The menace of plastic is spiraling out of control. Everywhere you look, there are clumps of plastic piles polluting and suffocating the soil. Devastating pictures of marine wildlife snared in the aftermath of plastic waste is everywhere.
These heartbreaking scenes and pictures have become a common phenomenon. To a very large extent, it has desensitized a lot of people all over the globe. But do we just turn a blind eye? Do we blame everyone else for this problem and do nothing about it?
We may not blatantly profess that we want to contribute to this plaguing problem. However, in many ways, we are responsible for adding to this cancerous growth.
In this post, we highlight the ten ways you are contributing to plastic pollution and also offer easy solutions to stop and reduce it.
1. Buying one-use packaging
A large part of our essential needs are packaged in plastic. Everything from food, cosmetics, and drinks come in plastic packaging. They are thrown out into the trash after just one use. When millions of people all over the world engage in this mindless behavior, the plastic will keep piling.
Solution – Refrain from buying one-use plastic packaging. Buy your food in bulk and support brands that have sustainable packaging.
2. Use of plastic straws
This seemingly small pipe, which rampantly accompanies every drink, is a deadly hazard. An estimated 500 million units of plastic straws are used daily in the United States alone. This number is multiplied a hundredfold when the global audience is involved.
Solution – Refuse plastic straws. Carry a metal or a glass straw with you, and you can use it as many times as you need. If you don’t have one with you, have your drinks straight from the glass or the can, we are not babies that we need straws to consume drinks anyway.
3. Plastic water bottles
Packaged water bottle is everywhere. We buy them on our way to work, the school, or while running errands. They are one of the major contributors that constitute plastic waste. More than 22 billion plastic bottles are dumped in landfills every year.
Solution – Stop buying packaged water. Bring a reusable water bottle with you, and you can refill them as frequently as you need. A collapsible water bottle is an excellent option if you move around a lot.
4. Dining out
Dining out and ordering takeaways almost always involves plastic container, which is intended for one use.
Solution – Refuse plastic cutlery and packaging. Take a container with you so you can pack the leftovers. Of course, you can always choose to cook at home.
5. Personal care products
An insignificant item, such as a toothbrush, does not seem like a big deal. But millions of plastic toothbrushes end up in the landfills and do not biodegrade for hundreds of years. The same is true for shampoo and conditioner bottles and many more.
Solution – Choose a toothbrush made of bamboo or other sustainable material. Buy hand-made soaps and buy personal grooming items that have sustainable packaging.
6. Using balloons at parties
They seem cool and are fun to use. But have you considered the fact that balloons are essentially plastic? The bright balloons that float up to the sky and get trapped in a tree branch somewhere or land in the sea. Since animals cannot distinguish it from a food item, it can ingest it with fatal results.
Solution – Stop launching balloons at parties. If you must put something in the air to commemorate your day, use paper lanterns. They are more beautiful, and they are definitely more sustainable than balloons.
7. STOP LITTERING
You might think that since no one is around, you can throw away that cigarette butt, a piece of chewing gum or a candy wrapper on the street. But these get blown about by the wind or end up somewhere in some pile.
Solution – Be responsible for disposing of waste. Always use a trash can. If you cannot find one where you are, keep it in your bag or pocket and dispose of it properly at home. It is never a good idea to litter anyway. The streets are ours, they belong to all of us, and we are responsible for its cleanliness.
8. Buying fast fashion
The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries. Synthetic fibers are essentially various forms of plastic. Following trends and buying random clothes, every new season contributes to the overall pollution caused by plastic.
Solution – Choose to buy secondhand clothing. It is a far more sustainable option. Stay away from trends if you can. Practice mindful shopping, even if you do not practice minimalism or follow the capsule wardrobe movement.
9. Sort your waste at home
Most of the households have just one trash can where they dump everything. This is a very irresponsible practice. Biodegradable wastes should be sorted completely different from non-biodegradable wastes.
Solution – Have a separate trash can for plastic and compostable trash like food leftovers. You can use the biodegradable items as manure for your garden. Dispose of the plastic trash at recycling centers.
10. Using your car
Car tires create a major part of micro-plastic pollution that ends up in the oceans. Apart from its contribution to the plastic problem, they also generate a lot of harmful gases for the environment.
Solution – Use the cars as less as possible. Use a bike or an electric scooter if it is possible. If you plan to buy a new car, consider an electric model or at least one that is lightweight. Lightweight car tires are known to produce less micro-plastic in the long run.
Plastic pollution is no longer something that we see in the news. It has become a real danger to us, the animals and other inhabitants of the planet. Since we are the only creatures responsible for creating this plastic mess, it is now up to us to save ourselves and the planet as well.
Banish plastic from your life.