Plastic is everywhere!

Did you know that even chewing gum contains plastic?

With so much plastic around us, you might wonder, "Can I even do anything to reduce plastic waste?"

 a lot of plastic falling

Using 3 simple techniques, you can reduce your plastic waste as early as today.

Reuse

Single-use plastic is convenient but only has an average useful life of 12 to 15 minutes. You can avoid it by looking for alternatives.

Cutlery and straws making the word stop, blue background Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

Instead of single-use:

  • Plastic straws

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  • Plastic bags

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  • Plastic cutlery

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  • Plastic plates

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  • Plastic cups and bottles

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Use reusable:

  • Stainless steel, bamboo, pasta, or rice straws

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  • Cloth or other reusable material bags

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  • Bamboo or stainless steel cutlery

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  • Glass, porcelain, palm leaf, or bamboo pulp plates

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  • Cups, bottles, and mason jars

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Reduce

Reduce the plastics you bring into your life.

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  • Buy more bulk food. You'll use fewer packaged products.

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  • Avoid using cosmetics that use micro-plastics.

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  • Buy boxes instead of bottles. Cardboard is easier to recycle than plastic.

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  • Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. If possible, use glass containers.

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  • Make your own cleaning products, they'll be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner.

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Recycle

Only 14% of items in your recycling bin get actually recycled.

Watch this video to learn more:

Although recycling is important, whenever possible first try to reduce and reuse, using recycling as a last resort.

Knowing what to put in the recycle bin will ensure you make the most impact.

So what goes in and what goes out?

  • Recycle clean and dry containers with the cap back on.

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  • Plastic bags, wraps, and films aren't always accepted in your recycle bin.

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  • Don't recycle polystyrene foam, plastic "to-go" containers, and cups because they're made of non-recyclable materials.

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  • Don't recycle containers that contain food leftovers.

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  • Check local recycling programs for specific information about what items to recycle.

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Quiz

Aman bought a plastic container to use as storage. She doesn't need it any more. What's the most sustainable way for her to deal with it?

Take Action

You can start to reduce your plastic use today! A series of images that show recycling, reusing, and reducing waste.

Look at the plastics in your home right now and identify:

License:

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This Byte has been authored by

AV

Adriana Villegas Mayorga

Learning Designer