Your family may use plastic bags, straws, and bottles daily or just a few minutes, but these items take 10 to 1,000 years to decompose, harming the earth in the long run. Single-use products like these contribute to over 40% of plastic waste, bringing 8.8 million tons of plastic waste into the ocean every year, endangering wildlife, fueling pollution, and putting the health of people at risk.
Everything you do, even if it’s just replacing plastic containers with more eco-friendly materials like glassware or baby bowls made from natural bamboo can go a long way.
Here are the advantages when you reduce your plastic usage at home and the best practices of doing it.
Promote Better Health
Excess plastic can leak in your food, drinks, and cosmetic products, which can be hazardous to your health and carcinogenic or cause cancer. When you reduce your plastic usage, it can promote a healthier environment and toxic-free products.
It Saves the Lives of Countless Animals
With millions of tons of plastic going to the ocean every year, it can affect the health of sea creatures. Microplastic (broken down plastic) are commonly found inside bodies of seals, dolphins, fish, whales, seabirds, and all other animals living in the ocean, letting them live in pain before eventually dying. Plus, land animals get entangled in all types of plastic waste, lacking the understanding of how to get themselves out. When you reduce your plastic usage, you can be helping millions of lives.
It Makes the Earth Cleaner
When plastic doesn’t go to the ocean, it typically ends up in landfills. As all toothbrushes, bags, or other plastic materials break down, toxic chemicals made to manufacture them leach out of them, seeping into the groundwater below, polluting the planet’s natural water cycle. When this happens, it can affect everything, from the soil farmers use to grow crops to the water we drink. Reducing plastic usage can make the earth cleaner and its inhabitants healthier.
Now you know the benefits when you, your family, and the planet can enjoy when reducing your plastic usages, here are the best ways you can do just that.
- Use Eco-Friendly Shopping Bags — The world typically accumulates up to 1 trillion plastic bags every year, and replacing your plastic shopping bags with reusable bags can go a long way in reducing that staggering figure.
- Stop Buying Bottled Water — Plastic bottles can take 450 years before decomposing completely, so you know what to do, replace the habit of buying bottled water, and use a refillable bottle.
- Say No to Straws — Whether you’re at home sipping on a glass of piña colada or ordering your favourite frappuccino at Starbucks, plastic straws are unnecessary single-use items. However, if you do need one, opt for reusable metal or bamboo versions.
- Buy Things Responsibly — Items shipped to your household often come wrapped in plastic packaging, so it’s best to shop locally and bring your bag. If your kids want new toys, you’ll notice toys are often covered in plastic, a great way to avoid this is by buying secondhand items or looking for ones without plastic packaging.
Everything sustainable practice you do, no matter how simple, can help save the planet over time. So, take the time to explain to your family the importance of reducing plastic usage and incorporate the practices mentioned in your everyday lives for a safer, healthier, and happier world.