Plastic waste: small steps to solve an immense problem

Think about your day-to-day routine. How many items have you encountered or will encounter that involve plastic in some way? At least a handful, right?

Today we’re going to talk about plastic. What inspired this post was a discussion earlier today on plastic waste in oceans, and various ways to minimize the issue. Possible remedies brought up included those plastic-eating worms that everyone is suddenly talking about. While these very cool little critters, we were having difficulties imaging their application on as large a scale that is necessary to surmount the mind-bogglingly excessive amounts of plastic waste we as humans create. It became apparent, as it so often does, that to reduce our plastic waste, we really need to target it at its source. 

Now, this is a remedy that is understandably way more difficult than it would seem. Solutions vary from country to country, industry to industry, even person to person. As Rochman states, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to waste management. That being said, there are some little habits we all can change in order to reduce our own individual plastic waste impacts.

  1. Reusable containers. Always brought up, I know, the amount of disposable coffee mugs and drink bottles that we discard every day are ridiculous. It’s as easy as keeping a reusable container in your bag with you! You can even get a discount in some places if you bring a reusable coffee mug! It’ll probably keep your drink warmer for longer, too. So many benefits alongside helping out Mother Earth.
  2. Bamboo toothbrushes. A significant amount of plastic waste comes from things you wouldn’t expect, including toothbrushes. The good news is a biodegradable alternative exists – bamboo. An example is the bamboo toothbrush created by Live Without Plastic.
  3. Reusable bags. A huge portion of waste that ends up in oceans is low-value plastic waste such as plastic bags that you get at the store. There are the reusable bags you can buy at many grocery stores, and also some cool crafts where you can make a bag out of items you have lying around, including old t-shirts. A no-sew example is here on Craftaholics Anonymous.

These are just a few of the many ways we can all begin to reduce our plastic waste. It begins with changing a habit or two. Hopefully, with a couple of alterations to our every day routines, we can begin fixing the issue of plastic waste ruining our environment.

-H

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