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How to Reduce Plastic in Your Daily Routine

by Katrina Bromell 08 May 2024
image of single use plastic

Introduction

Taking steps to reduce plastic waste is vital for environmental conservation and promoting a sustainable future. It's a serious issue! This guide offers actionable advice and explores the broader impact of reducing your plastic consumption, with a focus on everyday items like take away coffee cups and plastic water bottles. Our concern is particularly around single-use plastics.

Why Reduce Plastic?

Plastic pollution is a pervasive issue affecting all corners of the globe. It endangers wildlife, pollutes oceans, and leads to health issues in humans. You've heard us talk about this before!

While single-use products may seem cheap and easy at the time, they're costly to our environment. Disposable plastic items don't biodegrade. They just break down into micro particles that contaminate our environment. Microplastics, smaller plastic particles that result from single use plastic breaking down, pollute our water sources and even our food.

On top of this, a vast portion of the rubbish doesn't even make it to landfill, it floats around the streets, rivers and oceans as litter. You've seen it. This is why we partnered with Clean Up Australia to donate a portion of every sale to support their clean up efforts. Of course, prevention is always better than cure! 

Statistics on Plastic Usage

The statistics on plastic usage are pretty sobering. Around 13% of plastic in Australia is recycled and only 18% of plastic packaging is recycled, with only 36% of plastic drink bottles being recycled. Unfortunately, the majority of plastic bottles end up in landfill where they can take up to 1000 years to break down. 

Most disposable coffee cups are not recyclable due to their plastic lining. In fact, 1.84 billion single-use cups are used and discarded in Australia every year, and where do they end up? Landfills and oceans.

How to Reduce Plastic Waste 

Small changes in daily habits can significantly impact plastic reduction. We are big believers in everyone playing their (very) small part. We can't change the world single-handedly but as a collective we can most definitely make a difference.

This is where we come in, offering healthful reusable drinkware solutions that you can take with you as you move through your day.

Avoiding Disposable Items

Choosing to avoid single-use items is a cornerstone of reducing waste. By opting for reusable alternatives, you can significantly cut down on your plastic footprint. Examples of items you can choose not to use are plastic cutlery, plastic cups, plastic bottles, plastic juice or smoothie cups, disposable coffee cups. 

Alternatives to Plastic

Moving away from plastic doesn't necessarily mean sacrificing convenience. It means creating a few new habits. Here are some better alternatives:

  • Glass: Ideal for storage and beverages, glass is recyclable and can be reused indefinitely. See our range of glass water bottles.
  • Stainless steel: Durable and recyclable, stainless steel is perfect for food containers and water bottles. Explore our stainless steel water bottles.
  • Bamboo: Renewable and biodegradable, bamboo is great for utensils and personal care items like toothbrushes.

Recycling and Reusing

Proper recycling involves more than just throwing items into a recycle bin. Learning to properly sort and prepare plastics for recycling can increase the likelihood of them being recycled effectively. Contact your council for the details of your recycling allowances and educate your family to do it properly. It's a work in progress in our family, but we are trying!

Impact of Reducing Plastic

Every single person's individual effort to reduce plastic usage and waste contributes to a larger global impact, reducing overall pollution and promoting healthier ecosystems. 

Local and Global Effects

Personal decisions ripple outward, influencing community norms and global markets. By choosing sustainable products, you help increase demand for non-plastic items, which supports industries that are developing new, sustainable materials.

Challenges in Reducing Plastic

Despite awareness, the prevalence and convenience of plastics make reduction difficult. There are many buying situations that mean avoiding single use plastic is really challenging. Online ordering typically sees a heavily packaged item arrive a few days later. Supermarkets are famous for their plastic wrap around even fresh food.  

However, if we make a conscious decision around the things that we definitely CAN control (water bottles and coffee cups) it is a great step in the transition. It simply requires some planning and habit change. 

Conclusion

Adopting a lifestyle that reduces plastic waste is super important. We all need to play our part. As consumers, our choices drive market trends and influence policy, making our roles pivotal in the fight against plastic pollution. We can do this!

FAQs

  1. What are the best alternatives to plastic water bottles?

    • Glass and stainless steel bottles offer sustainable and safe alternatives for daily hydration and drinking on the go.
  2. How can I effectively recycle plastic at home?

    • Clean and sort plastics according to local guidelines, reduce contamination in recycling bins, and consider dropping off plastics at designated recycling centers if curbside options are limited.
  3. Are biodegradable plastics a good alternative?

    • While they offer benefits, biodegradable plastics require specific conditions to decompose fully, which are not always available in typical disposal environments.
  4. How can I encourage my local community to reduce plastic usage?

    • Start a local initiative, host educational sessions, and partner with local businesses to promote the use of sustainable materials.
    • Spread the word!
  5. What policies could help reduce plastic waste effectively?

    • Policies that ban single-use plastics, provide incentives for businesses to switch to sustainable alternatives, and improve recycling infrastructure can significantly reduce plastic waste.
    • Each state in Australia has a different set of policies but for instance they all now have lightweight plastic bag bans.
    • Western Australia was the first state to ban single-use, non-compostable coffee cups. So good!
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