The Earth can’t digest plastic. Plastic things are bought and used and that’s it – the Earth is burdened further. This issue has reached critical point. And we have to act. All of us. Because we are the issue. I know some of us get flummoxed by the data. Which is why I thought I’d share this rant from Jeff Bridges – who I’d watch reading the Yellow Pages – by the Plastic Pollution Coalition.

Can’t watch now? Here’s The Bits To Know:

  • Earth can’t digest plastic. Once it exists, it’s never going to be gone. Every bit of plastic that’s ever been made still exists on the planet. As time goes by plastic will separate into smaller and smaller pieces, but never completely biodegrades. And so….
  • Plastic in the ocean now outnumbers sea life six to one.
  • All (yes, all) sea turtle species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies.
  • One million sea birds are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
  • Plastic chemicals, like BPA, are absorbed by the body. They disrupt hormones and your endocrine system. I’ve written on this before. It’s a big issue. Especially if you have autoimmune disease.
  • Aside from the BPA issue, which most people are aware of, plastic also contains DDT and PCB — two extremely toxic chemicals. The health effects of DDT include cancer, male infertility, miscarriages and low birth weight, developmental delay, nervous system and liver damage. PCBs also contribute to cancer and cause disorders of the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems.

So. Eight plastic habits to Change. Now.

1. Plastic cutlery. Totally wrong. It kills me that often health food shops with eco ethos’ are the worst for not supplying reusable stuff. This ain’t fringe thinking any more. France has just banned plastic cutlery, cups and plates. (So you know, 150 single-use cups are thrown away every second in France.) They’re aiming to cut landfill waste in half by 2025 and reduce greenhouse emissions 40 per cent by 2030.

Do this: Carry a splade in your purse/bag* (a spoon, fork and blade in one). Or a “spork” – spoon and fork combo – one at each end – available from reChusable.com.

2. Straws. Don’t use one! 90 per cent of the debris found on Sydney beaches is plastic water bottles and straws. These pieces can get so tiny that they are then ingested by marine life. Bigger marine life comes along and gobbles up the prey that has just swallowed a chunk of plastic, and so it makes its way up the food chain.

Do this: Sip your drink, only use if there are biodegradable ones available at your cafe or invest in a stainless steel reusable one. And leave in your bag*.

xxxx gathered during a 20 minute snorkel off Manly, Australia
This stack of straws gathered during a 20-minute snorkel off Manly, Australia (Image via DivePlanIt.com)

3. Bottled water. In the US, 1500 plastic water bottles are consumed every second. Every SECOND. The plastic contains BPA and phthalates, both of which have a huge negative impact on our bodies. They also take 25 per cent of their volume in oil to make each bottle. That’s a lot of fossil fuels.

Do this: Drink from a tap. Invest in a Soda Stream. Take a reusable bottle with you in your bag* and fill up at public water fountains, at cafes or at work.

4. Takeaway coffee cups.  The cups are lined with plastic which is not biodegradable. This plastic sticks around long enough to out-live us. Disposable does not mean recyclable. I’ve ranted about takeaway coffee cups before.
And if you’re wondering how dangerous the BPA in the lids is for you, I’ve ranted about that, too.

In Australia, takeaway coffee cups are the second biggest contributor to waste after plastic bottles. That’s because we use approximately 1 billion disposable coffee cups a year.

Do this: Use a JOCO Cup instead. We use these at our IQS office. And you can…keep one in your bag*.

5. Plastic toothbrushes. Yep, your plastic toothbrush needs to go. Most toothbrushes are made with nylon bristles, a metal staple to hold the bristles in place and the plastic handle. All need to be separated before being “processed” for recycling. And no, the plastic is not recyclable. (It’s a softer plastic, so these are usually turned into other products…but the plastic never goes away…)

Do this: Use a bamboo toothbrush.

6. Plastic shopping bags. Australians use more than 10 million new plastic shopping bags every day. These bags are now banned in South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT.

Do  this: Keep reusable bags in your car. I keep an I Quit Sugar shopping bag (softened from much use) rolled up at the bottom of my main, daily bag.

7. Take away containers. Although not in circulation at the level of plastic water bottles, plastic food containers need to go, too. They contain chemicals that affect our bodies, and they also all end up in landfill. (And the ocean.)

Do this: cover dishes with a plate (stop using plastic wrap, too!). Use, and re-use, your Ziplock bags.

