20 Ways to Limit Your Plastic Use

Take a look at your surroundings. Unless you’re hiking in the mountains, chances are you can spot something made of plastic. We use plastic in so many ways, often without realizing just how much. But it’s literally all around us; our water bottles, bags, even our clothes.

It’s all about choice. We choose to buy all of our plastic products but thankfully in this day in age, we have so many eco-friendly alternatives.

(Yes, sometimes plastic alternatives may be more expensive depending on the product but the pay back is worth it. Something as simple as buying reusable sandwich bags for $20 is definitely cheaper than buying Ziplock bags every month.)

And where does the plastic end up? We know about the plastic ending up in the ocean and landfills. But even when we try to recycle only 9% of the plastic ever produced actually gets recycled (UN Environment). So limit the waste in the first place — don’t buy it.

Here is a list of ways you can limit your plastic consumption:

1. Be prepared.

Always carry reusable food containers and utensils, especially when ordering takeout.

2. Use metal or bamboo straws.

Whether you’re at home or on the go, say no to plastic straws.

3. Bring cloth grocery bags.

Remember to bring your own bags to the store, including cloth produce bags!

4. Buy a bamboo toothbrush.

More than 5 trillion plastic toothbrushes are in our ocean today.

5. Recycle and buy used.

Visit your nearest thrift shop recycled goods store for toys, bags, accessories and clothes.

6. Skip the gum.

You’re chewing on plastic!

7. Avoid snacks with plastic packaging.

Try to buy in bulk or buy snacks that are packaged in paper.

8. Don’t use cosmetics with microbeads.

Check the ingredients on your bath and shower soaps and face washes.

9. Make sure you check “no” for paper mail.

Although paper is in the name, a lot of our mail contains plastic and ends up as micro-plastics in our landfill or ocean.

10. Buy reusable products.

A good reusable product to invest in is a metal razor with replaceable blades.

11. Buy reusable bottles or mugs.

Ask if you can use your own bottle for that drink you just ordered!

12. Recycle your electronics.

Find an Electronic Recycling bin near you.

13. Buy reusable sandwich bags.

How many Ziplock bags do you go through in a month?

14. Choose foods you can put in your own container or buy in bulk.

Don’t buy frozen foods — too much plastic!

15. Buy products made with recycled material or compostable material.

Beware of the packaging — this is our largest source of plastic.

16. Reduce your carbon footprint and save paper.

Do it electronically!

17. Invest in compostable waste bags for your pets.

But compost the used bags far from your garden!

18. Buy eco-friendly and biodegradable toys and products for your pets.

The plastic in pet toys and products isn’t good for the environment or your pets.

19. Clean your home with reusable rags and eco-friendly products.

There are even plenty of recipes online for making your own cleaners so you can reuse just one bottle.

20. Tweet or post about your actions.

Sharing your actions related to limiting plastic and findings online about the dangers of plastic consumption can make a huge difference!