There has been a lot of talk recently about companies no longer using single-use plastics to help the environment. We are seeing this slowly come into practice now.
However, have you considered single-use plastic items in your home? You may find that there is far more than you thought when you sit down and think about it.
Approximately 500 million tonnes of plastic waste is estimated to be generated annually, and about 90% of that ends up in the oceans. By 2050, we could find more plastic than fish swimming in the seas.
These plastic items will also take between 200 and 500 years to break down. By then, the damage will have already been done and be irreversible.
The great news is that there are some simple things you can do and change in your everyday life that will help to reduce this impact on the environment.
Single-use items are the larger part of the problem, especially when they are not recycled properly and end up in landfills.
Today, in many places, businesses are no longer allowed to use things, like plastic cutlery or cups. As a result, they have had to find alternatives. The pandemic also saw a shift in what people are comfortable using to protect themselves.
So, what do you have at home that you could replace, recycle, or maybe even reuse? Here is a list of a few such items:
Plastic straws: These routinely end up in landfills, as we tend to absent-mindedly throw them in the garbage. Metal or silicone straws that you can wash at home and reuse will help to reduce this waste.
Plastic cutlery: While it’s easier to use plastic cutlery for birthday parties, family gatherings, and other events to avoid having several loads in the dishwasher, wooden cutlery is recyclable and biodegradable.
Coffee cups: Who doesn’t enjoy a fresh cup of coffee in the morning? But how about using the leftover contents in the garden? Even the cup itself can be reused as a starter pot for seeds. You can also purchase reusable cups you can fill with loose coffee or tea.
Sandwich bags: While these are great when making packed lunches for kids or even to take to work, you can now get reusable bags that are easy to wash and help to reduce what ends up in a landfill. They also have fun designs and bright colours to liven up your meal times.
These small changes can have a large impact on the environment and your wallet.
Plastic packaging accounts for the bulk of what we have at home. How often have you opened a bag of chips to find it’s more air than product? While this is typically done to protect the chips inside and have less breakage, it adds to the plastic we have at home.
By choosing items you can purchase in bulk, you can drastically reduce the plastic packaging it comes in.
For example, loose tea for the tea drinker at home is a great small change. Most tea bags are actually made with plastic fibres, so even if you put them into the recycling bin, they will still end up in a landfill.
Farmers’ markets are also a great resource. Not only do you support local farmers and businesses, but by taking a reusable bag, you can be virtually plastic-free. Many vendors will have their products in glass jars, which you can reuse at home or take to be recycled. If the product is frozen, it will be vacuum-sealed, so minimal plastic is involved.
Many items are sold in bulk, such as cat and dog food, baking supplies such as flour, and even candy. These are great resources to fill a bag with only what you need. This helps you to save money and use less plastic all at the same time.
With the environment being one of the most talked about things right now, several products on the market will help you reduce your plastic usage and save both the environment and your wallet.
Reusable travel mugs, shopping bags, straws, and so much more help you to cut down on the plastics in your home. Additionally, they make it easier to enjoy your favourite things in your day-to-day life.
With the supermarkets pushing to bring your own bags, you can support local businesses that make hand-made cloth bags. They can be stylish as well as long-lasting. Or, you can get a personalized reusable water bottle to take to the gym to inspire you during your workout.
Have you ever tried making your own bread? It’s easy and fun to do. After baking, you can store your fresh bread in a paper bag or bread bin. Homemade bread lasts longer and doesn’t come prepacked in layers of plastic.
Are you a jam or other preserve connoisseur? You can make your own and keep it in mason jars. When canned properly, jams can last for months in the pantry, and the jars are reusable.
Such minimal changes can save you hundreds of dollars a year and keep tonnes of plastics out of landfills and oceans.
These small things are easy to change, and you can do them slowly or all at once.
For the larger items where you could have a lot of plastic waste to dispose of, it’s best to reach out to the experts. Fortunately, for bin rental in Pickering, Scarborough Disposal Ltd. has you covered.
With various sizes of bins for your project needs, we can help you correctly dispose of any plastic waste and get you started on the plastic-free path.
Reach out to our expert team today at 416-265-7979 or contact us here. Let us assist you with the big stuff so you can focus on the smaller things.