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5 Steps to a Plastic-Free Life

Posted By On August 16 2023
5 steps to a plastic-free life

Minimizing plastic consumption is no easy task. Plastic—both small and large—can be found in almost everything we consume on a regular basis. This waste is often difficult to dispose of and ends up spending a long time sitting in landfills. 

As individuals, we can all choose to take small, manageable steps toward living a plastic-free life. Evaluating how much plastic waste is taking up space in your home is one way to promote sustainability. 

What opportunities exist in your everyday routine to reduce plastic use? Is there anything you can cut back on? What sustainable alternatives are available? If you aren’t clear on where to start, consider the following five steps discussed in this article:

The Importance of Reducing Plastic Consumption

Though the bulk of plastic production and waste is conducted by large companies, as consumers, we can do our part by opting for sustainable alternatives as consumers. Becoming more aware of the products we use every day and how they are packaged allows people to take control of their environmental footprint. 

Our buying habits also help inform the different processes and operations that larger corporations choose to follow, which in turn has the potential to create a shift towards more sustainable options. 

Plastic is an easy and convenient means for completing many day-to-day tasks. The plastic waste can often build up without us even noticing until it’s too late. By making a conscious decision to be mindful of this issue and taking gradual steps towards eliminating it wherever possible, we can progress. 

Of course, it won’t happen overnight. There will always be new things to learn and better alternatives to implement. However, every small change can help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. You don’t have to think big at first. Learn about the minor shifts you can incorporate into your routine and work towards becoming a more sustainable household.

Moving to a Plastic-Free Life in 5 Steps

1. Shop second-hand when you can

Fast fashion has become a more mainstream term in recent years. This refers to clothing and brands that mass-produce items for fading trends. Although these places are ideal for finding the latest fashion products, the clothes are typically made of highly synthetic materials, including polyester, nylon, and acrylic. 

These different forms of plastic are difficult to dispose of properly, and when the excess bulk is not sold, it often ends up in landfills. While some people donate their used clothing once they no longer need it, textile waste continues to be a major problem. 

You can minimize this issue by choosing to shop second-hand whenever possible. Sustainable shopping doesn’t mean you have to give up on being fashionable. In fact, you would be surprised by the number of unique statement pieces or wardrobe staples you will find. Turn it into a fun opportunity to learn more about fashion trends from the past, and discover new ways to incorporate them into your own personal style.

2. Switch to shampoo bars

Few people remember to include plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles in their weekly recycling collection. Unfortunately, the main focus of home recycling is geared toward the kitchen and the obvious waste that often occurs. As a result, a lot of unnecessary waste is created by different households. 

The majority of plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles are recyclable. However, before properly disposing of them, you must first make sure to clean them out fully. Any excess shampoo residue that remains can cause contamination during the recycling management process, causing negative impacts on the environment as the products are broken down. 

A good solution is to remove the unnecessary plastic waste created by shampoo and conditioner bottles completely. Introducing shampoo and conditioner bars into your daily routine ensures plastic consumption is reduced, while simultaneously providing the necessary lathering and moisturization needed for your hair.

3. Change your deodorant

Although most deodorant containers appear recyclable, many recycling plants won’t actually accept them. In order for plastics to be properly recycled, they must first be sorted with their specific type. However, deodorant containers are often made of different kinds of plastic, several of which aren’t recyclable. 

In some cases, the deodorant itself may also contain trace materials of plastic that remains inside in the container. These different types of mixed plastic cannot properly be separated by the conveyor belt system that recycling depends on. 

As an alternative, consider switching to deodorant containers that are 100 percent biodegradable. There are some newer designs that include packaging made from biodegradable materials, compostable options, and recyclable containers. These options typically consist of cardboard sticks, glass jars, or deodorant bars.

4. Review your chore list

Household cleaning is one of life’s great necessities that some people love and others try to avoid at all costs. Whichever side you are on doesn’t matter when it comes to sustainability. The important thing is the types of tools and products you use when completing different tasks. 

Choosing plastic-free brushes and sponges is a great alternative to ensure the job gets done effectively. You can also take advantage of refill-friendly products (like dish soap) to ensure the plastic bottle gets as much use as possible. 

Also, consider completing as many household chores by hand as possible without the assistance of any machines or devices that require additional water. The more you can do by hand, the less water waste you will produce, while avoiding any cleaning water soluble products wrapped in heavy-duty plastic.

5. Become a home cook

Whether you have a knack for trying and improving new dishes or simply like to keep a few staple recipes in your back pocket, cooking from home is a great way to reduce plastic consumption. Not only does this allow you to gain more control over the types of food you eat daily, but it also eliminates excess or unnecessary plastic packaging that typically comes from eating out. 

You can even take things a step further and attempt to create plastic-free versions of your favourite grocery store foods such as yogurt, bread, or pasta sauce. Learning how to cook from home is a fun and exciting process that will leave you with skills to impress guests at your next dinner party.

What to do about plastic waste?

If you aren’t sure how to properly dispose of your plastic waste or have some large items that need to be removed, contact an expert. At Scarborough Disposal Ltd., we offer bin rental in Whitby to store any plastic waste you are trying to eliminate. With various sizes of bins available, our team can help you find the right one to suit your project. 

For advice on removing your plastic waste, or to arrange for a bin rental in Whitby, call us at 416-265-7979 or contact us online.

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