Sometimes hearing about the magnitude of waste polluting our landfills and oceans is overwhelming and can leave us questioning if our actions really have any meaningful impact. However, by making a few small changes on a day-to-day basis you can significantly reduce the amount of plastic consumed.
Below the simple tips and tricks you can adopt to reduce your usage and help save our planet.
Carry reusable shopping bags
Plastic bags are officially a thing of the past. Supermarket chains such as Coles and Woolworths have remained true to their promise of reducing their plastic consumption by removing single-use plastic bags from their stores.
Ditch plastic water bottles
Think of how many times you've walked into the supermarket and purchased bottled water. Now think about the fact that bottles used to package water take over 1000 years to biodegrade, and, if incinerated can produce toxic fumes.
In fact, consumer research from BRITA found that over 3.2 million Aussie admit to mostly drinking bottled water at home, totalling 1.17 billion single-use bottles used annually if every individual consumed one bottle a day.
As plastic bottles can take more than 450 years to decompose, landfills are rapidly increasing and harming our ecosystem. Instead, opt for a reusable water bottle. You'll be doing yourself and the environment a favour.
Switch plastic straws for metal straws
Did you know an estimated 8 to 11 million tonnes of plastic enters our ocean every year? This is the equivalent of emptying a garbage truck filled with plastic into the oceans every minute. In the USA alone, over 500 million straws are used every day. You might be thinking, 'Its just a straw?', but most straws end up in the ocean where they are commonly mistaken for food by marine life.
Instead of plastic straws, carry around steel versions in your bag and use them when out at a restaurant or bar.
Say no to buying single-use coffee pods
It's hard to imagine that a few coffee pods a day could be harmful to the environment. As it turns out they aren't recyclable or biodegradable. The chemicals contained in the plastic can leach into the hot water when you’re making your coffee. Gross.
Yet fear not; there are now reusable pods which are both environmentally friendly and affordable.
Ditch disposable razors
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, each year roughly 2 billion razors are disposed of. Razor blades are made of plastic and are incredibly difficult to dispose of.
Instead, invest in a metal safety razor. We promise you'll be more satisfied with the result.
Invest in a reusable coffee cup
Single-use coffee cups have been found to contain plastics that do not break down and are damaging to the environment. Coffee cups are estimated to be the second-largest contributor to litter waste after plastic bottles and it's estimated that in Australia alone, we use 1 billion disposable coffee cups each year. Instead, invest in a reusable coffee cup.
This article originally appeared on Marie Claire
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