5 Easy Ways to Reduce Plastic Use at Home and in Food.
Plastic is a highly flexible material that is particularly beneficial in the kitchen. Some of its many applications include maintaining the freshness of food and cleaning up spills. According to research that was published in Science Advances, there has been an explosion in the manufacturing of plastic over the last 20 years, yet only a tiny percentage of it has been recycled.
This suggests that it may be too useful. Nearly one-third of all plastic garbage, according to some estimates, winds up in our seas or landfills, where it eventually decomposes and releases hazardous chemicals into the ecosystem and our food supply. This process may take thousands of years.
According to Erin Simon, who is in charge of plastic waste and business at the World Wildlife Fund, “plastic pollution has emerged as one of the major problems confronting our world today.”
She continues, “We also know that the manner that we handle plastic garbage may have bad health effects for human beings,” and I quote:
“We know it.” According to preliminary studies, chemicals present in plastics cause harm to cells and have been related to a variety of chronic disorders, including excessive cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.
Other chronic conditions may also be affected. Although further study is required to understand the particular impact that ingestion of these chemicals has on people, it certainly won’t harm reducing the amount of plastic used in your kitchen, and doing so is surprisingly easy to do.
How to Reduce the Amount of Plastic You Use in Your Home and When Purchasing Food
Make an investment in a water bottle of superior quality and a reusable straw.
According to Simon, “the smaller an item’s environmental footprint gets the more uses it may acquire,” and the more uses a product has, the better.
Don’t buy bottled water; instead, invest in a container made of glass or stainless steel that you can refill instead. Some of these bottles even have filters built in.
The same goes for cups for coffee or tea and even straws. It is helpful to have a stainless steel or silicone straw on available since many establishments have started restricting the use of plastic straws.
Replace your plastic food storage containers with ones made of glass.
What are you waiting for if the issue around bisphenol-A, often known as BPA, a chemical that is regarded as an endocrine disrupter and which mimics the actions of some human hormones, didn’t convince you to switch from using plastic containers to glass ones?
When heated, plastics have a tendency to become more volatile than glass, which creates the possibility that the plastic might leak chemicals into the food it is carrying.
Bring your own beverage at the supermarket.
That means you need to carry your own bag. To far, eight states and a few towns have passed legislation to outlaw the use of plastic bags, while other states and cities have sought to discourage their usage by implementing penalties for their use. And let’s be honest: reusable bags are a lot more fashionable and durable than single-use bags.
Get rid of your plastic wrap.
Single-use plastics, which are defined as items that are used just once and then thrown away, such as plastic bags, wraps, and films on the packaging, are the primary focus of environmentalists. This is evidenced by the fact that the United States Department of Energy allocated $14.5 million to fund research into reducing waste from single-use plastics just one year ago.
According to Simon, “because to their size, these items tend to be more difficult to recycle and may sometimes fall through the gaps, ending up seeping into our environment.” In other words, “these products tend to be more difficult to recycle than other products.”
“The good news is that these goods are, for the most part, superfluous and can be readily avoided; as a result, they are an excellent place to start if you are wanting to cut down on your use of plastic.”
Bee’s Wrap is an alternative to plastic cling wrap that is flexible and reusable. It is produced from organic cotton, beeswax that has been gathered in an environmentally responsible manner, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. In a similar fashion, Stasher manufactures silicone baggies that are airtight in addition to being safe for use in the microwave, dishwasher, and freezer.
Invest on a new sponge for the kitchen.
It’s easy to forget, but pot scrubbers are often constructed, at least in part, from polymers that aren’t recyclable or biodegradable, such as polyester or polyurethane. This is a fact that’s easy to ignore.
Additionally, since they have the potential to store germs, it is advised that they be replaced on a regular basis, which may have a devastating impact on the environment.
There are several natural alternatives available, such as knit cotton washcloths or sponges made of coconut fiber or coir for cleaning up spills and cleaning surfaces, respectively.
Give your list of items to buy a second thought.
Food packaging accounts for a significant portion of the one-time use of plastic in our lives; frozen TV dinners, which often come wrapped in plastic films, are among the worst offenders in this regard.
Both the environment and your health will benefit from your decision to purchase foods that are primarily unprocessed and in their natural state. Better better, visit a nearby farmers market and shop seasonally and locally grown produce to decrease not just the carbon footprint of your food but also the impact of transporting it.
Organize your to-do list for cleaning.
By providing spray bottles of cleaner that can be refilled with tablets that are dissolved in water, several different firms have chosen to reduce the amount of plastic packaging they use. This particular formulation is available from Blueland as a multisurface cleaner, dish and hand soap, and laundry detergent.
Even tablets of dishwashing detergent that don’t come separately packaged in plastic may be purchased from stores such as Cleancult and others. Be wary of any cleaning solutions that have abrasive scouring agents, since these products often include something that is known as microplastics.
These microplastics are the same polyethylene or polypropylene beads that have been prohibited from use in cosmetic items.
Prepare additional meals.
Takeout is a convenient option, but it often involves the usage of a lot of plastic, from the containers the food is served to the single-use cutlery and the plastic bags that hold everything.
According to Simon, “While it is convenient, food deliveries frequently go hand in hand with packaging waste that may easily be avoided by cooking the food you already have at home,” while food deliveries are handy, they often go hand in hand with packaging waste. And this is a simple approach to being more attentive to both your own health and the health of the world, in addition to the fact that it is delicious.