Advocacy

#SolutionMonday: 6 steps to reduce your plastic waste

plastic waste - cleanbuild

Hello readers.

Welcome to #SolutionMonday on CleanbuildVoices!

Our planet is literally drowning in plastic waste. If you doubt this, you only need to look around you to see that plastic is found in virtually everything these days.

The food we eat and hygiene products are packaged in it. Cars, phones, and computers are made from it. And let’s not even get started on the amount of plastic bottled drink people buy every day. 1.5 billion, that’s how many!

In today’s edition of #SolutionMonday, we will share tips on how you can reduce your plastic waste and contribute to a healthy, clean, and sustainable environment. Before we get started, why should we even care about plastic pollution?

According to the United Nations Environment Program, around 300 million tons of plastic waste are generated every year. For context’s sake, this figure is equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. Even worse, plastics are responsible for clogging drainages and gutters, causing flooding and other environmental hazards.

Perhaps you’re tired of adding to a seemingly endless amount of plastics in your home, here are simple ways you can reduce the quantity of plastic waste you generate.

Say no plastic bags

About 1 million plastic bags are used every minute, and a single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Kudos to you if you go to the grocery with your reusable shopping gap.

But if you don’t, it’s not too late to join the recycling bandwagon. If you’re offered plastic bags at the mall, kindly but firmly say “no, thank you”.

Buy boxes not bottles

Rather than go for detergent and dish soap in plastic bottles, buy your soap in boxes instead. One reason for this is that cardboard can be more easily recycled and made into more products than plastic.

Reuse glass containers

Buy a variety of ready-to-eat foods in glass containers instead of plastic ones. After emptying the jars, wash and reuse them to store your dried foods instead of throwing them away. You could also take the jars along with you when you’re buying bulk foods.

Goodbye to plastic cutlery

Remember that plastic cutlery such as your knives, spoons, forks, and even sporks can take hundreds of years to decompose. Clear out your disposable plasticware and replace it with a set of utensils that can be used over and over again.

When ordering takeout or eating at fast foods, you may choose to go with your steel cutlery. Don’t worry, you’re being environmentally conscious, not eccentric.

Pack your lunch

Go to your school, office, or workplace with your lunch packed in reusable containers. This will save you from accumulating lots and lots of plastics with no use for them.

Matches or lighter

While using a lighter can be convenient in starting a fire, it is not eco-friendly. Lighters have been known to sit in landfills for years. Some have been found in dead birds’ stomachs.

Don’t allow yourself to feel that these changes in lifestyle have no impact on the environment. On the contrary, you’re showing just how much you care about the environment.

Watch this space as we’ll be back for another edition of #SolutionMonday next week.

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