Plastic waste is affecting our main and freshwater ecosystem globally. One study suggests that 19 to 23 million metric tons entered our aquatic ecosystems in 2016. Waste in our oceans poses a great threat to our aquatic wildlife, which get caught up in plastic bags or attempt to eat plastics. Small steps to reduce plastic in a household can help to reduce the amount entering our aquatic ecosystems.
More sustainable living doesn’t mean having to change your entire lifestyle, as this can be daunting and to be quite frank, a very large task! Small, attainable steps to a more sustainable lifestyle make a huge difference at a broader level.
Here are some tips to reduce plastic waste:
1.Use glass containers to store food
– Dry spices, and grains can be stored in glass jars.
– Glass containers can be bought and used for food leftovers.
– There are many shops that reduce food packaging by using ‘serve yourself’ boxes e.g. bulk flour that you scoop in your own container. An example of one of these shops is ‘The Source bulk food store’ available in various locations around Australia.
– Try to avoid single use serves, buy foods in larger quantities and decant into smaller containers.
2. Grocery Bags Supermarkets are making positive steps to reduce plastic waste by banning single-use plastic bags. You can also move away from plastic bags for fresh fruit and veg, perhaps try reusable cotton bags instead. Try keeping some in your car for those last minute grocery runs!
3. Beeswax wraps Instead of using plastic cling wrap to cover food, try using other options instead, such as beeswax wraps, which can be reused (over 6-12 months) and simply cleaned in hot, soapy water. Beeswax wraps are made from organic ingredients that use materials that would often be wasted post use. Purchase some from our friends, here: (not sponsored) @littlebumblewraps
Or, simply cover bowls and dishes with a clean plate – simple!
4. Keep cups Single-use coffee cups go straight into landfill and are a major contribution to the world’s waste. If you love a takeaway coffee, why not bring along a keep cup. As a bonus, many cafes offer a discount if you BYO cup. Keep one at home, the office and car, to cover all bases. Or, take 10 minutes and enjoy a quiet coffee at your local cafe.
5. Reusable water bottles
Reusable water bottles are a simple way to reduce the use of single use plastic water bottles, which contribute to landfill. We are so lucky in Australia to have safe drinking water, a glass & tap will do! Keep a bottle at home, work & in the car. Water is the healthiest option and may save you reaching for a soft drink or juice.
6. Soft plastic recycling Sometimes it is hard to completely avoid plastics and that is okay, as a society we will gradually move towards this. Did you know that you can recycle soft plastics at the supermarket? These include bread bags, cat and dog food pouches, cereal box liners, frozen food bags, pasta bags, and zip lock bags. They are recycled into outdoor furniture, signage, roads and concrete.
By Emma McShane, Dietitian, September 2022