Let’s talk plastic. You must be using (or have) used plastic items. Or perhaps you have plastic items in every corner of your office, house, and many other places. Just look around where you are at the moment and see the huge amounts of plastic in your surroundings- the containers for storing your ingredients, the plastic bag where you throw your trash, the bottles of drinking water, etc.
Assuming you get up one day and swear to lead a plastic-free lifestyle, perhaps you’ll be left with no item to use because even the toothbrush you use is also made with plastic. According to an environmental report published in the mimy blog, the impact of plastic on the environment is so severe that close to 60 countries around the world have imposed a full or partial ban on plastic bags.
Everyone has a role to play when it comes to minimizing the impact of plastic waste on the environment. What can be an alternative for plastic items used everyday?
The reality is that in today’s plastic-filled world, minimizing our plastic usage can be challenging. Nevertheless, it’s possible to find alternatives for plastics, especially for things like plastic bottles, packaging, etc.
To help you live a plastic-free world, we have prepared a list of plastic alternatives to everyday items. We hope this article will help you start avoiding plastic items every day, little by little. Read on to learn more.
Where do We Use Plastic Items in Our Everyday Lives?
To reduce the amount of plastic in our surroundings, we should, first of all, understand where and how we use plastic items in our everyday lives. In most cases, plastic is found in most of the things we use or buy every day including clothing, electronics, appliances, etc.
As you can see, plastic is perhaps something you might think that we can’t live without because it’s found in almost every item we use.
What are some everyday plastic items?
Here are some of the places plastic is found:
Personal care products. Think about the shampoo you bought the other day or displayed in most beauty shops, the gels, creams, moisturizers, etc. They are all in plastic bottles and tubes.
Food packaging. The coffee bags, meat, snacks, cereals, etc. are often wrapped or put in plastic containers or bags.
Metal cans. Most of them come lined with plastic.
Baby wipes and diapers. They are almost 100% made with plastic.
Chewing gum. You must have seen it.
Coffee cups. Check the lining of the coffee cup the next time you buy yours. It’s made with plastic even though it appears to be made from paper.
The rate at which we use plastic in our everyday lives is alarming. And the effect of plastic on the environment might leave us with no safe planet to live in if we don’t act now.
Why Going Plastic-Free is More Important Now than Ever?
As you can see, plastic has almost taken over our lives. Worse, the world is also overwhelmed with plastic. And for your information, plastic doesn’t decompose easily hence it threatens wildlife while spreading toxins. Besides, plastic is said to be the largest contributor to global warming because almost all plastics are made from harmful chemicals that are produced from planet-warming fuels like coal, gas, and oil.
There are many ways plastic harms the environment. So even though it’s not easy to avoid plastic in one go, we need to learn how to do it one step at a time. Before we take a look at what can be alternatives for plastic items used everyday, here is something worth noting:
Even though it’s possible to reduce our plastic usage, only a few items can be replaced with their eco-friendly counterparts. Before you start looking for eco-friendly alternatives to plastic, here are two things you should keep in mind:
Some of the plastic alternatives to everyday items can be a little costly, but they are high-quality and last longer than plastic. Besides, they are not harmful to the environment.
That said, let’s dive into the meat of this article:
The Best Eco-friendly Plastic Alternatives
Stainless Steel Water Bottles
Plastic bottles can only be used once. That’s why we have huge heaps of them everywhere. The more they accumulate in our surroundings, the more they become harmful to the environment. Why not buy insulated stainless steel or glass bottles that can keep your drinks hot and cold for hours.
Yes, stainless steel or glass bottles come in different sizes and shapes and can help to minimize our reliance on plastic. Besides, they are reusable and free of toxic elements hence can save the atmosphere.
Also, these bottles aren’t made with a resin lining hence they can minimize the amount of toxin we consume when we drink water stored in plastic bottles.
Truth be told. We normally start using it immediately after we get up in the morning. As stated earlier, most toothbrushes are made with plastic materials that take decades to decompose. Just imagine the heaps of these plastic toothbrushes tossed into a garbage pit somewhere and their effects on our planet.
Worse, ridding plastic toothbrushes by burning them can lead to other serious consequences as they will emit toxins to the environment. There is a way out. Bamboo toothbrushes can be the best alternatives to plastic ones.
The good thing is that bamboo toothbrushes are made with sustainable materials that can decompose easily. Besides, they last longer.
Cloth pads and menstrual cups are made with plastic. Given that women are required to change their pads at least 4 times per day, you can imagine the heaps of plastic dispersed into the environment worldwide. That’s where reusable cloth pads and menstrual cups come in to save the planet. These pads are recommended because they are not only reusable but they are also durable and have zero waste.
Chances are that you just tossed a straw today or even yesterday into the trash. While one straw might seem less harmful to you, the more you toss them into the trash, the more they pile up, and eventually, they will become harmful to the planet.
That’s why many high-end restaurants have started cutting back on serving customers drinks with plastic straws. And if you must use a straw, then use one made with stainless steel, silicone, glass, or bamboo. These are washable and reusable.
Recyclable Shopping Bags
If you were to stop three men or women in your country and asked them when they used some sort of shopping bag made from plastic material, you will be surprised that many use these items almost every day.
Plastic shopping bags when left to pile in the environment can cause harmful effects to humans, wild animals, and other water animals. That’s why several nations including the U.S. have imposed laws banning plastic bags.
Ready to Live a Plastic-Free Lifestyle?
See, when you reduce the huge amounts of plastic items you use, you’re making the planet more sustainable for both you and those around you.
Besides, it makes you proud to see how much you have contributed to saving the planet. Start using these plastic alternatives to everyday items today and save the planet.
Charlie Svensson is an environmentalist who is conscious about keeping the planet safe and livable. He writes about living an eco-friendly life in most popular publications.