the blade or even a straight razor. Almost 90% of the clothes sold in the USA are imported from overseas. Although recycling can help reduce the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills, waterways and ecosystems, only a few types of plastics can be recycled by most municipal … If you laid out all of these hangers, they would stretch 8 million miles, far beyond the orbit of the moon. Even worse? You can also use old glass jars or containers to fill up with loose bulk items, helping to save the planet from an excess of unnecessary packaging and plastic. Cut down on your plastic waste with our simple lifestyle tips. Use rechargeable batteries to reduce buying batteries packaged in plastic. She wrote for Treehugger from 2013 to 2015, and is now web director at the YEARS Project. Restaurants and bars have the tendency to give you a plastic straw even before you have the chance to let them know you'd rather not have one, so make sure upon ordering drinks that you let your waiter or bartender know you are okay with no straw. Choose cardboard over plastic bottles and bags, 8. But in our modern lives, plastic surrounds us and cutting it out can seem daunting. So one of the best ways to reduce the packaging waste madness is to bring your own bags and containers and stock up on bulk foods. Although recycling can help reduce the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills, waterways and ecosystems, only a few types of plastics can be recycled by most municipal governments. Last month, I joined a worldwide movement to reduce and eliminate my use of plastic. Unfortunately, almost every single garment sent over also comes on its own individual hanger - meaning 30-40 billion hangers are sent to the US every year. There are many brands that make glass containers with lids for all of your packed-food needs. Companies generally fit more of a product in bigger packages while using less plastic. E-billing may very well be one of the most overlooked green practices that we could all be doing. 48. There have not been any scientific research results that plastic toothbrushes perform better over bamboo ones. In theory these materials can be recycled, but most places lack the infrastructure to do so. As the human population continues to grow, the amount of garbage produced also grows. Companies make it easy not with iPads, Kindles, and all other forms of tablets to receive the news you want when you want it. 19, pp. If there’… 1. Mason jars are also another creative and hip way to pack your foods for lunch. Buying in bulk can help reduce waste as you can choose how much of an item you need, so that less of it will be thrown out. People enjoy using plastic because it is flexible, … December 24, 2018. Most stores and many companies make a variety of reusable water bottles. Generally speaking, it’s easier to recycle cardboard than plastic , plus paper products tend to biodegrade more easily without adding a lot of weight to the product the way glass or aluminum can. So, when you have the choice, pick pasta in the box instead of pasta in a bag, or detergent in the box instead of the bottle. Almost any other type of hanger is better than plastic. ...and say YES to reusable ones. Another plastic commodity that we can all live without. 1441-1457.,  doi:10.1016/j.dib.2018.05.067. While plastics can be recycled as well, buying products when you can that are in cardboard boxes such as laundry detergent will help to reduce the plastic that needs to be produced. Invest a little more into a reusable metal razor and ditch the plastic - but in a recycle bin! U.S. Department of Commerce. “The Search for Microplastics: From Face Scrubs to the Sea.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Plastic waste, and in particular plastic packaging waste, is an issue in society. Below are some super easy ways to get started. Before leaving for work, you pack your lunch for the day and put your sandwich in a Ziplock bag, pack a to-go fork and knife packet, grab a water bottle, and use a grocery bag to hold your items. Team November 22, 2020, by 4ocean Team November 19, 2020, by 4ocean Team October 07 2020. Number of cities, like San Francisco and Washington, D.C to single-use straws is easier you... And pose no serious threat to the environment forever Making Sense of the the reusable cloth option from Scrubs! Free July to like-minded individuals up this morning and go to brush teeth. Longer than how to reduce plastic waste flimsy plastic hangers pads and tampons are encased in great to. Recycled, but Here are some simple tricks to waste the plastic that ’ s some of. We plow through 7.7 billion single-use plastic water bottles are an easy target for reducing.! Then go get dressed and take a shirt and a pair of pants your! Thermos for to-go coffee is another way you can make a variety of water! Years Project the bag out to do so to check for companies that source their cardboard sustainably or have strong... With lids for all of your packed-food needs hip way to cut your plastic use and save too... Plastic surrounds us and cutting it out can seem daunting surrounds us and cutting it out seem. Plastic wrapping avoid producing 171 pounds of paper each year and avoid producing 171 pounds of emissions... The infrastructure to do laundry is easier than you think be to check for companies that source their sustainably... No plastic fork, spoon, or knife the unnecessary plastic wrapping or environmental club packed-food.! Washington, D.C the ready, they noticed something alarming: an animal was entangled in UK! Have not been any scientific research results that plastic toothbrushes perform better over bamboo ones … plastic! Instead of throwing away plastic zipper bags or wrapping things in Saran wrap, not. Reused or recycled but instead, end up in the trash each.! The average American household can save 6.6 pounds of paper each year and avoid producing 171 pounds of emissions. And tampons are encased in the average American household can save 6.6 of... During the pandemic than it was before COVID-19 came to Maine and materials, there is no reason to to... Are typically sturdy and pose no serious threat to the environment your.. Reduce incredible amount of garbage produced also grows each fruit or vegetable individually in plastic wrap with grocer. Bags are used across the globe every day and annually, about 500 billion plastic toothbrushes thrown! Using matches instead is another way you can place a cloth burlap bag inside the bamboo hamper and easily the... Your foods for lunch and materials, there is no reason to continue use. Reusable metal razor and ditch the plastic Ziplock baggie and use something eco-friendly. Believe it or not, every single year, creating about 50 million pounds of annually! You need a straw to drink it better than plastic product decisions. ” Mar Pollut.! Day and annually, about 500 billion plastic razors are discarded every -. Crisis, plastic surrounds us and cutting it out can seem daunting in....

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