Single-use products have been causing a nightmare for the trash system. And this is due to most of them being made with materials that are unable to biodegrade or compost.
In the end, it can cause a lot of problems, not just for you, but for future generations to come.
Let me explain a little bit further:
The Big Problem
The number of plastic products we’ve used collectively since it was made is staggering. Since the 1950s, it’s thought around 8.3 billion metric tons have been created. That’s an unbelievable amount of plastic!
And what makes this statistic worse is that only a tiny amount got recycled. Most of the plastic in the world makes its way to landfill sites where it will live out the rest of its days.
And it gets much worse:
A lot of the plastic is allowed to spill into oceans and wildlife, killing anything that might fancy taking a nibble.
It’s very easy for animals, birds, and marine life to mistake the plastic for food. This reality has resulted in countless animals choking to death. And if they don’t choke, the plastic will clog up their intestines, again resulting in death.
Plastic isn’t just harmful to wildlife; it can also cause considerable harm to humans. And here’s why:
Plastic doesn’t biodegrade; instead, it starts to disintegrate into tiny pieces of microplastic. It’s these pieces of microplastic that cause so much harm.
The problem is they can leach into the environment (soil and water sources); in turn, this means they can leach into the food we eat and the water we drink.
So, what can we do to make things better?
The Best Solution
In many ways, the best solution is to stop using single-use products and switch to something more reusable. But why is it so important we make the switch to reusable items?
To start with, it will massively reduce the number of single-use products reaching landfill sites. In turn, this will help us rid our oceans and areas of beauty from plastic waste.
Another reason would be to lower the amount of pollution we create. Nearly everything we buy creates a certain amount of pollution; it’s just the way things are. But reusable items generate a lot less.
And that’s because it can be used multiple times instead of just once.
Then you have to think of the energy that’s getting saved. Think about it this way, if one silicone bag can last up to 5-years; then you’re permanently stopping 5-years’ worth of plastic bags being produced.
Not bad, ey!
So, the solution is switching to reusable items, and nowadays, you can nearly always find a reusable alternative for your single-use product.
Check out some more benefits to going green!
Everyday Reusable Items
As I said, it’s easier than you think to find reusable items; it just takes a bit of searching. If you’re looking for inspiration here are a few everyday reusable items for you to take a look at:
Menstrual Pads: You might be surprised, but menstrual pads and tampons cause nightmares for our trash system. Most are filled with some sort of plastic, not the cotton we’re led to believe, which doesn’t make them very biodegradable.
Tea Strainer: It’s a widespread misconception that all tea bags are compostable/biodegradable. In reality, most are not; this is due to the glue used to seal the pieces together. Tea strainers are a great way of cutting down on non-biodegradable trash.
Besswax Wrap: This is a great product that helps elevate the need for plastic wrap. It helps to keep your food fresh while reducing the amount of plastic you use. Plastic wrap cannot be recycled and rarely reused, which makes it a huge trash problem.
Reusable Diapers: Let’s face it, reusable diapers aren’t for everyone, but they do dramatically decrease the amount of waste you baby produces. Disposable diapers are full of plastics which is causing great harm to the planet when disposed of.
Reusable Water Bottles: Thousands of bottles are used every day and chucked away without a care in the world. This has led to a huge build-up of bottles making their way into our water sources. So much so it’s become the number one trash item found.
Reusable Batteries: Single-use batteries have a lot of harmful toxins within, which means chucking them away isn’t great for the environment. When not disposed of correctly, they can leach hazardous toxins. By switching to reusable batteries, you can stop new materials getting mined, and toxins poisoning the soil.
Reusable K-Cups: You may have already heard, but k-cups came under fire due to them not being able to biodegrade and being very hard to recycle. This has resulted in people using reusable k-cups, so they can enjoy their coffee without feeling guilty.
Reusable Produce Bags: It’s a pretty well-known fact that plastic is damaging the environment and a big contributor it the plastic produce bags we find in supermarkets all over the world. Reusable produce bags are made out of mesh which helps keep your food fresh.
Reusable Straws: You’ve probably seen in the news and noticed in your local bars that plastic straws are being banned. And it is not a surprise considering the harm they can cause animals. Feel good about yourself by purchasing a reusable straw.
Stasher Bags: When it comes to reusable ziplock bags they don’t get any better than the Stasher. The bags are made with a platinum grade silicone. This means it’s good safe, heatproof, freezeproof and leak-proof, not bad, right?
A Few Extra Reusable Items
It just doesn’t feel right leaving you with a few reusable items, but at the same time, I didn’t want this post to have a million pages. So here are a few items you can get behind:
• Reusable Muffin molds
• Reusable water bottles
• Canning Jars
• Coffee cups
• Reusable Grocery Bags
• Reusable Razor
Rounding It Up
As you can see, plastic waste is causing a huge amount of problems for our environment. And the only way we have a chance of stopping it is by switching to reusable products.
Above I only went into a few things, but if you want an extensive list of reusable items, there are plenty of resources out there to get stuck into.
Viktorija Zenkova is the founder of EcoFreek, a website that focuses on the small changes you can make in your daily life that have a positive impact on the environment. Whether that’s switching to reusable or biodegradable products, or learning how to recycle more efficiently, she’s got you covered.