4 simple actions to reduce plastic waste
Simple actions we can take today to reduce plastic waste and help the environment!
Plastic waste is a problem that has a huge impact on the environment - and in our lives. Each year, 8 MILLION metric tons of plastic pollution enter our oceans. If we continue polluting like this, by 2050 oceans there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
Is there anything that we can do to prevent the upcoming events? Yes! There are some daily actions that we can take to reduce plastic waste. And we are going to tell you right away!
Why is plastic bad for the environment?
Plastic has helped human beings to develop all kinds of products: car belts, shoes, computers, TVs, construction material… They are all made of plastics. But this progress has come with a price.
Most of the plastics used today are made from the processing of fossil fuels, which are considered non-renewable natural resources. Plus, of all the plastic that ever existed, more than half was produced in the last 15 years and 91% has never been recycled. For this reason, the WHO and UNEP have jointly declared that plastic waste and its consequences are a global crisis.
Plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose. Plus, it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. These fragments already pollute the environment but, besides, they are ingested by fish and other marine animals, contaminating the food chain on which we depend. It's estimated that humans are eating a credit-card sized amount of plastic each week.
Is recycling a good solution for plastic waste?
Recycling is one of the many actions we can take to stop plastic waste, but it is not enough. Maybe you’re conscious and you try to recycle to help the environment. Yes, this is a small step towards a better future, but keep in mind that only 9% of plastic gets recycled worldwide. The vast majority of plastic waste collected for recycling is actually exported to poor countries, incinerated or thrown directly into the dump.
Actions that we can take to avoid plastic waste in our daily life
You have probably already heard about not using plastic straws. Well, there is more that you can do.
1. Get rid of these objects - they are bad for the environment AND for YOU!
Did you know that some products made of plastic are actually harmful to us? Yes, daily life products that we use to cook, wear and clean.
Avoid using Teflon-coated nonstick pans. Teflon breaks down into microplastics, which are plastic particles smaller than five millimetres. So not only do they mix into your food, but these tiny particles pass through the sewage system into our oceans.
Hair products that contain plastic
Use hair products that do not contain plastic ingredients. Read labels carefully! Better yet, try not to waste. Try a natural shampoo bar instead of one in a plastic container, and style your hair with natural plant-based oils. 80% of all industrial and municipal wastewater in the world is discharged into rivers without any treatment.
Clothes made from synthetic plastic fabrics
Opt for natural fabrics and textiles. Reduce the amount of clothing made from synthetic plastic fabrics in your closet, which releases tiny microplastics that end up in our ocean and lungs. Even synthetic carpets release these types of particles.
2. Join the DIY movement (Do it Yourself)
We are used to going to the supermarket to purchase everything. Why don’t we go back to basics? We can, for example, make our own soap or cream. Crafts of this type, in addition to helping in the fight to eliminate plastics, are excellent hobbies.
Also, try and use natural cleaning products. It is common for us to buy a cleaning product for each thing, one for the floor, another for the bathroom, another for the kitchen... The list is endless and can be simplified. There are natural products such as vinegar or baking soda that are excellent cleaners and that will help you save money and avoid buying too many plastic products.
3. Stop using objects made of single-use plastic
We live in a culture of “use it once and throw it away”. We need to change this in order to save the planet.
- Replace plastic straws with metal ones. In this way, you can use them several times.
- Go shopping with reusable bags. Do not ask for plastic bags in the supermarket, take your bags from home and use them.
- Avoid buying products wrapped in plastic. For example, vegetables or fruits. You can take reusable cloth bags and transport everything there, this way you will not use single-use plastic bags.
- Use a toothbrush made of wood instead of plastic.
- Try and use a plastic product as long as you can. For example, plastic containers that you may have at your home, your smartphone (that you don’t need to change every two years), or even your clothes when they are made from synthetic fabrics.
4. Fund the collection of plastic waste
We use 1 million plastic water bottles per minute, and it takes 450 years for a plastic water bottle to degrade.
At REBO we have developed a smart water bottle that you can reuse as many times as you want. It is designed to last for years and you can easily wash it after every use. Plus, this is the first smart water bottle that cleans the planet as your drink: for every 600 ml or 16 oz you drink from a REBO Bottle, we fund the collection of one plastic bottle in the ocean.
This is how it works:
- Each time you drink from your REBO Smart Bottle, the technology in the Cap communicated this action to the REBO App.
- The REBO App tracks your water intake and calculates the number of plastic bottles you save.
- The plastic savings recorded in the REBO App are certified by Gold Standard and converted into credits
- Corporate sponsors buy credits to fund plastic pollution clean-ups, which are coordinated by Parley for the Ocean.
To sum up, become part of the solution, not the problem
Solving the environmental plastic damage on our oceans will require more than just international agreements. Everyone must commit to a sustainable lifestyle. Now is the time, tomorrow might be too late.
World Water Day 2022