8. Plastic wrapped toilet paper. We’re buying paper…wrapped in plastic? Again, an easy fix.

Do this: Buy toilet paper that’s wrapped in paper. Preferably buy recycled. We do. Our office uses Who Gives a Crap. They tick all the right boxes and they donate a percentage of their profits to charity.

*If you find yourself thinking it’s ridiculous of me to suggest you carry such things in your bag, think about the fact you might already carry a water bottle already anyway, you’re fine to carry your phone, a spare jumper, etc. It’s really just about getting over yourself and adjusting.

 

Have your say, leave a comment.

  • BeautyCharmAdventure

    Also can I recommend sharing this post far and wide?? I’ll be sharing the message with friends and family so that everyone can play their part in reducing our use of plastics.

    • Sure can! We’ll do our best!

      • Your readers is what I meant!! I sure will.

      • RandiJ

        According to this, I am doing OK. However, where do you buy Bamboo toothbrushes? Never seen them before.

        • Susan Millett

          check out online? saw some in a local health food shop in UK

          • RandiJ

            UK is fine but we live in USA. Will check on line thou. Thank you!

        • Mila Rad

          I’ve seen them at some Whole Foods and Earth Fare.

          • RandiJ

            Thank you. I will check on it Sounds interesting.

          • Kris

            Cheap to buy on Ebay, usually with free postage worldwide. I get them in bulk.

        • Sara James

          Whole foods has them! They’re even softer bristles than plastic and the bamboo handle feels really nice to hold 🙂

          • RandiJ

            Thank’s! I checked on EBay like Kris suggested and found pack of 4 for $9.99, S&H included–comes from Kansas. (They have 8pack, free S&H, comes from China for $8.88, has bamboo handles and nylon bristles. I will go with Kansas).

        • suzisunshine

          Probably Amazon…

  • Adriana

    This is a great reminder to use less plastic. I have been travelling in South America and it has been impossible to find refill points in many countries. There just isn’t an option to not buy bottled water as tap water is too dangerous to drink!

    • Jacqui

      For traveller: one option I used while in northern India & Nepal was: ask the locals what water they drink- then ask them to boil it ( like you might to drink a chai or tea) then refilled my stainless steal water bottle with boiled water, and let it cool a little to drink. Overnight it was particularly good to wrap the hot water bottle in a clean sock and place at your cold feet to warm up., in six months I was rarely sick.

      • Judith Wolf

        Or use sterilizer tablets

        • el bee

          you can also use something like lifestraw

      • lynn

        Rarely??? I’ve travelled in India 5 times and only sick once.

    • Joanna

      Get a Steripen. Yes they’re a bit expensive, but if you can afford a trip to South America you can afford $100 to not pollute!

    • Kottonwood Jones

      Uhhh just filter it… Duh… I’ve traveled over twenty countries with a Sawyer squeeze, check it out.

    • Doug Linton

      Take a dropper bottle of bleach, and put some (about 5 drops) in the bottle when you fill it, wait a half hour before drinking it.

    • Robyn

      Brita has a new plastic drinking bottle (😣) which includes a water filter in the screwtop. It can be refilled 300 times

      • Patrick Ira DonEgan

        Britta filters are just for taste, not safety.

    • Gisela Ruehe

      You can use water purification drops. They are 99.9% safe. I have used them often in South America and Asia. They don’t leave a bad taste and are easily packed.

    • Dami Roelse

      Hi, when I travel in countries where I can’t trust the water, I use a water bottle with a filter. I can fill it up anywhere, and drink through the filter! Or bring a small sawyers filter and filter your water as we do while hiking on the trail.

      • lynn

        A filter won’t remove everything

    • mickey5020

      if bottled water is only used where it is necessicary the non use by the other places would still be a great impact as a whole.

    • Caroline A Hall

      Yeah. You can’t get a drink in public unless you buy one. We need to stop this at the source I’m afraid. I use my bags over and over I try with takeaways to. But they only offer plastic at this time.

    • Betsie Frei

      This is actually a very valid point. Filters cannot kill bacteria and microorganisms (like giardiasis or other intestinal parasites). I travel often to West Africa for work, and unfortunately I have to just give myself a break and buy bottled water. I don’t love it, but I can’t afford to get sick while I’m working. It helps a little though, to know that people are great about reusuing plastic bottles in many of these places.

      • Patricia Ross Bacon

        you can use iodine drops to kill the bacteria then run that water thru the filter for taste

        • lynn

          Use iodine tabs and then vitamin C tabs to remove the iodine taste. They are usually sold together

      • travelfeet

        parasites and giardia are easily filtered out of water, its viruses and chemical pollutants that are more difficult to remove. A high quality filter (some filter to .2 microns) will get many viruses (not all known though) combine with a sterilization treatment (bleach or iodine or boiling) and you will likely provide an acceptably low level of risk.

