Every nine minutes 300,000 pounds of plastic (the weight of a blue whale) makes its way to the ocean.
While recycling is an option, many types of plastic can not be recycled... so most plastic finds its way to landfills and beaches, where they pollute our ecosystem; releasing toxins, slowly degrading over hundreds of years, washing into the ocean and mistakenly being eaten by wildlife.
Yes. Plastic is everywhere and it may seem overwhelming to cut completely, but small collective actions make a big difference. Here are 7 easy ways to get started:
7 Simple Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste
- Skip plastic straws: When you order a beverage at a restaurant or coffee shop let your server know that you don't need a straw. Either go without one, or bring your own. (Americans use 500 million plastic straws a day).
- Cut out plastic cutlery: Whether you're eating out, getting takeout, or on the go - use your own utensils instead of single use plastic options. Simply leave a set in your car, pocket or purse and you'll be ready to eat wherever. (Americans use 100 million plastic utensils a day).
- Bring your own shopping bag: Get a reusable bag or two you really admire and leave it in your car at all times. That way you'll remember to use your favorite bag whenever you start walking towards the store. (Americans use 280 million plastic bags a day).
- Cut out bottled beverages where possible: Use a reusable water bottle and refill wherever you go. You'll save money and the planet. If there's a specific beverage you enjoy, buy in bulk to reduce the number of bottles. If you must, choose a can over a bottle, but always recycle. (Americans use 104 million plastic water bottles a day).
- Bring your own coffee cup: Bring a mug or canteen to your local coffee shop. They'll offer you a discount and you'll save a cup and lid a trip to the landfill. (Americans use 82 million cups a day).
- Rethink food storage: Ditch the ziplock bag and go with something reusable and more eco friendly. Utilize reusable bags, beeswax wrap, a glass container, or mason jar.
- Buy in bulk: Instead of buying single serving or small disposable containers, try to buy more foods from the bulk bins at your grocery store (grains, pastas, granolas, nuts, dried fruits & candy). You can bring your own containers and have them weighed in advance- so you can ditch the grocery stores plastic bags.