The last 3 months have been a real setback to plastic-free living, but now some of the confusion settling down, and we can start to renew commitments to reduce plastic. 2020 which should have been a success story for plastic reduction became a total disaster with all the medical waste, and businesses sliding backward on their commitment to reduce and recycle plastic bags. I was in shock when stores wouldn’t let me use my reusable bags or let me refill my containers, but there is no evidence reusables cause Covid, but be sure to wash them!
Even with Covid cases soaring, we know more, and have learned better ways to be safe. It took about a month of trying different store policies until we were able to come down just right with grocery stores where we felt safe, and had store policies I could tolerate. We all know everyone should wear masks, wash hands and respect everyone’s space.
I am still able to fill my containers, but not in the quantities I could before the pandemic. By using refillable containers over the years I have kept from using thousands of plastic items. I feel good about that,7 and will someday be back to serious plastic-free living. Plastic is poisoning us. It is in our water, air, and in our food, and it is important to reduce the harm we do to ourselves, wildlife and the Earth.
Reuse as much as possible and avoid using single-use plastic products. Recycling plastic has become questionable in many communities. therefore refuse and reusing plastics are the best practices to work towards. It could be much easier if manufacturers would do their part in cutting down on plastic! Below are the principles I never had to abandon, so far, during the pandemic, and I hope they are suggestions to help you reduce your plastic footprint also:
- Never purchase products in Styrofoam. If you purchase meat, use the fresh meat counter. Also, avoid black plastic, which like Styrofoam is hard to recycle.
- Cook your own meals instead of using take-out. Challenge yourself to make meals from products that came in paper, metal or bulk, and without plastic packaging.
- Always travel with a reusable filled water bottles.
- Never use baggies. Put sandwiches and leftovers in reusable containers.
- Choose glass bottles instead of plastic.
- Never use single-use masks or gloves. Reuse!
- There is no evidence Covid-19 is spread by reusable bags, shop stores that let you use reusable bags and work to reduce plastic.
- Survey your trash. Is it full of plastic? What can you change?
- Good luck!