    • Sally M

      Yes! Use LESS plastic….every day toys, packaging, bags, bottles, containers….those all really do add up to HUGE amounts per person.
      People ‘travelling’ in countries where water is dangerous to drink, on questionable transport spewing out emissions, are a whole other environmental kettle of fish really. What’s a few bottles/ day added to their toxic load on the planet!

  • wundawomanwellness

    Kids are an additional problem when it comes to plastic (God love them!). Mine love water coolers at the doctors, so now I think ahead and bring their stainless steel cups so they can get the water straight into their cup rather than using the one use plastic cup.

    • sbinsc

      Ask your MD to use paper. Better for your health!

      • Nigel Pearson

        The paper cups have plastic waterproofing liners inside

        • Ellen McCabe

          Exactly

        • Janet Lingel Aldrich

          Or wax!

  • melanie buljan

    I don’t use plastic bottles, straws or bags and reuse ziplock bags many times over but what the heck do I do with all the plastic storage containers I have collected over the years? I want to pop them into the recycling bin, but knowing that they will just go into landfill stops me from doing so…any suggestions?

    • Amanda Micallef

      Yes, what about selling them or giving them to a friend. The recipient won’t have to buy new ones at least and you’ll keep them out of landfill for that bit longer.

      • Andre EraSer

        That does little to discourage their use. Better to sell/give a sustainable replacement. This will show them a better way.

        • Katmando

          If they cannot be recycled, why not let someone else use them? Amanda, good point.

        • Ultraorient

          HEMP!

        • Sheila Lange

          Also, if the reason for not using them (when you already have them) is because they leak detrimental chemicals into the food stored in them, then why would you want to give them to someone else??

          A friend of mine was once given a large bag filled with make-up. The lady who gave it to her said, “Here–I decided to get rid of all the cancer-causing products I have, and thought you would like them.” What kind of sense does that make???

    • Alex

      You mean like storage bins? I gave mine to Goodwill, and now I don’t have any anymore (I use metal or wood boxes).

      • Patrick Ira DonEgan

        Since I have cats that spray – I need to use plastic so I can clean it up and not throw it out.

    • cj

      All sorts of new lives for plastic things. Larger containers: store garden seeds, make and store ice for coolers or to keep in your freezer; stash things in the car like back seat diversions for kids (crayons), rolled up reusable plastic grocery bags, stuff bags into a Kleenex box (toss the container in the grocery cart, pull out a bags for salad, potatoes, etc, and re-use bigger shopping bags at checkout, etc. Some clever folks weave mats for sitting on damp ground. Put plastic bottles filled with water in the freezer for more efficient operation. Litre bottles filled with sand, add weight to the back of your car, use the sand when you lose traction.

      • Jeanne Bradfield

        You are the only sensible person I’ve read in all this ridiculous behavior altering push. Of course you can ultimately get rid of plastic or anything else…did anyone ever hear of bonfires? And for the record, human bones take eons to disintegrate as well if they ever do?

        • Laura D. Trucano-Harp

          Please don’t throw plastic into bonfires — the melting releases toxins into the air!

        • Diana Collins

          It is very dangerous to burn plastics!!! There are so many chemicals in them. You should never ever burn plastic. Bones not disintegrating is not going to hurt anything they are not poisonous or going to kill any animal or hurt the soil.

          • Jeanne Bradfield

            You can cover the fire and I don’t see the difference from folks who lite their BBQ’s with lighter fluid which gives everyone a headache who has to breath it. And in the Midwest there are millions of them who do this. Spare us the preachiness please it’s all trade-off and plastics are incredibly useful and reusable. FYI bones are very valuable for history…any kind of bones…whatever this planet produces is meant to be here and we’ll have to adapt.

          • KendaSwartzPepper

            I’m confused. Are you presuming the planet produces plastic? Every piece of plastic ever manufactured (it is not created by the earth but in a factory) still exists today. This is because it does not biodegrade. How sad what you judge as “preachiness” is actually activism by people who give a damn. You clearly have never seen a turtle suffocating on a plastic bag which is often mistaken as a jellyfish (a favorite food of turtles). The point of the article is to minimize our impact wherever possible and for society to place priority of biodiversity over convenience. We survived pre-plastic, and we’ll do just fine without it again one day. I would think someone from the Midwest would know that more than many given the resourcefulness of folks in your area. Perhaps I’m mistaken.

