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Seven Simple Ways to Lead a More Plastic-Free Lifestyle

Date : 02 July 2019

Have you ever thought about how much plastic you use every day? It might be more than you think… From plastic bags and water bottles to coffee cups and straws. It’s not uncommon to encounter many plastic items during our day-to-day lives. As convenient as these items may be, they are often only used once before being binned.

Single-use plastics are one of the leading causes of environmental pollution. In fact, an estimated 8 million tons of plastic enter our oceans each year! This poses a serious threat to marine life, which is vulnerable to harm or, worse yet, death caused by the ingestion of plastic waste.

With it being Plastic Free July, we at Eveready believe there’s no better time to adjust our habits to lead a more plastic-free lifestyle. Here are seven simple ways you can do just that; and help protect our precious oceans and sea creatures in the process.

1. Carry reusable shopping bags

Shoppers worldwide are using around 1 million plastic bags every minute – and the “working life” of each of these bags is only about 12 minutes. We can just imagine how much plastic waste is created in this way! Make a difference to this dire statistic by taking your own reusable, eco-friendly shopping bags to the store. Cotton tote bags are a great option, as are knitted mesh bags for weighing and carrying fresh produce.

2. Stop using plastic water bottles

Did you know that it takes 450 years for one single plastic bottle to break down? Recycling aside, each and every plastic bottle we use will still be around for centuries to come! The future is in your hands – stop using plastic water bottles today, and rather opt for reusable water bottles and containers instead. Simply fill up at your nearest water store the next time you need your fill of fresh water.  

3. Avoid pre-packaged produce

Grocery stores often have aisles and aisles of fresh produce all wrapped up and ready for you. Produce that is already sliced and diced may save you time, but at what cost? The packaging is often not easily recyclable – especially things like polystyrene trays and plastic cling wrap. As far as possible, try to avoid pre-packaged produce and rather opt for whole, unwrapped fruit and veggies.

4. Say no to plastic straws

Globally, around 1 billion plastic straws are used and discarded every day. It’s best to avoid using plastic straws altogether, but if you absolutely must, rather use paper straws or reusable steel straws like the ones from sipconscious.co.za.

5. Switch to glass

You may have heard that it’s not good to use the same plastic bottle over and over, but did you know that reusing certain plastic containers also isn’t recommended? Glass Tupperware is great because it cuts down on plastic use and it’s safer for storing your food. It’s also a great idea to invest in some glass mason jars with which to enjoy your favourite juices and smoothies. The same goes for hot beverages – instead of using plastic cups, rather take a travel coffee mug on your next coffee run. Some outlets, like Seattle Coffee, even offer a discount when you bring in your own cup.

6. Make better product choices

Often times, leading a plastic-free lifestyle comes down to making better choices as a consumer. This could include choosing products that are recyclable, organic and made from eco-friendlier alternatives such as wood.

7. Adopt eco-friendly practices

Lowering your use of single-use plastics is a great start, but there’s plenty more you can do. For example, if you have to use a plastic item, make a commitment to recycle it. Spread the word about the importance of addressing plastic pollution, and get involved in local beach cleanups. Leading a plastic-free lifestyle isn’t without effort, but the rewards are well worth it.