How to Reduce Plastic Use and Waste Easily

While it’s hard to completely get rid of plastic products in our life, there are simple yet effective ways to reduce plastic use every day.

But first, some plastic related facts.

According to National Geographic, 91% of plastic products aren’t recycled, while 27 million tons of plastic wastes are sent to landfills in 2018 alone!

We can expect these numbers to be higher by now, especially during the COVID pandemic phase when disposable plastic face shields have become an essential accessory.

And since plastics aren’t biodegradable, it’s safe to assume that all the plastic trash we’ve ever thrown still exists somewhere in landfills or the ocean.

In this article, we focus on the simplest things any average person can do to help the plastic waste problem without complicating their current lifestyle.

Some of these tips you might already know, but some might come as a surprise to you.

Let’s get started.

1. Practice a Plastic Free Dental Routine

Disposable plastic toothpaste tubes, plastic toothbrushes, and dental floss are some of the most common plastic trash that pollutes the planet.

Fortunately, there are ways to have a completely plastic free dental and oral care routine.

Plastic-Free-Dental-Care-Routine

For instance, you can use a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one. 

You can also find many zero waste toothpastes made with natural and organic ingredients in plastic free containers.

Finally, there are dental flosses today that are made with biodegradable materials.

If you just take the time to look, you can effectively reduce plastic usage and waste by switching your dental products alone.

2. Heard of Zero Waste Perfumes?

Many eco-conscious people like you are now making the switch to zero waste perfumes made with natural ingredients.

And as you may already know, most perfumes have a glass or metal bottles.

However, what’s interesting about these so-called zero waste perfumes is that most of them come in refillable containers with plastic free packaging.

These eco-friendly perfumes will keep you smelling amazing without introducing new plastic wastes in the system.

3. Stop Using Straws (Unless you have to)

Did you know that drinking straws only got invented in 1888? 

This means human society has survived thousands of years without needing a straw to drink.

So unless you really have to, don’t use straws, especially at home.

And if you’re accustomed to using a straw, you can get a reusable straw made of bamboo, wood, or stainless steel for only a couple of bucks.

Reusable straws also come with travel cases so that you can take them with you on trips and getaways.

4. Get a Reusable Grocery Bag

Plastic grocery bags are among the most common trash in the landfills.

However, we need shopping bags to carry our groceries home conveniently.

It’s just unfortunate that most shopping bags get thrown immediately after only a single-use.

The solution? Reusable and washable grocery bags.

Reusable Shopping Bag

Today, you can get affordable and stylish reusable grocery bags made of cloth and natural fibers.

When the time comes that you’ll have to throw them away, you can compost them as they are made with biodegradable materials.

5. Pick Up Plastic Free Groceries

When picking up supplies, look for products that aren’t prepackaged in plastic or disposable containers.

For example, you can use your reusable shopping bag to pick up bulk supplies of veggies, fruits, and produce.

You can also look for stores near you that sell bulk and allow customers to bring their own containers.

6. Avoid Gifts made of Plastic

Before reading this article, it might have never crossed your mind that you can significantly reduce your plastic waste by shopping for non-plastic gift ideas.

If you think about it, Christmas, birthdays, and New Year aren’t the only time we give presents to our family and friends each year.

There are Valentine’s day, anniversaries, graduation, and other occasions.

So the next time you buy a present, take some time to consider the best eco-friendly gifts you can give.

7. Get a Reusable Water Bottle

An average American dumps 100 plastic bottles in nature each year.

We buy bottled water on trips, when working out, and basically every time we get thirsty away from home.

No wonder plastic bottles are among the most common plastic waste all around the world.

Getting a reusable water bottle will reduce the plastic waste you create and help you save money.

How-To-Use-Less-Plastic

On average, a 16oz bottle of water costs approximately 70 cents.

It might not be much, but multiply 70 cents to a hundred and that is already 70 bucks!

That amount should have stayed in your pocket if you only have a reusable water bottle to carry water with you.

Imagine a family of 5, and everyone consumes the same amount of bottled water per year.

Hence, having a reusable water bottle is not only an excellent way to reduce plastic waste but also helps save your hard-earned money.

8. Use Plastic Free Hair Products

Plastic shampoo and conditioner containers are common plastic wastes that ends in landfills.

So when you’re picking up hair care and styling products, stay away from hair products in plastic containers as much as possible.

How-To-Reduce-Plastic-Use-Plastic-Free-Shampoo

Bamboo hair brush, cloth hair scrunchies, and plastic free shampoos are some of the many plastic free hair products you can buy today.

9. Say No to Plastic Food Wraps and Containers

Plastic food wraps (aka cling wraps or Saran wraps) and plastic containers are what we traditionally use to store food.

Unfortunately, cling wraps get immediately thrown away after only a single-use.

Meanwhile, plastic food containers are rarely recycled at the end of their lifetime and are eventually sent to landfills.

A more eco-friendly option in storing food and spices would be to use beeswax food wraps, glass jars, or containers made with silicone or stainless steel.

10. Have a Zero Waste Period Routine

There are plenty of plastic-free and non-disposable options out there to cut down on period waste for eco-warrior ladies.

Instead of typical disposable sanitary napkins, you can buy in the store, look for plastic free and reusable products.

Some good examples are menstruation cups and washable cloth pads.

Plastic-Free-Period-Products

11. Inform other People about the Plastic Free Lifestyle

Saving our planet from plastic pollution is a responsibility every human being needs to be a part of.

After all, we’re living and sharing the same planet.

Why go plastic free?

If we don’t work together and do something now, it won’t be long until it’s too late, and the future generations won’t have a livable planet to inherit.

So as you’re practicing a plastic free lifestyle, don’t be ashamed to share with the people around you the importance of reducing plastic consumption.

When more people learns these simple ways on how to reduce their plastic use, the higher the chance of us saving our planet from the plastic wastes.

Final Thoughts on How to Reduce Plastic Use

Reducing plastic use and waste and even living a completely plastic free life is not as hard to accomplish as you think.

You can start with the simple ways to reduce plastic waste above, and before you know it, you already have a plastic free lifestyle ahead of you.

And if you find these eco-friendly tips useful, kindly share this with the people around you.

Together we can make Earth a better place to live for ourselves and the future generation.

And if you have any more suggestions on simple ways to reduce plastic waste, feel free to leave a comment below.

You might also be interested in:

21 Simple & Practical Plastic Free July Ideas

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