We all know that our unbridled consumption of plastic is running the planet into the ground, harming the health of everything in existence. But to what extent?
According to a study by the UN environment programme, 300 million tons of plastic waste is produced every year, which is nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population.(1) In fact, over the past 50 years, plastic pollution has doubled globally.
“But how can that be?! We always recycle!”
Only 9% of this abhorrent amount is recycled while 12% is incinerated.(2) What happens to the rest of the plastic waste? It winds up in landfills or worse, the oceans. The consequences are not limited to only the environment; it affects human health as well. On average, a person ingests 70,000 microplastics per year.(3) Feeling a bit nauseous? Clearly, no magical wand can end this destructive affliction to our planet. Nevertheless, if we all put in efforts to become a part of the solution, we can, at least, slow down the aging process of our environment.
Here are eight tangible and simple actions to integrate into your everyday life that will help you adopt eco-friendly consumption habits and reduce plastic waste.
1. Reduce Single-Use Plastic Products
Up to 90% of plastic consumption is used only once!(4) Straws, utensils, coffee lids, bottle caps, grocery bags and a plethora of other items are our main culprits to plastic waste. Luckily, several regions of the world such as Kenya, the UK, Seattle and Montreal have implemented measures to limit the use of plastic. Do you tend to forget your reusable bags or your coffee mug before leaving the house? Try this: leave them in front of the door before going to bed. This way they are impossible to miss.
2. Treat Yourself to a Reusable Bottle
Every minute, more than a million bottles of water are purchased.(5) EVERY MINUTE! This outlandish trend could be abated with the mere purchase of a reusable bottle, which preserves the freshness of water much better than a plastic bottle. While you’re at it, check out the local companies that produce these reusable bottles; two achievements with one action.
3. Stop Smoking
Did you know that butts rank first in plastic waste on industrialized beaches? Cigarette butts!(6) They contain filters that are made from small plastic fibers that are meant to cut the risk of lung cancer in half. But do you know what cuts the risk completely while simultaneously saving the planet? NO SMOKING!
4. Cook Larger Quantities
It can be difficult to find the time to prepare a meal. Overwhelming days and time restrictions can force the kitchen to close and the phone lines to open. Instead of ordering from a restaurant that is going to fill your countertops with plastic waste; make a few extra servings and freeze them. This way, you can save money and avoid a barrage of single-use plastic that’s often too soiled to recycle. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, food and food containers make up half of all municipal waste in the United States.(7)
5. Just Say No to Over-Packaging
If you have kids, then you should be familiar with toys that are so heavily encased in plastic, to make them seem more attractive, that you need a saw to cut through them. Instead of succumbing to temptation, whenever your kids are able to understand, teach them about environmental issues and encourage buying second-hand toys or at least those sold in as little plastic packaging as possible. The same logic should be applied by adults when choosing food products, cosmetics and more.
6. Follow the 4 Rs
Reduce: Utilize steps 1-5 to consume fewer single-use plastic products. Then search for eco-friendly packaging such as biodegradable cardboard boxes in our new leaves bar™ collection.
Reuse: It’s OK if your life isn’t completely plastic free. Keep the bottles of body and household products and get eco-refills like ours, which contain up to 81% less plastic and four times more product.
Recycle: Choose your plastic wisely. Some types, like HDPE 2 that is used in the manufacturing process of our bottles, is easily and efficiently recycled.
Reforest: If you can’t plant trees yourself, support brands or initiatives that help restore our environment.
7. Endorse Brands That Are Doing Their Part
Before you make a purchase, ask yourself this question: Is this brand taking the necessary actions to reduce its ecological footprint and plastic waste? At ATTITUDE, we understand the importance of action. That’s why we continue to innovate and offer eco-friendly products that are healthy for you and the planet. Derived from natural minerals- and plant-based ingredients, our perfectly infused creations meet the highest standards of eco-responsibility. Our goal: less plastic, more trees and zero compromise on efficiency. To put our money where our mouth is, we created a reforestation program that plants a tree for every product sold.
8. Educate Yourself
Scientists are exploring a variety of new solutions to fight plastic waste: biodegradable cardboard packaging – like the beautiful boxes of our leaves barTM line – EWG VerifiedTM body care, ECOLOGO-certified household products and blue beauty products to name a few. Don’t hesitate to educate yourself. And share the wealth because ignorance isn’t always bliss.