Wherever we look, plastic is present. Plastic items can be found in every part of the home, from polyester fibres in our clothes to single-use food wrappers in the kitchen. It can even be found in things we can’t see, like plumbing systems.
However, it’s possible to minimise plastic waste in your home and, in some circumstances, avoid it altogether. Here are a few easy ways to cut back on plastic use in your household.
1. Opt for recycled materials
Recycling lowers energy use and reduces emissions of several contaminants into the water system and the atmosphere. It also produces minimal solid waste when recovered materials are used, and contributes to reducing the pollution that results from the mining and manufacturing of virgin plastic materials.
Next time you’re buying a product that involves plastic, look for recycled alternatives. This applies to large items as well as small; for example, if you’re updating your outdoor furniture you could consider buying a recycled plastic outdoor chair instead of a chair made from virgin plastic granules.
2. Replace plastic sponge with a loofah
The majority of bathroom and kitchen sponges are made of plastic. After every use, microplastics wear off the sponge’s surface and go into the drain, where they frequently end up being consumed by aquatic organisms or harming coral reefs.
An easy way to avoid this contamination is to replace your synthetic sponges with natural loofah products. These are made from dried fruits of the loofah plant, and are an eco-friendly alternative.
3. Buy organic children’s toys
Many baby toys contain dubious materials. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals called phthalates are added to plastics to increase their transparency and flexibility. Additionally, less expensive toys made of plastic tend to fracture more frequently. Pick non-toxic baby toys made of better materials that will last and remain safe.
If your child is desperate for a particular plastic toy, buying a secondhand version will help to minimise plastic waste. Always aim to donate plastic toys to a charity shop when your child moves on, so that they can be used again rather than ending up in landfill.
4. Switch to a bamboo toothbrush
If you pick your accessories wisely, your health and beauty routine can also benefit the environment.
One easy swap is to choose environmentally conscious toothbrushes, like bamboo. Billions of disposable toothbrushes are thrown away every year, so make sure yours isn’t plastic. If you use an electric toothbrush, you can buy bamboo heads for those too.
Even though plastic has numerous advantages, like being affordable, simple to create, versatile, and readily available, we can’t ignore the fact that plastic waste is out of control and harming the planet. Hopefully these tips will help you to lower environmental waste in your household by switching to eco-friendly materials that help protect our environment.