Though 72% of shoppers are dissatisfied with the quantity of plastic waste of their properties, many don’t act as a result of it’s inconvenient or they lack ample data to take action. Set your self aside by decreasing plastic use. Just a few straightforward adjustments within the kitchen and the way you purchase groceries, plan meals, and retailer meals can cut back your plastic waste considerably.
Plastic air pollution is a worldwide challenge that impacts all of us with vital impacts on the setting and our well being. Plastic waste is commonly not disposed of correctly, resulting in air pollution in our oceans, landfills, and even our ingesting water.
The OECD estimates that 22% of plastic waste is mismanaged globally, leaving the next threat of polluting the setting. Even when the plastic waste is collected, 68% of the waste is both incinerated, which produces vital CO2 emissions, or despatched to a landfill the place it should take a whole bunch of years to interrupt down.
Begin within the Kitchen
Lowering plastic in our every day lives can appear to be a difficult process because it’s onerous to know the place to start. With so many plastic merchandise and packaging round us, it’s straightforward to really feel overwhelmed. The place ought to we begin and what can we use as an alternative of the plastics we get rid of from our lives?
The kitchen is an efficient place to start out as a result of it’s the place we use and discard quite a lot of plastic gadgets. From meals packaging to single-use cutlery and plates, we generate a major quantity of plastic waste day-after-day. The issue with this stuff is that they’re usually used as soon as after which thrown away, ending up in landfills or polluting our planet.
Listed below are 5 easy steps you may take to start out decreasing plastic waste within the kitchen. Take it step-by-step and don’t be discouraged. No one is ideal and each plastic merchandise you exchange with a sustainable different makes an impression.
Impactful Steps To Cut back Kitchen Plastic Waste
1. Put money into a Water Filter and Reusable Water Bottle
People throw away 22 billion plastic bottles yearly, a good portion of which comes from bottled water. Not solely does bottled water contribute to environmental air pollution, it’s additionally an enormous expense. People spend $16 billion on bottled water yearly that generally even comes from their native water provide, the place they might get it at a fraction of the worth.
Investing in a water filter liberates you from the necessity to depend on bottled water for secure and good-tasting water. You may as well lower your expenses in the long term, as the typical annual expense of bottled water simply surpasses the yearly price of a water filter. On the finish of its filter capability, be sure to search for a correct recycling resolution in your water filter to reclaim the supplies and maintain them out of the landfill.
Pairing your water filter with a reusable water bottle could make a fair higher impression. In case you take your bottle on the go, you may fill it without cost at residence and likewise make use of the many refill stations which can be accessible publicly, eliminating the necessity to purchase bottled water for good.
2. Ditch Plastic Tableware and Utensils
Are you planning your subsequent massive barbecue? Admittedly, there are occasions when utilizing disposable merchandise for out of doors occasions or giant gatherings might be sensible. If that’s the case, keep away from utilizing single-use plastic plates and utensils. Select compostable gadgets created from bamboo as an alternative, which might decompose after the occasion.
One other different you may attempt is BYOT (deliver your personal tableware). In previous barbecues after we didn’t have sufficient reusable tableware for the variety of folks invited, we merely requested our pals to deliver their very own plates and utensils. It labored surprisingly properly and we didn’t even should unpack our disposable bamboo gadgets. Now we at all times do it and have the bamboo gadgets as a backup.
Throughout vacation seasons, planning for a sustainable meal is particularly impactful and you’ll instantly discover the distinction.
3. Use Reusable Buying Baggage
Whereas some states, cities, and nations have already launched bans on them, single-use plastic baggage are nonetheless ubiquitous. People use 100 billion plastic baggage yearly — greater than 300 baggage per individual. What’s astonishing is that these plastic baggage are solely used a median of 12 minutes, making them the proper start line to scale back your plastic waste. By utilizing reusable purchasing baggage, you don’t simply cut back your kitchen plastic waste, you additionally gained’t have to fret about ripping grocery baggage once more.
Making a cotton bag can produce about 150 instances the CO2 emitted to make a single-use plastic bag. So, just remember to put money into a bag that you’ll use sufficient instances to offset the emissions related to making it. And don’t neglect the plastic produce baggage. A lot of the produce within the common grocery store is obtainable with out packaging. By investing in reusable produce baggage, and selecting unfastened produce the place potential, you can also make a fair higher impression.
Relying in your purchasing habits, it will probably make sense to start out with one to 2 massive purchasing baggage and three to 5 produce baggage. Simply maintain them in a bundle by the door to be sure to gained’t neglect them.
4. Change Your Takeout Habits
The coronavirus pandemic resurrected single-use plastics within the hospitality trade, and former victories in eliminating plastic baggage, Styrofoam containers, and different single-use plastics from eating places had been quickly forgotten. In keeping with a examine in Nature Sustainability, meals containers and cutlery at the moment are among the many prime three gadgets inflicting ocean air pollution. By making small adjustments in our meals takeout and supply habits, we might help cut back the quantity of plastic waste that finally ends up polluting our planet.
There are a number of easy issues to contemplate. First, for takeout, many eating places let you deliver reusable containers or baggage to the restaurant to hold your meals. Alternatively, search for eating places that supply extra sustainable takeout containers created from supplies akin to bamboo or paper. In case your favourite supply restaurant doesn’t provide sustainable packaging, you may nonetheless urge eating places to scale back the pointless waste. Merely decline the plastic-packaged condiments or use the remark area in your supply app to inform them “No cutlery wanted.”
5. Sustainable Meals Storage
Plastic has the tendency to launch dangerous chemical compounds when uncovered to warmth, fats, and extended utilization. Consequently, it’s a good suggestion to keep away from storing meals gadgets in plastic containers. Moreover, reheating meals in plastic containers or trays, akin to these that include pre-packaged frozen meals, needs to be prevented.
Luckily, switching to containers fabricated from glass or chrome steel is a straightforward resolution as such containers are available. They can be utilized to retailer meals within the fridge, cabinet, and even the freezer, when you depart sufficient room for the meals to broaden whereas freezing.
In relation to wrapping meals, cling wrap just isn’t the one possibility accessible, and there are extra sustainable alternate options to contemplate. For instance, silicone or fabric meals covers can be utilized to securely cowl meals containers and maintain meals recent within the fridge. Moreover, reusable beeswax wraps and sandwich baggage are a superb substitute for cling wrap in varied conditions. These alternate options can even prevent cash by being reusable.
Making Progress Requires Dedication
Let’s embark on a journey in the direction of a brighter and extra sustainable future by taking an important step to scale back plastic waste in our kitchens. With small but impactful adjustments, we are able to considerably decrease our environmental footprint and pave the way in which for a cleaner planet.
Prioritize reusable gadgets, keep away from single-use plastics, and go for plastic-free packaging whereas purchasing. Each small motion counts and collectively we are able to make a outstanding distinction in decreasing plastic air pollution.
Concerning the Writer
Lars Jansen is the co-owner of SWOP – store with out plastic, a zero-waste on-line store and weblog. He’s enthusiastic about defending the setting and educating folks about plastic air pollution.