How to Reduce Plastic Waste
This year we celebrated International Plastic Bag Free Day. The purpose of this day is to initiate the removal of all single-use plastics worldwide. To continue celebrating this day we want to bring attention to the effects plastic bags and other single-use plastics have on the environment, while also giving ways to reduce our use of these products at home and at work.
Single-use plastic products are very popular nowadays due to the ease they provide consumers, but people often forget about the immense negative impact they have on the environment. Though there are so many different single-use plastic products available now, some of the most popular being plastic bags, straws, and water bottles.
Reasons why plastic is so harmful to the environment:
- Plastic Bags can stay in the environment for a long time as it takes between 100 and 500 years for them to break down, despite only being used for an average of 25 minutes.
- Plastic Bags are used so often due to how easy they are to find, use, and then dispose. Every minute there are one million plastic bags used around the world, and the average European uses around 500 plastic bags every year.
- Plastic also causes a lot of harm to wildlife, especially marine life as a lot ends up in the oceans. There are currently about 500 million pounds of plastic in the oceans, made up of about 5.25 trillion pieces. These pieces are often consumed by animals because they look like food, or animals get caught in the plastic, killing 100 million animals a year.
Simple ways to reduce your plastic consumption:
- Using reusable grocery and produce bags when grocery shopping. Reusable bags are a great choice since they can be used for long periods of time, are easy to find, and inexpensive.
- If you need to use plastic bags look for biodegradable options. Products that are made with biodegradable materials break down much faster, therefore making them a better choice. Our cork and hemp mats as well as our accessories, like our cork blocks and yoga straps, are all made without plastic, and are 100% biodegradable, making them a great and sustainable option.
- Use reusable water bottles instead of plastic water bottles. Reusable water bottles are much more convenient, eco-friendly, and less expensive in the long run than plastic water bottles. At Shakti Warrior we sell copper water bottles, which reduce the waste of plastic water bottles as they are meant to be refilled. Drinking from copper bottles also has health benefits!
- Stop using plastic straws. If you only like to drink using a straw try out a reusable stainless steel or silicone straw.
- Avoid buying products with a lot of plastic packaging, and opt for ones with more cardboard. When you are choosing a laundry detergent, try the one in the cardboard box instead of the plastic bottle.
Understandably it is very difficult to not use any single-use plastic products, though finding reusable versions of some of the products is a small change that has a great impact. Try one (or all) of the ways above to reduce your plastic consumption as a way to give back to Mother Nature!
- By Maria Budsey