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8 steps you should’ve already taken to reduce your plastic consumption

Illustration by Twylamae
Words by Sarah Gazal

There is no planet B.

95 per cent of all plastics are used just once before they are tossed.

As we go about our busy lives, we rely on these single-use plastics for all sorts of consumables we purchase on a daily basis. In doing this, we rack up huge amounts of waste without even thinking about it. Exactly how much of this actually gets recycled is still unclear, and it’s safe to say that tonnes end up in landfill each year.

As society wakes up to the scary impact this is having on our natural resources, it’s imperative we all pitch in to make a change. ’Cause there’s nothing pretty about pollution.

Serious about cleaning up your act? You’ve probably already worked these eight mantras into your life. If you haven’t, get to it stat.

Always keep a canvas bag within arm’s reach

The eco-warrior is armed with dozens of canvas bags, stashed everywhere from the car to the drawer at work. Caught without? Cart your supermarket supplies home in one of those cardboard boxes lying around the front of the shop, or ask an employee for a spare.

Never be caught without a refillable drink bottle

Without a doubt, this is THE simplest way to ease off the plastics.

Say no to coffee cups

Brew at home (bonus: save bank too) or take away with a reusable mug. Either way, there’s no excuse for rushing this morning ritual. Left home without that mug? No biggie. It’s a nice excuse to take 10 and dine in. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy people-watching anyway?

Don’t use straws, they’re for suckers

Those images of innocent sea life swimming through masses of our squandered plastics are rather horrifying. Straws are one of those plastics we use and abuse on autopilot, yet can so easily be eradicated. It’s simple to ask for your drink sans straw.

Bulk is best

From washing powder to rolled oats, make sure you buy your dry goods and other household products in bulk. Refilling old plastic containers and glass jars will eliminate a heap of waste – kind of like scoop and weigh, but more enviro-friendly.

Buy fresh, always

Why are we forced to buy a pack of eight tomatoes when we only want four? Power to the people! Shopping at your local grocer means fresh produce is never wrapped in that nasty cling wrap and other plastic packings. Hand pick the exact quantity you need – no more, no less.

Walk the talk

Preachy behaviour is downright annoying. Period. But walking the plastic-free talk is a surefire way to spread those waste warrior vibes far and wide. Soon enough, neighbours, friends and maybe even your parents will get in on the act too.

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