We’re all aware of the huge amount of plastic that is being produced on a daily basis, but what can we do to slow the growth? To fully tackle the problem, we need companies and governments to step in, but this will only happen when enough of us start calling for change. Here’s what we can do to jump start this movement.
The problem with packages
The vast majority of new plastic comes from the packaging industry:
There are currently very few regulations on what is allowed and not allowed in product packaging, and companies have been able to operate without any real restrictions. As a result, you get things like this:
There will come a time when the idea of “individually wrapped for freshness” will sound ridiculous, but it starts with us calling out and changing peoples habits.
We can take steps to reduce the amount of plastic packaging we use by changing our shopping habits. Here are a some specific steps we can take:
- Minimizing the amount of hard-to-recycle plastic we consume, such as Polystyrene
- Boycotting products that contain microbeads, such as some toothpastes and facial scrubs
- Shopping at bulk and zero-waste grocery stores
- Working with local government to encourage bans and taxes on single-use plastic
- Spreading the word to your friends about why it’s important to avoid buying products that have wasteful packaging
Reducing your plastic consumption and increasing the size of your wallet
While packaging is by far the largest creator of plastic waste, the textile and electronic industry combined are not too far behind. You use online marketplaces such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to buy used products, which saves money and reduces the need to produce a new copy of something.
The online marketplace industry has been around for ages, but new developments – such as the ability to easily ship products and find products from people you trust – should eventually make this approach easier to do than ever.