It's no secret that plastics are becoming a much larger problem than anyone expected in our world, and based on the current consumption, it's estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. Single-use plastics are one of the largest contributors to this problem, so it's imperative to find eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to help reduce this impact. The production of single-use plastic also requires large amounts of fossil fuels that pollute the atmosphere and contribute to climate change, so here are some simple steps to reduce plastic use now.
Choose Reusable Bags
It's estimated that over 100 billion plastic bags are used just in the United States each year. Unfortunately, only one in every 200 of these bags will be recycled, which means the other option is to a landfill. One way to help reduce this number and choose an option that promotes sustainability is by bringing a bag anytime you are going shopping. You could also consider reusing the plastic bags that you originally received from the store, including the ones for fruits and vegetables.
Avoid Using Plastic Straws
With over 390 million straws being used every day, most of them will end up in the ocean, which creates a harmful environment for the marine creatures there and the ecosystem. An alternative to this is purchasing metal or paper straws if you need them, but if you can avoid using them altogether, this is the best option.
Bring A Cup
There are over 500 billion single-use cups just for coffee alone that are thrown away annually, and, in most cases, they're going to either have a plastic lid or be plastic lined. Unfortunately, this material can take years to break down as they sit in a landfill. So, you can choose to bring a refillable coffee cup because this will help reduce the number of them in the landfills, and you may even get a discount for making a responsible choice.
In most cases, when it comes to larger businesses, the majority will choose what will sell quickly and be the easiest option. This leads to selecting products that are not manufactured sustainably, so one alternative to this is choosing to shop at a farmers' market. Picking this choice Is beneficial in several ways, including:
● That it gives you access to products and goods that may be fresher than what you would find at a store
● It's healthier for the natural environment because the food is grown locally in most cases which means less transportation
● Typically it's not wrapped in plastic like grocery stores will have
● You are supporting local and small businesses that are going to be more inclined to think sustainably
Get a Permanent Water Bottle
With over 50 billion plastic water bottles being used just in the last year and only 23% being recycled, this has become a significant issue in our world. Bottled water creates a greater demand for fossil fuels; it also contributes to the degradation of the environment due to the plastic being placed in landfills.
It is estimated that each year 17 million barrels of oil are used in the U.S. alone for bottle processing. This number is enough for one million cars to be filled with fuel. So, the largest way you can help reduce your impact is to purchase a water bottle that is BPA-free and reusable because it will pay for itself after just ten uses.
Bring Your Own Container
Getting takeout is a regular occurrence for individuals, sometimes multiple times a day. This becomes problematic if the restaurant is not using a biodegradable or sustainable resource for the containers. Even if they use materials that break down quickly, once it's been soiled with food, more products are in the landfill because they cannot be recycled.
One way to help combat this is to bring a reusable container to restaurants that support this action, so check with your favorite local restaurant to see if they're on the list.
Check Your Chewing Gum for Ingredients
Another area that's problematic that people may not think about is the chewing gum they are using. In most cases, it will come in a large amount of packaging made from plastic, and the gum itself may also be made up of plastic.
One thing you can do to help is research companies that offer plastic-free gums; this way, you can still enjoy the item and make a healthier choice for yourself and the environment.
Providing Education and Professional Services for Sustainable Solutions
If it's not already clear, single-use plastics are becoming one of the largest contributors of pollutants that could be reduced through conscious effort. So, if you're looking for sustainable options for your company LJP Waste Solutions is your locally trusted provider. We are one of the top-rated waste-to-energy companies that offer waste solutions streamlined to fit our client's needs in Minnesota.
Don't wait any longer to make the essential changes to reduce your impact on the environment; message us online or call us at 507-625-1968 today.