In today’s world, is life without plastic possible?
Life without plastic is possible. This is very difficult but possible nonetheless. Stopping the use of plastics begins with a commitment to make every effort to eliminate the use of plastics in our daily lives. Treating plastic as a drug habit that needs to be eliminated is a lifestyle commitment shared by more and more consumers. People are normally shocked by the tens of millions of metric tons of plastic produced every year around the world, most of which are single-use items. Just like straw, it will eventually be landfilled, or worse, it will enter the ocean.
As a marketing term, “plastic-free” is becoming the new “carbohydrate-free”. Brooklyn and London opened stores proud of zero plastic, selling products. Designers see “no plastic” as a new challenge, whether it is to create a plastic-free supermarket aisle or to make environmentally friendly clothing that does not use “raw” plastic.
This may take several months, but hopefully, people will know where to buy milk in a glass bottle, or which health food store allows you to grind peanut butter yourself. Instead of seeing it as a huge inconvenience, let’s try to view life without plastic as a fun game, but sometimes, plastic is inevitable.
Try to perform medical procedures without using plastic syringes or IV bags. After a natural disaster, plastic water bottles are essential; however, it is usually more expensive to buy stainless steel or wood products instead of plastic products or fresh food instead of prepackaged food. In the poorest communities, it is difficult to avoid the use of plastic products. Not everyone can enter the year-round farmer’s market or shop there.
Every small action will have an impact. But how do you transition and maintain a plastic-free lifestyle? Well, first of all, don’t be too harsh on yourself. We live in a plastic world; this is inevitable. Choosing not to use plastic means you usually choose the most inconvenient option. But over time, these decisions are of no use if they do not become a habit. You will learn to be more prepared and plan, and you will spend a lot less and save some money.
Not only does it pollute waterways and create redundant landfills, but plastic uses a lot of resources just for manufacturing. In fact, the 102 billion plastic bags used in the United States alone require approximately 12 million barrels of oil. We should all avoid using these types of plastics as much as possible.
Generally, the most difficult to recycle plastics are the softest, those that can be easily squeezed by hand, such as food packaging. Polystyrene is another ubiquitous culprit. It will never be recycled in the waste stream, so let’s take this plastic-free and minimal waste approach to a new level.
Start with small things, take your time, and develop good habits little by little.
Bring your own shopping bag when you go to a supermarket or store, be sure to bring your own shopping bag. They don’t need to be canvases, if you don’t have them, they are environmentally friendly. Even reusing the plastic bags in your own kitchen cabinet can help reduce waste.
Use a thermos. If you buy coffee often, please bring a clean thermos to avoid adding it to the cardboard trash pile lined with foam and plastic. Coffee shops usually prefer not to buy their own cups to distribute, and the environment likes to take care of it. Some cafes will even give you discounts!
Avoid individually packaged products. Don’t buy foods packaged in batches, but buy in bulk! Instead of buying 15 packets of biscuits or fries for school lunch, buy a large packet and divide it into containers. Apply this theory to yogurt, custard, and anything that can be purchased in larger sizes. Every point is important!
Don’t buy fruits and vegetables wrapped in plastic! Just like buying packaged foods in bulk, avoid buying pre-packaged or heavy fruits and vegetables. You already know the types of bananas wrapped in foam trays, etc., which are unnecessary and wasteful. Instead, choose from the loose parts and put them directly in the fruit basket or refrigerator when you get home.
Replace Plastic food wrappers with wrapping paper or beeswax containers. Invest in good, sealed, microwave ovens and freezer-safe storage containers. It is best to have multiple containers of different sizes to hold all the different types of food you will store, as well as snack-sized containers for lunch boxes and storing liquids, condiments, etc. As a major health advantage, phthalates in plastic packaging are terrible for you, so you are also doing yourself, your friends, and your family a favor.
When you buy meat or cheese and ask to use your own container. Pre-packaged meat and cheese are usually sold on plastic or Styrofoam pallets, but if you buy directly from a deli, you can bring your own container to transport the meat.
Stop Carrying a plastic water bottle with you. Don’t help this ridiculously wasteful product market perpetuate; bring your own drink bottle when you go out.
Avoid the straw! Use your lips. They may seem small and harmless, but they add up very quickly during a night of drinking. If you must drink with a straw, try reusing it overnight. Better yet, buy reusable straws, such as stainless steel or glass straws0. We find that stainless steel is more durable because glass is not the safest item to carry around.
Throw away disposable plates. If you are going to a barbecue or party, don’t panic, but avoid using disposable cups, plates, and silverware. Use your own ceramic glasses and plates and wash them. If you must use disposable items, choose biodegradable items made of cornstarch or paper.
Grow your own fresh herbs and salad vegetables. These are almost always in plastic packaging at the grocery store. Try to grow your own herbs and salad leaves at home, and enjoy fresh vegetables anytime, anywhere!
Buying refills Instead of buying new products every time, start buying refills for your cleaning products. This also applies to washing powders and fabric softeners. Always add it instead of throwing it away!
Replace your plastic toothbrush with a bamboo toothbrush. Have you never heard of bamboo toothbrushes before?
Use an electric shaver rather than buying disposable shaving kits. Many men find that using an electrical razor requires some practice, even though this type of shaving is considered “safer” than manual shaving with disposable units.
Suggested ways of identifying the type of plastic to avoid.
Normally, plastic products are tagged with a ‘recycling code’ and a number that matches the type of plastic it is manufactured. The number can be spotted within the triangular recycling symbol that recyclable plastic is tagged with. Several toxic forms of plastic are classified and have been assigned numbers 3, 6, and 7. Let’s just call them the red flags and totally avoid them.
Weak implementation is the primary reason for the ineffectiveness of creating a plastic-free environment. From the manufacturer to the end consumer, we must work together to eliminate the use of plastic. Although multiple governments around the world have taken serious consideration of imposing fines on plastic buyers and sellers, it has not produced the expected results. Tax incentives may prompt manufacturers to gradually switch to plastics. Another common way to stop this practice is to offer discounts to customers who bring their own containers and bags or anything that can help in getting rid of as much plastic as possible.
~ Deepansh Pratap