5 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Plastic Waste Right Now
Plastic products are convenient but incredibly detrimental to our planet. In fact, plastic containers and packaging accounted for over 14.5 million tons of waste in 2018. It can take up to 500 years for some plastics to decompose, meaning they can accumulate in landfills for decades. Reducing the amount we use and waste plastic products is an important step toward living more sustainably.
CircleAround asked five experts for tips on how we can reduce our plastic waste right now. From buying second-hand products, to ditching disposable razor blades, here’s what they had to say.
1. Say goodbye to disposable razors
“The bathroom accounts for over 40 percent of plastic waste that reaches landfills. Switching to a metal razor is one of the easiest swaps to make in the bathroom and could save over 2 billion disposable razors from ending up in the bin every year. These kinds of blades can be easily recycled after use.”
Toyah Warnock, co-founder of Lane 44
2. Get reusable kitchen supplies
“The easiest place for me to make a big impact in my effort to reduce my plastic usage is in the kitchen. Simply by investing in reusable bags for produce and bulk purchases can make a huge difference. Buying in bulk and cooking from scratch not only saves you money but also prevents you from using as much single-use plastic from convenience pre-made meals. Swap out single-use ziplock bags for high-quality reusable silicone bags like the ones from Stasher.”
3. Buy second-hand
“In 2018 the EPA found that common baby and kid gear materials — rubber, wood, and plastic — accounted for over 21 percent of municipal waste in the United States. Using second-hand shopping programs is convenient, helps families save money, declutter, and more. It also helps promote the circular economy by allowing parents to buy used gear, then sell it back to us for up to 90 percent of the profits to put toward their future baby or kid’s next milestone.”
Maddy McLean, social & brand communications manager, Good Buy Gear
4. Go for handmade body products
“A small but very good way to reduce plastic use is to ditch liquid soap, shampoo, and body wash (that all come in plastic containers) and opt for handmade bar soap, shampoo bars, and/or dish soap. Handmade bar soap has the added advantage of smelling great — if not better than the large chain items — but very often also looks really pretty with varying designs or sizes.
Provided handmade soap is kept dry between uses it can last one person a month or more. Most small businesses will also work very hard to ensure the packaging used to get the soap to you is eco-friendly, and recyclable, or compostable (which also helps reduce plastic use).”
Tiffany Riffer, owner of Tiffany Riffer Soap
5. Buy products built to last
“Invest in refillable spray bottles and pump bottles and use concentrated cleaners to cut down on packaging, purchase toilet paper wrapped in paper rather than plastic film. Or, buy less stuff. When making a purchase, consider if you really need it. Especially if it’s something you won’t use for very long.”
Heather Cates, owner/blogger, Finding Our Green Life