            Your comparison to human bones makes little sense. Human bones are not destroying the ocean. Human activity is.

          • Jen Robinson

            “Every bit of plastic that’s ever been made still exists on the planet.” – No it doesn’t! A lot of trash is burned in incinerators that produce electricity or heat for local heating schemes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m against the massive use of plastic and avoid it whenever I can, but saying it all still exists discredits an otherwise good campaign.

          • Spoodle

            What’s released into the atmosphere when plastic is burned?

          • Jen Robinson

            I know. The plastic no longer exists but the resulting chemicals from burning do. I didn’t say it was a good idea. About the only plastic that can be burnt cleanly is polyethylene (polythene) and for that to happen it has to be controlled burning.

          • KendaSwartzPepper

            Good point. Thanks for encouraging me to clarify.

            Virtually every piece of plastic that has ever been made still exists on the planet. My original point being, plastic dumped in a landfill 30 years ago is still around. Plastic dumped in the ocean, while perhaps photo-degrading (breaking into smaller and smaller bits and turning the ocean into toxic soup), is not biodegrading. That said (my new point), toxins like dioxins emitted via incineration are extremely harmful and persistent in the environment and our bodies (persisting in our fatty tissues). Dioxins concentrate as they move up the food chain. In soil, dioxins remain largely unchanged. So, if your neighbor is burning his trash every week and there is plastic in his trash, he is not only poisoning himself and his family but everyone who is exposed to the toxic smoke he’s creating. If you’re growing an organic garden and the toxins from his smoke settle onto your plants and into your soil, you are no longer growing an organic garden.

            So, to reframe, basically every piece of plastic ever made still exists today in some form or another.

            Those of us to take a stand for this injustice are labeled as “preachy.” But the irony is, the offenders are the judgers.

          • Jen Robinson

            I know. I’m one of these marginal, preachy people too. That’s why I think it’s a bad idea to discredit the campaign with exaggeration.

          • Al

            And many people are probably thinking, being pedantic for the sake of an argument is extremely counter productive. What really matters here? The intricacy of someones explanation into the post-use degradation processes of plastic, or our unsustainable consumption of non-biodegradable plastics?

          • Jeanne Bradfield

            We survived pre-automobile, pre-airplane,pre-nuclear fission and all the bombs it fuels….what’s your point? Frankly I don’t even know why I bother to respond to you narrow-minded, uneducated jerks…if you want to sacrifice your time and convenience…be my guest…have the courtesy to leave the rest of us alone and spare us your preachy, comments. They’re having the opposite effect of your ranting. And yes you are mistaken, folks from all over the world are on to this scam of time-wasting bother while the big stuff pollutes the planet anyhow. Yes human activity is destroying everything, that’s the way of life I reckon…why pick on a plastic bag?

          • KendaSwartzPepper

            You’re right. You really shouldn’t have bothered to respond.

          • Jeanne Bradfield

            Meh….my favorite mandate in Jeff’s 10 commandments of planet preservation, is…keep a reusable bag IN YOUR CAR!!!! wtf?

          • cj

            Jeanne, can’t you just hear your mama saying, “Jeannie Bradfield. Just because Anna gets to go to the movie today doesn’t mean you’re entitled to go, too.” Just because X uses lighter fluid doesn’t mean Y can say, “well, what the hell, if you can do this I can do that.” And, by the way, lighter fluid isn’t necessary to start a fire. For 30+ years, I’ve used a woodstove as primary heat source, and never used more than a couple pages of yesterday’s paper and a match to start it. Plastics are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Use them when you must, use re-usable, recyclable, etc., to prolong their usefulness, then recycle. Also, I’m not sure that simply covering a fire that’s burning plastics will work at the ‘backyard’ technology level. Maybe on a professional/industrial, but doubt you can cover a fire tight enough to keep toxins from escaping.

            That said: It’s this kind of back-and-forth discussion that spawns Aha! moments. I love ’em!

          • Al

            Ultimately, it’s your ignorance that’s leading this planet to it’s downfall.

        • Spoodle

          ” human bones take eons to disintegrate as well if they ever do?” – most bones decompose or disintegrate eventually which is why the fossil record is so patchy, piecing together human evolution is an ongoing tricky task because of this. Often they’re working with one or two samples from an entire species.

          • Marian Davidson

            And in sandy, acid soil bones disappear surprisingly quickly. Nothing left in 100 years.

