The focus of World Environment Day 2018 is to "Beat the Plastic Pollution"
We asked one of our sustainability consultants, Kate Boylan, to share her top five tips for reducing your personal plastic waste. Some of them may seem obvious - but are you actually doing them yourself yet? Why not?
1. Buy a reusable drink bottle.
Don’t just buy the cheapest one you can find – invest in something you like, that will continue to serve you well for many years. Typically, drinking from glass bottles tastes better than plastic. And if you opt for steel, many of these are thermal - so your drinks can stay hot or cold for hours.
2. Invest in a reusable coffee cup.
Again - go for a quality product that you enjoy using. There’s a variety of alternatives out there - plastic, BPA/BPS-free plastic, glass, double wall - with different sleeve and lid options. And these days, plenty are dishwasher-safe too. Some brands even let you design your own. So what are you waiting for?
3. Use those reusable shopping bags.
- Buy a super-compact, foldable one that you can leave in your handbag or manbag
- Keep a stash by the door so you remember them as you’re going out
- Even better, buy another few and leave them in your car
- If you forget to take them in store with you, just get the cashier to pack the food back into your trolley, and pack it once you get back to the car
- Make it your child’s responsibility to remember them
If you use four plastic bags every time you shop, that ends up being over 200 bags per year. So buying and using your reusable bags will save that many bags every year… Now imagine if every New Zealander did the same! That would be 19 MILLION plastic bags avoided - every single year!
And if you still keep forgetting to use them, and buying more each time you shop - consider donating the excess to your local op shop. As single-use plastics are phased out, this is another way to get them reused and passed on to where they can be used.
4. Refuse straws.
Try this: “vodka soda no straw please” or “soy vanilla cappuccino trim vegan iced latté no straw please”.
Or buy your own reusable stainless steel straws if you’re a real straw/smoothie lover. Did you know, it takes up to 200 years for a plastic straw to decompose, and they can’t be recycled in most places! They often end up in the ocean and are incredibly dangerous for sea creatures.
5. Bring your own lunch container when you're buying takeaways!
Shops are surprisingly willing to do this - so next time you go to grab some sushi, take your own container.
This video by alternative news brand Re: explores the option here.
So there you go - five easy options to get your personal waste reduction started! Thanks Kate!