Have you ever really thought about just how much plastic you toss into the bin a day? Or how much you throw away a week? Yoghurt cups, plastic wrap, coffee cup lids, water bottles, supermarket food packaging. It’s a bit scary.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can invest in that will help you significantly cut down on how much plastic ends up in your bin. You don’t have to shop anywhere fancy and you don’t need to change your lifestyle. Here are six things that will help you reduce how much single-use plastic you’re putting in landfill.
Bees wax wraps
I was not on board with these, but I’m a big fan now. It wasn’t until I bought a pack of these at a market stall that I started to realise just how much cling wrap I was using and throwing into landfill. These wraps cover and seal food just as effectively as plastic wrap but can be rewashed and reused.
Store things in containers rather than glad wrap or ziplock bags
You know those old thaifood containers? Keep them. You can never have too many. Why? Because these hard-plastic boxes are reusable. Storing that leftover pasta or those slices of tomato in one of these is much more eco-friendly than wrapping them in cling wrap or placing in a sandwich bag. Soft plastics can’t be washed and have to go in the bin, but hard plastics can be reused endlessly.
Reusable ziplocks bags
If you are a fan of ziplock bags, buy the ones that are designed to be reused. You’ll see “reusable” marked on the box. You can use these again and again to store bread, biscuits, fruits and vegetable. Try to avoid storing raw meat in them. Even though you can wash these out, once one of these bags has held raw chicken breasts, you’re probably not going to feel like using it to store your lunch!
Paper straws or metal straws
Save the turtles and buy a pack of metal straws. They’re super easy to clean, just throw them in the dishwasher. And if you really aren’t into the metal variety, try the paper ones. These are at least degradable and won’t choke our sea life.
Soap and shampoo bars
Liquid soaps need to be stored in plastic bottles but soap bars don’t. Brands like the award winning Ethique make lucious shampoos and conditioners but in a bar. No plastic bottle necessary.
A water filter jug
Some of us (especially me) just prefer the taste of bottled water. But buying bottled water is one of the biggest contributers to landfill. So, I bought a filter jug. The Britta variety I have takes my tap water and makes it taste just like bottled water. I use this water to fill up a resusable bottle to take with me during the day. It’s much better than buying the plastic ones.
(Image by Layne Harris)
Mia Steiber is editor and co-founder of Redaktör. She has previously been the Shopping Editor of Finder and written for Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Business Insider, POPSUGAR and more.