Tips to Reduce Plastic Waste
Plastic waste has become an alarming crisis across the world, ending up in landfills, oceans and other natural environments. A study published in Science Advances last year found of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic that has been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. In fact, only 9 percent of plastic waste has been recycled.
Cutting down on plastic is easier than you might think. Whisper Valley has rounded up a few quick ways you can reduce plastic waste in your own day-to-day lifestyle.
Ditch Single-Use Plastics
The best place to start is getting rid of single-use plastics. At restaurants and home, ditch plastic straws. If you must have a straw, invest in a reusable stainless-steel straw. Paper straws still end up in the landfill, but are a better alternative in a pinch.
Don’t buy plastic cutlery, and opt to bring a reusable spork in your lunch box to avoid using plastic forks and spoons.
Another single-use plastic that has better alternatives: Cling wrap. Foil is a recycle option, and even better are new beeswax wraps, which are reusable and compostable.
Reusable Bags and Bulk Products
A single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Purchasing and taking reusable shopping and produce bags with you to the store allows you to cut down on plastic waste.
Another step further is to pass over products that come in plastic containers. Foods like cereal, pasta and rice can be purchased from bulk bins in grocery stores and filled in a reusable bag or container. Not only can you save money, you’ll cut down on unnecessary packaging.
Reusable & Recyclable Containers
Bring your own container for take-out or your restaurant doggy-bag since many restaurants use Styrofoam. Same for your morning coffee – make it at home in a reusable travel mug, or bring your mug to coffee shops that allow you to forego using their to-go cups with plastic lids.
Refilling and using a reusable water bottle is another step to cutting down plastic waste, as 80 percent of plastic water bottles end up in landfills.
Another shift to add to your shopping habits: search for products in boxes instead of bottles. Products like powder laundry detergent come in cardboard boxes, which is easier to recycle than plastic bottles. Also, you should opt for razors with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor to help cut down on plastic waste.
Most glitter products are made from plastic, which is lethal to our oceans and wildlife as fish and birds are able to ingest microplastics. Fortunately, there are biodegradable options on the market, and beauty products that have also switched to environmentally-friendly ingredients.
Whisper Valley hopes these tips will help you on your journey to reduce plastic waste and your carbon footprint. Our master-planned community in East Austin is focused on sustainability through amazing healthy living amenities like our organic community garden and our zero-energy capable homes that use geothermal energy and solar power.