There is always something you can do to use less Plastic!
Hennepin County is challenging people to use less plastic. These ideas are from them:
Why should we reduce plastic?
Plastic has many functions and benefits, and it has been very helpful to society. However, the growth of plastic use and plastic waste is unsustainable for our health and for the environment. Today we are using twenty times more plastic than we did in the 1960s. Plastic is hard to collect for recycling, is usually made from petroleum, and causes substantial litter that contaminates soil, water, food, and our bodies. We need our systems to change, but we can also be more careful about how and when we choose to use plastic in our daily lives.
Tips to use less plastic
Because plastic is everywhere, it feels hard to use less. Start with products that are easier for you to avoid, and slowly reduce plastic in other areas of your life. Replace the durable plastic items you own only when they are used up or broken, unless they are hazardous to your health. Here are more tips to get started:
- Learn to refuse single-use plastics you don’t need, such as plastic water bottles and cups, straws, plastic bags and plastic utensils.
- When you must buy plastic products, choose ones that you can recycle rather than ones you must put in the trash.
- Instead of single-use plastic items, choose ones you replace less frequently or not at all, such as steel shaving razors, permanent soap dispensers or refillable beauty or personal product packaging.
- Buy foods in family sizes or in bulk, then repackage them into smaller portions instead of purchasing individually wrapped items.
- Try to DIY a few things like condiments, cleaners, and meals made from scratch. Or learn a food preservation method that doesn’t require plastic.
- Shop bulk items
Shop bulk and fill your own containers
Easy tips to use less plastic and create less waste
We can make choices with our wallets and our lifestyles that create less demand for new plastic, even if we can’t avoid plastic every day. Be thoughtful about where you shop and how to reduce your plastic footprint.
- Buy secondhand reusable items to replace single-use plastics, from water bottles and utensils to reusable bags.
- Look for whatever it is you need secondhand; it reduces the need for new plastics, and it reduces the amount of plastic used for product packaging.
- Look for reusable, non-plastic items in secondhand stores, such as dishware, wood furniture or home décor.
- Rent things such as tools or specialty clothing instead of buying them, since most tools have at least some plastic components and clothes are often plastic fiber blends.
- Take care of the things you own so they need to be replaced less often, from mending clothing to repairing electronics and keeping your cell phone longer between upgrades.
No matter how much time or money you may think you need to spend on avoiding plastic, there is always something you can do to use less.