How to replace plastic: 10 eco-examples

The world has been captured by the eco-revolution, the transition to conscious consumption and the rejection of plastic for the sake of health and care for nature. You can start small by replacing commonly used plastic items with eco-friendly alternatives together with Royal Craft Wood (site).

Drink straws

Such a trifle as a straw in a drink (sometimes two of them are put in cocktails) seems to be an insignificant problem for the environment. But Freedonia Group researchers think otherwise: they claim that in 2017, US residents used and threw away 390 million plastic straws. That’s a huge amount of plastic that could have been done without. It enters the oceans and causes irreparable harm to animals and fish. Juices, smoothies and water can be drunk directly from the glass, except in cases where you have problems with tooth sensitivity or special medical prescriptions. 

By the way, this will be a contribution not only to the preservation of the planet, but also to your health: the polypropylene from which straws are made comes into contact with liquid and enters the body. Scientists have found that the regular use of plastic for food and water increases estrogen levels, which is unhealthy. If you do not want to give up drinking from a straw, you can carry a reusable one made of glass or stainless steel.

Water bottles

Many people buy plastic one and a half liter bottles of water daily, especially in the heat when you want to drink more often (the body needs more liquid). Some people do not throw away the bottle, but fill it with water again, but most use it once. This is wasteful for the budget and causes irreparable harm to the environment – imagine how much plastic will end up in landfills if you drink a liter of bottled water a day.

The solution is obvious: buy a reusable drinking bottle. It is desirable that it be made of bamboo or stainless steel; these materials will last a long time and will not impart a plastic taste to clean water. You can fill the container at home or at work from a filter and a kettle, and if you are constantly on the road, you can ask for plain water in any cafe or use city drinking fountains.

Coffee glasses

Researchers in Germany estimate that 320,000 takeaway coffee cups are thrown away every hour in the country. Contrary to popular belief, cups are not only made of cardboard – they are coated with a layer of polypropylene or LDPE-coated. The container is not recyclable, and besides, it is not made from recycled materials, but from cellulose, for the production of which trees are cut down.

As with water, buy a coffee cup. This way you won’t have to throw away the disposable glass and plastic lid after your Americano. Some reusable mugs are airtight and do not burn your hands, and the drink in them cools more slowly.

Cleaning products for the home

In recent years, many manufacturers have been rethinking the packaging of goods, trying to use less film for them, and replacing plastic bottles and containers with cardboard counterparts. You can choose from a variety of household products in hypermarkets, the Internet and specialized eco-shops. Prices in the latter, as a rule, are high, so buyers are in no hurry to replace the usual chemistry with environmentally friendly counterparts.

There is a way out: cleaning products can be made at home from natural ingredients without buying another plastic container with aggressive substances. For example, vinegar and baking soda will help remove blockages in the drain, which many people are accustomed to clearing with half a bottle of cleaner.

Face masks

Few will agree to abandon the usual beauty products and switch to eco-products with a natural composition and in the right packaging. But one thing is worth getting rid of as soon as possible, and that is disposable face masks. The impregnated fabric base is sealed in plastic, and immediately after use it is thrown away with the packaging.

In a year, you will create a lot of garbage even if you use a mask once a week, and most people do it more often. A ready-made mask is more convenient, but the fabric does not enhance the effect of the products in the composition – it will not be less if you buy masks in standard packages or make them yourself. For example, based on cosmetic clay with the addition of vegetable and essential oils.

Shopping bags

At the checkout of any store, they offer T-shirt bags in which it is convenient to put products. Every day, thousands of people buy food, take it home and throw away the packaging. Even the so-called biodegradable bags are plastic, it breaks down into microparticles within a couple of years, which remain in the atmosphere. Carry a canvas bag or grocery bag with you.

The reusable bag is much stronger, does not take up much space and is easy to wash. For bulk goods, you can buy or sew small bags and nets – put vegetables and fruits in them so that you don’t throw away a few more packages at home. The bags themselves can be labeled or numbered so that they can be used for the same type of product. For example, in Georgia and France, plastic bags are prohibited in grocery stores, and residents of the countries like it.

Food containers

Eco-adherents have long abandoned the cling film used to cover food plates. It’s time to get rid of plastic containers. Yes, they do not change daily, but often enough, because they quickly become unusable: they lose their beautiful appearance, absorb odors or crack.

A good alternative is glass containers with sealed bamboo lids. In them, products are not saturated with harmful substances, retain taste and smell. You can use jars and containers for more than just storing food in the refrigerator. They are suitable for cereals, pasta, beans or snacks that are bought by weight.

Tea by weight

Disposable tea bags are often made from plastic, food grade nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate. When brewing and infusing tea, substances enter the drink. They accumulate in the body and cause health problems, especially if you are used to using tea bags daily and re-brewing them. For them, low-quality tea is selected – it is easier to grind old leaves than to give them a marketable appearance for a loose product, and tea dust is half the portion.

Such tea contains more fluoride compounds and is not washed before packaging. Therefore, choose loose-leaf tea: it is not so easy to brew, you need to use a strainer or a small teapot, but the drink is much healthier, and good tea does not need extra plastic for portion packaging.

Hand sanitizer

Disposable wipes are also thrown away in huge quantities. They are not made of natural fabric, but of synthetic material, that is, plastic, which decomposes for several hundred years. Carry antibacterial gel with you; a small bottle will take up less space compared to a pack of wipes, and one drop will be enough for disinfection.

Ordinary hydrogen peroxide, which is sold in a pharmacy, is also suitable. You can also get into the habit of wearing a cloth handkerchief, as in childhood: in order to wipe your hands, it is enough to moisten it a little with water from your refillable drinking bottle.

Hygiene products for animals

The Animal Treatment Acts require owners to clean up after their pets outside; pet stores offer convenient disposable plastic bags for this, and this is a new portion of unnecessary polypropylene after every walk with the dog.

Replace them with biodegradable paper alternatives that will not harm the environment. Instead of disposable pet diapers, buy a reusable dry closet and choose natural fillers.

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