10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste
It’s Easier Than You Think
This New Year, forget the obligatory diet or ‘do more exercise’ and consider some resolutions that might just save our planet, and be better for your health as well. Plastic has become an indisputable problem of modern ‘fast’ culture. Plastic is non-biodegradable and takes hundreds of years to decompose. It is polluting our oceans and endangering marine life. For those of you that have been watching ‘Blue Planet II’ on the BBC, you will have seen some shocking, and often upsetting, imagery depicting this. Although recycling can help reduce what ultimately ends up in landfill, it is not a solution. It does not take into consideration the environmental cost of the production and recycling processes. Single use plastics have become so ingrained in our society, that it seems hard to see how we can possibly manage without it. Well, with a bit of thought and preparation, it’s easier than you think.
Ten Ways to Save Our Oceans
- Always Carry a Shopping Bag – Since the changes in UK law around single use plastic bags, we have seen a massive 85% drop in their use. This is fantastic news, but it also demonstrates that change on a massive scale needs to be fundamentally supported by Government. That is why it is so important for individuals to make conscious decisions with their cash. Plastic bags were definitely a great place to start, and the impact has been so significant it will encourage similar incentives to follow.
- Switch to Reusable Drinks Bottles – With one million plastic bottles being bought every minute around the world and over 35 million used in the UK alone per year, something seriously needs to change. Carrying a reusable drinks bottle with you is one of the simplest and most convenient ways to reduce your plastic consumption. With an increasing amount of water filling stations, it’s getting easier and easier! So say goodbye to disposable bottles and hello to Klean Kanteen’s stainless steel drink bottles, which are lightweight, reusable, and BPA-free. Perfect for every day in lunch boxes, picnics, day trips, and adventures outdoors, for kids and adults alike. They will last for years too!
- Choose to Reuse your Coffee Cup – Of the 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups sold in the UK every year, only 1% are recycled. Most single use coffee cups are non-recyclable because of the mixed materials they are made from, so most just end up in landfill. That’s A LOT of coffee cups. Just like your water bottle, it’s so easy to pop a reusable coffee cup in your bag wherever you go! Many coffee shops now offer incentives to use your own cup, so it’s a no-brainer really. Our Klean Kanteen‘s come in a variety of beautiful, vibrant colours and don’t retain flavours as they are made of high quality stainless steel. Made with safe, durable, and eco materials, with no BPA, phthalates, or lead. They will ensure that hot drinks stay hot for 10 hours, and cold drinks stay cold for 24 hours!
- Say No to Plastic Straws #strawssuck – Millions of straws are used every single day around the world with around 500 million in the US alone. It is estimated around 30% of these will make their way into our oceans. More and more retailers, restaurants, and even entire towns are saying no to straws, but it’s not enough. It’s ok to use a straw if that is your preference, just choose a reusable one! Our Klean Kanteen straws are so handy to pop in your bag, and the silicone tips are perfect for little ones too. If you want something to store them in whilst you are out and about, our planet size zip bags are perfect!
- Ditch the Cling Film – Sometimes it’s hard to see how you can manage without something, until it’s gone. Cling film seems like such a useful piece of kit for your kitchen, but once you ditch it you will realise you never really needed it. Cling film is, in most cases, not recyclable, so it will inevitably end up in landfill, or possibly our oceans. There is another way! Using wax wraps such as Abeego is such an easy way to keep food fresh. Wrap lemons and avocados, cover plates and bowls, keep herbs fresh, and take your sandwiches to work. One wrap, so many uses.
- Have a Plastic Free Lunch – Increasing concerns around the used of plastic containers to store or heat food means people are looking for safe and effective alternatives. Certain plastics contain potential harmful chemicals, such as Bisphenol A (BPA), which has been shown to have a negative impact on health. At Babipur, we sell a variety of food storage containers that can replace plastic in the home. From sandwich wraps to stainless steel lunch boxes, we’ve got it covered.
- Choose Organic Cotton Clothing – Certain ways of reducing plastic are more transparent than others. The amount of plastic in your clothes for instance, is not immediately obvious, but of course that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. By choosing organic cotton clothing, you are not only reducing plastic consumption, but you are ensuring that no part of the supply chain has negatively impacted on people or the planet. Look out for the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) label as a benchmark for excellent standards. You will see the GOTS certificate is carried by all the clothing stocked at Babipur.
- Switch to Soap Bars – Not much explanation needed here. If you opt for bar soap that is in compostable packaging you are saving yourself a whole load of plastic waste. Whether it is for hands, face, body or hair, you can use a soap bar for it all.
- Make Laundry not Landfill – If you have a child in nappies, switching to reusable cloth can have a really positive impact on how much waste your household sends to landfill. Disposable nappies can take 500+ years to decompose in landfill, and each child will get through thousands of nappies in their first years of life. Cloth nappies are easy use, better for the environment, cost effective and super cute too! We stock a wide range of nappies to suit all families and babies, so give us a shout if you need some help or want to chat about cloth. If you want to know more about how to get started with cloth nappies you can find it here.
- Have a Plastic Free Period – Increasingly, it its becoming recognised that disposable menstrual pads and tampons, are pretty awful for the environment. Not only that, but they are pretty much one of the worst things you can put directly against porous and sensitive areas of your body. Many studies have found toxins, dioxins, and carcinogens in tampons. Switching to reusable cloth pads and / or a menstrual cup is better for your health as well as the planet. We have lots of experience with reusable menstrual products, and are more than happy to help if it is something you would like to try but are not sure where to start. We would love to hear from you! From post-partum bleeding, to light incontinence issues, we will help you find the right cloth products or menstrual cup for you.
One of the golden rules is to try to avoid anything that is only used for a minute but will hang around for hundreds of years. The most important thing is that you don’t have to be ‘perfect’ to be green. Every change you make towards being a more eco-conscious consumer is helping our planet. Small changes makes a big difference.
Comment below with any changes you are thinking of making in 2018, we would love to hear from you!
Happy New Year from Team Babipur! x