Over the last 10 years, we’ve produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. To add insult to injury, 8 million tonnes of the stuff is dumped into our oceans every year- massively damaging our ecosystem and killing millions of beautiful sea creatures. If we don’t make a change to our consumer lifestyles soon, our excessive use of plastic could see a world that we barely recognise, void of natural colour and wildlife.
Living a plastic-free lifestyle is, of course, the only solution to this pressing problem. However, the thought of it can feel daunting- not to mention confusing thanks to various myths which make us feel as if living plastic-free is near enough impossible. Well, we’re here to bust the five big myths and hopefully encourage a few more of you to work towards a plastic-free lifestyle.
Most, if not all, of us use plastic products every day. Because of this, it can be hard to imagine a life without plastic. But remember- living more sustainably doesn’t mean you have to replace all of your plastic products immediately. Just try not to buy any new plastic products and more importantly, reuse what you have. If you throw your old plastics away, they’ll most probably end up on a landfill site, increasing your carbon footprint anyway.
Let’s face it, going totally plastic-free is a massive lifestyle change. Plastic is so much a part of our everyday lives, from products we use day to day to materials further up the supply chain which we have no direct control over. However, going plastic-free doesn’t mean fitting all the plastic you use over a year into a jam jar or cutting it out entirely, it’s about building a mindset.
Start small and build habits that will soon become automatic. Begin with replacing the easiest items to find substitutes for, like plastic shopping bags. The average plastic bag has a dismally short ‘working life’ of only 15 minutes- overcome the one-use mindset and reuse canvas bags.
Whilst doing your bit for the environment is increasingly important, you should always put your own family’s health and wellbeing first. If vital medicine comes in plastic packaging, your alternative plastic-free efforts will compensate for this.
Unfortunately, hectic family life doesn’t often allow for careful thinking and strategic lifestyle hacks, so it pays to cut yourself some slack and be reasonable. If your child’s favourite snack is encased in plastic, why not turn it into a once-in-a-while treat, rather than a regular feature on your shopping list? Remember, the key to maintaining a plastic-free lifestyle is to start small.
This is probably the most inaccurate but popular myth about plastic-free living. While zero waste products are becoming ‘fashionable’ and big brands are jumping on the opportunity to make money, try to avoid the fads. Take on habits that are genuinely cheaper for you and family and you’ll see your plastic use reduce. Buying soap and shampoo bars is much cheaper than buying toiletries packaged in bottles- you could even try to make some of your own toiletries using natural ingredients. Ordering fruit and veg boxes is undoubtedly a better deal than shopping at the supermarket and, of course, drinking tap water instead of bottled is the cheapest way to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Here at Devon Contract Waste, we’re passionate about looking after the planet. Our stringent zero landfill policy aims to reduce, reuse and recycle as many of the materials we collect as possible. Whilst we offer plastic recycling solutions, we encourage everyone, homeowners and business owners alike, to cut down on their plastic usage and work towards a cleaner environment for the future. If you run a business in the South West and you’re looking for eco-friendly waste solutions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.