The Plastic Problem
For too long, the narrative has focused on plastics in the ocean and the impact of plastic on ocean wildlife. Don’t get me wrong – this is an issue. However, the problem with plastic is a much broader and impacts all of us.
Why Plastic is Harmful to Our Health
We are eating the equivalent of a credit card per week.
Ways to Ditch Plastic
- Keep reusable bags in your car and use them anytime when shopping as a replacement for standard plastic bags.
- Refill a stainless steel water bottle and stop buying bottled water.
- Buy a metal straw or biodegradable paper straws – keep this with you, and when eating out, skip the plastic straw.
- Stop using plastic bags at the produce section at the grocery store – they’re completely unnecessary.
- Buy fresh bread that comes in paper bag or at the bakery where you can put it in your own cloth bag
- Do some research in your area to find a local dairy provider where you can buy milk in a returnable glass bottle. Costo sells milk in cardboard containers which is a great option as well.
- Choose wine bottled in glass with natural cork stopper.
- Clean with vinegar and water – ditch cleaning solutions in plastic containers. Mix 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water for an all-purpose cleaning spray.
- Use powdered dishwasher and laundry detergent in a cardboard box.
- Use reusable sandwich/snack bags over plastic baggies.
- Choose glass food storage containers over Tupperware or other plastic containers.
- Avoid non-stick cookware, it is coated with Teflon or other resins.
- Bring your own cutlery – carry a reusable spoon, knife and fork in your bag so that you don’t need to use single-use silverware when on the go.
- Buy in bulk – this cuts down on plastic food packaging.
- Wear clothes from natural fibers – synthetic fibers are a key contributor microplastic pollution.
I’d love to hear from you!
If you’re already on top of this, what are some other ways you’ve implemented to cut back on plastic usage? Or if this is your first effort in reducing your plastic usage, let me know how it goes! Making lifestyle changes can be difficult, but I promise – once you create new habits, the hard part is done and you’ll be living a healthier life!
Read More About Plastic in our Food Supply
If you’d like to learn more how our food is exposed to plastic and ways to reduce plastic usage, check out a recent post, Pervasive Plastics in Our Food Supply, by Christina Badaracco, MPH, RD. Christina is a registered dietitian and author who aims to improve access to healthy and sustainable food and educate Americans about the connections between food and health. She loves to experiment with healthy recipes in the kitchen and share her creations to inspire others to cook.