There are a number of reasons to reduce our use of plastics – especially single use containers and packaging. Firstly, reducing our use of plastics saves on the use of oil, as that’s what plastics are made of – chemicals derived mainly from oil.
Then there are health reasons – depending on the plastics, chemicals leach out of them and into the food, drink or air we breathe – especially at elevated temperatures. So, products in contact with plastics for a period of time may absorb some of the leached chemicals.
When the plastics are then disposed, most end up polluting our environment in one form or
another, be that irresponsible dumping causing the items laying around on the ground and being blown by the wind, being put on landfill or ending up in waterways and in the ocean. Hardly any plastic is actually recycled.
Having said that, there are many different plastics and they have great uses, but we should be responsible about how we use them, which ones we use and how we can reduce or replace them with better materials.
Here are some simple ways to do better:
Instead of buying pre-packed fruit and veggies, get lose produce and put them straight in the shopping cart or a box. Then after paying, transfer back to a box, or into a cooler/esky for the trip home. Total requirement for packaging – maybe a cardboard box and a couple of paper mushroom bags.
When buying meat, instead of the pre-packaged stuff, go the butcher (he usually has better meat anyway) and ask for it to be wrapped in grease proof paper. In case you didn’t know, meat stays fresher for much longer wrapped in grease proof or wax paper (and possibly inside a sealed container) than wrapped in plastic.
Personal care – why buy shampoo and shaving foam in plastic bottles? You can get amazing shampoos and conditioners in a bar – like soap. It lasts far longer than a bottle of shampoo. It may come in a small cardboard box, so packaging is negligible and recyclable. So simple, yet so effective.
Re-use bread bags and other plastic bags – if buying your bread in a plastic bag, shake out the crumbs when bread is gone, hang up open if damp inside and when dry put in a drawer. Re-use for whatever you need a plastic bag for. This way you never need to buy plastic bags. Saves money and reduces waste
When storing left over food in the fridge in a bowl, put a plate on it instead of cling wrap. No plastic, no waste, food stays fresh
If buying a coffee, take your own favourite thermo mug with a lid – or at a cafe etc, make sure you ask for one of their ceramic cups, instead of disposable ones
How about purchasing goods based on packaging as well as quality. Instead of getting sauces and other things in a plastic bottle, choose the glass ones. Then recycle the bottles.
Milk and cream – get one in a cardboard carton or glass bottle, rather than a plastic bottle. Sometimes you can even find real milk with a layer of cream on top - like milk is supposed to be – in a re-usable glass bottle with a lid.
These are great for use as water bottles to avoid buying plastic bottles with water in them. I take my own water bottle everywhere I’m also fortunate to have sweet rainwater to drink.
Of course if you want to store fresh fruit juices and other things, these bottles are perfect
These are just a few simple ideas. Please feel free to contribute with your own ideas either by adding comments to this post, emailing us some ideas via the Brumby Pumps contact form or adding your own post. And of course SHARE this Page!
Every little bit we do helps. As more people get thinking about how they do things, planting seeds and spreading ideas, the difference we can make becomes exponential and our beautiful planet gets cleaner. Not only that, a lot of money stays in our pocket, that we can then use for a holiday, a night out or other fun things.