7 easy ways to reduce the use of plastic

Gabrielle Koster

Everybody knows: plastic doesn’t break down in nature. It has to be recycled or it ends up in places it shouldn’t, like the ocean. Did you know: every square mile of ocean has 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it. So many beautiful sea creatures die because they swallow plastic. So what can we do to reduce the use of plastic (next to recycling the plastic we use or separating our waste)? Here’s a couple of easy ways to reduce your own use of plastic!

  1. Buy cosmetics without a plastic package
    Shampoo, conditioner, soap: it’s all available without plastic package (at Lush, for example).
  2. Bamboo!
    There are so many products these days made of bamboo instead of plastic. Like toothbrushes (I LOVE the biodegradable ones from the bamboo brush society), crockery and even straws. I bought some straws when I was travelling through Southeast Asia and was drinking a lot of smoothies – as you can see on the picture of this article, but you can get them on several places (or online, of course).
  3. Bring your own bottle or coffee cup
    If you live in a country where you can drink the tap water, bring your own BPA free bottle (read more about why you should avoid BPA here) with you so whenever you get thirsty, you don’t have to buy a plastic bottle. Also: bring your own cup if you like coffee or tea to go. At some coffee shops, you even get a discount if you bring your own cup.
  4. Pick the brands that use little plastic
    Personally, I can be very bothered by products that pack their things in lots of plastic. For example: a tea box with plastic wrapper around the cardboard box with tea bags inside, individually wrapped in plastic. I always go for the brands that use little plastic.
  5. Buy nuts and fruits on the market or without plastic packages at the store
    In some supermarkets, you can fill a paper bag with nuts and you can also do this on the market. Also, you can find fruit that’s not packed in plastic on the market or bring your cotton bag to the supermarket and use it for fruit. Because, come on: bananas wrapped in plastic? So unnecessary.
  6. Bring your own bag when you’re going shopping
    Thankfully, in my country, you have to pay for a plastic bag when at stores or supermarkets. The government encourages the people to bring their own bags, which I think is a great idea. So bring your own cute cotton bag whenever you’re going to do some shopping.
  7. Use glass
    Glass is an excellent material to use if you bring a smoothie somewhere. You can also buy fresh pressed juices in glass or for example, apple juice at the supermarket in glass instead of plastic bottles.

Please feel free to share your tips in reducing plastic, I would love to hear them!