We’ve all seen the harrowing pictures of wildlife and oceans affected by plastic waste and we’ve seen the pledges by big-name brands to reduce their plastic packaging production and usage.
A global issue clearly exists.
What isn’t so clear is how we deal with non-recyclable packaging now.
Is throwing it away the right thing to?
If it can’t yet be recycled responsibly what do we do with it?
After all, there’s only so many reuses for each piece of plastic that any one household can realistically contend with – how many D.I.Y pencil tidies can one family own!?
Moreover, until single-use plastic is totally eradicated, it’s unrealistic to boycott everyday items that we rely on.
At Takeaway Packaging, we understand this, we’re all too aware of these issues and concerns and so we’ve compiled a ‘how to’ on best practice for dealing with non-recyclable plastic.
Our mission is to put your mind and conscience at ease so you can rest assured that you’re doing ‘you bit’ as best you can.
Unfortunately there are a huge number of items, sadly not just limited to plastics, that cannot be recycled by traditional means.
This is mainly due to contamination.
Items such as broken glass or pizza boxes cannot be reused (primary problem), it then becomes so labour and cost intensive to separate them from items that can be recycled, that the entire load is deemed contaminated (secondary problem – even worse).
The load won’t be purchased by recycling centres, and invariably, the whole load goes to landfill!
Plastics such as cling film are recyclable but many local authorities in the UK won’t accept it because it’s likely to be contaminated by food products.
So, what can we do?
How do we ensure that plastics don’t end up in the sea and kill wildlife then?
Well, there is no way to ‘deal’ with non-recyclables other than reusing them or throwing them away.
They key to making progress is be proactive about our consumption of plastics and other non-recyclable waste.
Simply put, we must reduce our consumption or avoid it altogether.
Here are some realistic suggestions which you can integrate into your own life:
No more bottled water
The first thing to do is to stop buying bottled water.
There are so many reusable bottles out there on the market now, plenty of ‘cool’ ones too.
No excuses, this is an easy one to integrate into your life.
Shun plastic straws
Out on the town? Sipping away the week after work?
One way to have a good time as well as saving the plant is saying ‘no’ to plastic straws.
Sipping straight from the glass is pretty straightforward and you’ll be doing an awful lot of good by doing so.
If you’re one of those people who hates battling ice while you’re trying to drink, ask the bartender if they’ve got paper straws.
If not, shame on them!
At least you can hold your head high!
Get yourself a reusable spork
Ok, granted it’s not the coolest item in your inventory, but neither are millions of dead animals and an ocean full of non-biodegradable waste…
Easy to use, easy to wash, easy to carry, what more could you want?
Eat your noodles like the eco-boss that you are!
Avoid microbeads and glitter
We all need to have a good scrub up every now and then, and don’t get me wrong, exfoliation should be a part of everyone’s skincare regime, but those micro-bead face and body scrubs…they have got to go!
There are plenty of ways to get the rubbery, squeaky-clean feel without using millions of tiny plastic balls; crushed walnut shells are one example.
Shop around and you will find alternatives.
Glitter is in the same camp.
Festival-goers fear not, you can find alternatives as brands become increasingly more aware of their wares.
You could try facepaints, there are a number on the market that are super easy to clean off with water.
You can totes be greener!
The must-have for anyone who wants to do their bit.
Always on you = always winning.
Totes are not exclusive to hipsters or those who exclusively shop in urban farm shops.
You find them anywhere, you can pay next to nothing for them, or you can pay loads for them.
Either way, and whichever ones you choose, they’re 100% better than plastic.
Get one and never look back!
Buying fruit and veg? Get them loose.
Apples are apples, pears are pears.
Loose ones will be just as good, if not better than ones covered in layers of plastic and placed on a polystyrene tray…
Coffee shops welcome this.
Start the day right and wake up to the smell of sustainability, it will even pay dividends with money off each purchase at the coffee shop – something offered by most of the major chains as well as little boutiques.
Before you know it, that groovy new cup is paying for itself!
So there you have it.
Easy ways that you can reduce your plastic consumption right now.
They won’t break the bank, there are no life changing habits that you need to try and form, just simple steps that work towards a greener future and cleaner oceans.
Encourage others to do the same.
Helping others to become more ‘aware’ doesn’t have to turn you into a barefoot eco-warrior!