5 Ways to be More Plastic-Free
Plastic-Free July is behind us but that's no reason to stop preventing plastic waste. We’re diving into the different types of plastics and how you can reduce your plastic consumption by reusing what you already have at home!
Yes, there’s no need to purchase new sustainable materials; reusing is the simplest and most sustainable way to be plastic-free!
For those of you who are beginning your sustainable journey, Plastic-Free July is a global movement that helps people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can all enjoy a healthier planet.
The challenge is to refuse single-use plastics for the month of July.
Plastic Free is one of the attributes we track at askBelynda on companies and close to a third of the vetted companies in our database are manufacturing plastic-free products.
Before we begin, we must first understand the different types of plastic that already exist and how we can recycle them.
THE BRIEF GUIDE TO DIFFERENT TYPES OF PLASTICS
There are different types of plastic, each with its own recycling symbol.
Type 1 plastic, or PET (polyethylene terephthalate), is commonly found in water and soda bottles. It can be recycled into new bottles and containers, as well as carpeting and fiber for clothing. These are commonly recycled.
Type 2 plastic, or HDPE (high-density polyethylene), is found in milk jugs, shampoo bottles, and some plastic bags. It can be recycled into new bottles, containers, buckets, pipes, lumber, and more. These are commonly recycled.
Type 3 plastic, or PVC (polyvinyl chloride), is found in food wraps, cooking oil bottles, and some piping. These are sometimes recycled into pipes, flooring, cables, and more.
Type 4 plastic, or LDPE (low-density polyethylene), is found in shopping bags, sandwich bags, and some food packaging. These are sometimes recycled into new bags, containers, pipes, and more.
Type 5 plastic, or PP (polypropylene), is found in some food packaging, straws, and disposable cups. These are occasionally recycled into new bottles, buckets, ropes, carpets, and more.
Type 6 plastic, or PS (polystyrene), is found in foam packaging, some food containers, and disposable cutlery. These are commonly recycled into new containers, toys, picture frames, and more but its difficult to do.
Type 7 plastic, or other, is found in some hard plastics like reusable water bottles and food storage containers. These are difficult to recycle.
Most types of plastic can be recycled, but not all recycling facilities accept all types. Be sure to check with your local facility before recycling any plastic. You can also reduce your use of plastic by choosing sustainable alternatives like glass, metal, or paper. Every little bit helps!
Now that we know which types of plastic, let’s explore 5 ways you can become more plastic-free
5 WAYS TO BECOMING MORE PLASTIC-FREE
Bring your own reusable bags when you go shopping. This one is easy - just remember to bring your bags with you when you go to the store. Say no to plastic bags, and you'll be surprised at how quickly they add up!
Bring your own reusable water bottle. This is another easy one - ditch the disposable water bottles and invest in a good quality reusable bottle. Not only will you be saving plastic, but you'll also save money in the long run!
Avoid single-use plastics. This one can be a bit more challenging, but it's worth it. Single-use plastics include things like straws, coffee cups, and takeout containers. Whenever possible, try to avoid using these items or find alternatives that are not made of plastic.
Recycle! This is an important step in reducing plastic waste. Make sure to recycle any plastic items that you can't avoid using.
Educate others about the problem of plastic pollution. The more people are aware of the problem; the more likely they are to do something about it. So spread the word and help make a difference!
By following these simple tips, you can make a big difference in the amount of plastic pollution that is produced each day!
Did you participate in plastic-free July? What did you do? Comment below!