With global plastic production growing exponentially and our modern consumer economy growingly dependent on the convenience of readily-available plastic products, it’s having a huge toll on our environment. It’s not only filling up our landfill, more than 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean every year.
There are simple changes you can make in your life to reduce your everyday plastic use. Here are 5 changes to get you started.
1. Carry a reusable water bottle/coffee cup
A good place to start is to stop buying disposable bottles of water and start carrying around your own water flask. There are great glass and stainless steel options on the market which not only do the job but look good too. If you’re a regular coffee drinker, invest in a reusable coffee mug. Some cafes often offer discounts if you bring in your own cup!
2. Get a reusable shopping bag
New Zealanders use around 1.6 billion single-use plastic bags every year. Reduce your plastic consumption by carrying a reusable shopping bag with you. Leave it in the car or by the front door so you don’t forget on your way out.
3. Buy products with less packaging
A large portion of our everyday plastic consumption comes from product packaging or single-use food wrapping. Hit the local farmers markets for fresh fruit, vegetables and bread without the packaging. Bring your own containers or jars into bulk buy stores like GoodFor and Bin Inn to refill what you need. For added convenience, GoodFor also operates an online store.
4. Say no to plastic straws
Make it a habit to politely request ‘no straws’ when you order a drink at bars and restaurants. We guarantee your drink will taste better and you’ll drink slower.
5. Store your good with beeswax wrap
Instead of using plastic food wrap for packed lunches or food storage, beeswax wrap is becoming readily available and it’s also easy to make yourself.