Pollution from the use of plastic is a reality that is increasing. The global movement Break Free From Plastic details that around 1 million plastic bottles are used in the world every minute, and if we stop to analyze this data, we will realize the direct damage that we are causing to the planet.
A bag that you use in the supermarket can take up to 150 years to degrade, and a bottle from 500 to 1000 years. Many times, due to ignorance, we do not realize the direct deterioration that we are causing with such simple and daily actions.
In this edition of our blog, we want to share with you five tips that can help you reduce the use of plastic in your daily life. Also, information that leads you to be a friendlier person with the environment and more aware of the urgency to generate a change on the planet that we will inherit for future generations.
1. Do not buy plastic bottles, replace them with stainless steel containers
Some of the chemicals present in plastic products, such as bisphenol A (BPA), can cause cancer in people. Use stainless steel bottles and fill them with (filtered) tap water to protect your health and that of the planet.
2. Do not use plastic straws.
The alternatives that have emerged to eradicate its excessive use are diverse. We recommend you change them for reusable silicone straws that you can wash and use as many times as you want because they are made of a material that does not retain flavor.
3. Take advantage of foldable and reusable cloth bags.
These days, it is very common to see people carrying their own bags in the supermarket. Some of them are made of cloth and greatly contribute to the reduction of plastic material; even many supermarkets have stopped selling bags to eradicate their excessive use.
4. Use cutlery made of wood, bamboo, or stainless steel.
Resistance to change is very common in humans. Eating food using wooden or bamboo cutlery may seem strange and even exotic at first, but when you realize that they do not leach harmful chemicals into the food, your perception begins to change.
5. Use a reusable glass or thermos.
Reusing is one of the individual actions that contributes the most to protecting the environment. There are different options for glasses or thermoses that are much more practical because they keep the temperature of your drinks, they are hygienic and easy to clean, and most importantly, they are sustainable products.
Impact of the use of plastic on the planet
Plastic is synthetic organic polymers derived primarily from fossil fuels. This material often accumulates when it is not disposed of properly and always clogs waterways, soils, and rivers.
A large number of them also end up in the oceans, turning marine sources into huge garbage dumps where they remain for decades, even centuries, until they manage to degrade.
Plastic pollution is a reality that does not stop, and its effects on the environment are devastating. The particles of this material, when exposed to sunlight, emit lethal greenhouse gases for the planet and, when in contact with the soil, release toxic substances that filter into the surface and contaminate groundwater as well as soil nutrients.
How to generate awareness and change in my close environment
The first step you should take is to try to raise awareness in your environment—family, friends, and co-workers—by talking about the issue.
- If you have small children, educate them about responsible consumptionand turn recycling into a family activity to generate change from an early age.
- Another alternative is to recycle and separate plastic or cardboard materials and change them for ecological substitutes with materials based on natural fibers, aluminum, or recycled cardboard.
- Likewise, leave in the past the traditional ziploc that you use for your children's snack and change them for packages of cotton bags for fruits and vegetables.
The benefit of utilizing sustainable packaging is that, because it is made of environmentally friendly materials, you can use it as a shopping bag for the supermarket and store food at home as well.
The alternatives to eliminating the use of plastic are many, but the most significant and immediate contribution is to start with individual actions that can generate a positive impact and make a big difference. Remember that the planet is our home, and it is our collective obligation to protect it to guarantee its sustainability over time.