          • Jeanne Bradfield

            Yes, acid soil and acid will disintegrate just about anything….I wouldn’t be surprised if bones turned into some other medium that we may not have discovered yet? Same with supposed unbiodegradeable plastic…things just change form in the universe, including humans…I believe it’s all meant to be and I’m puzzled by all the rant and irrelevant sacrifice. If we’re so concerned about the air we should all stop using anything with a combustible engine (cars, motorboats or any boat with engines and planes and such) for a month leading to the stoppage of these vehicles. Oh wait are they biodegradeable? How would we get rid of them forever to save our earth. I guess anything using steam energy would be OK as long as it’s not fueled by non-renewable energy.

          • Marian Davidson

            The important word is biodegradable. Bones are broken down to their original components, largely calcium and other minerals. They will add to the soil and continue to be utilised by other life forms. Plastics eventually break down to harm in different ways along their path. No one knows when their effect will eventually be neutralised.

        • Beth Jenkins Pickelsimer

          Exactly. Plastic only ends up in the ocean when people litter and do not properly dispose. Second and Third world populations who have poor to non- existent infrastructure to incinerate or dispose of waste/refuse pose the greater contamination/ environmental pollution threat. Ocean going vessels, ships from 2nd and 3rd world that are unmonitored and unregulated in waste disposal practices are of major concern, as well. Plastic food storage containers do not “off gas” if not heated and are a wonderful, reusable storage solution. Reusable fabric, bamboo, straw shopping bags for food are incubators of bacteria and germs. California was among the first to legislate for the elimination of paper bags and replacement with plastic bags. Their short sighted environmental agenda cost billions to taxpayers and now, twenty years later, they have reversed course and are advocating against the use of plastic bags in favor of paper again. Tired of being “nudged.”

          • Jeanne Bradfield

            Me too…and I’m tired of defending convenience against the passion of sacrifice (towards no proveable goal)–plastic protects against liquid saturation, dust and germs and I’m all for it. So the real culprit is littering and suddenly the righteous of America want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Combustible engines and the explosion of nuclear bombs of course have nothing to do with planetary problems. Most turtles live longer than us, they’ll learn the difference between a plastic bag and a jelly fish or disappear as a species.

          • Patrick Ira DonEgan

            Yikes for those turtles that don’t listen to your wisdom!

          • Jeanne Bradfield

            *Yikes?* It’s not wisdom and it’s not a question of listening. It’s trial and error which all life forms and evolution deal with.

          • Josh

            Don’t care to state my opinion, but do care to say that your posts are unintentionally hilarious because you are the perfect example of a stupid person with no idea that they are. It’s actually great when you misuse words, type with unusual sentence structure and still feel that you are on top of your shit. Go back to middle school..or don’t, whatever, nobody can make you do anything and stupid is hard to fix. Have a day. 👍🏼

          • Jeanne Bradfield

            You might want to stick your pompous opinion *where the sun don’t shine* and give *global warming* another 2 cosmic seconds of *global stasis.*

          • GutsToSayAnything

            So to reiterate your points….not using plastic is ‘too inconvenient’ for you so all the other species that are suffering for it need to adapt for YOU or just die because who cares as long as you’re not inconvenienced?

          • Jeanne Bradfield

            that’s right schmuck….the stuff exists and will not stop existing no matter how loud you holler and people will use plastic because of it’s intrinsic properties. (Like wait till you have a flood and your stuff wasn’t in plastic bags?)—so whatever species suffers because of it, shall have to find a way to circumvent the nasty or die out as a species….environmental problems happen all the time. Do you think a puny little member of the human race can stop it? If you do, you’re delusional and you’d be smart to figure out how survive around it.

          • GutsToSayAnything

            The minute your reaction is name-calling for no apparent reason because of a simple question is the minute you lose any chance of engaging a conversation. Not that I think you have any good points to make in a civilized debate anyway.

          • Jeanne Bradfield

            that’s right…my points are important for my species, whether you planet alarmists agree with them or not is really irrelevant because you can’t legislate convenience or go backwards. So I guess you alarmists will have to find a way to deal with us non sacrificers?

          • GutsToSayAnything

            What makes me laugh the most is you assume you know where I stand.

          • Beth Jenkins Pickelsimer

            I agree and nod in agreement with your remarks, with the exception of the combustible engine and nuclear weapons. Our planet was warming and cooling, sometimes at much greater degrees than one is aware of today for millennia, in fact billions of years, before the appearance of man, certainly prior to the debut of man, automobile or airplane. One volcanic eruption and the dispersal of it’s contents into the atmosphere contradict all prognostications of “Anthropogenic Global Warming” alarmists and adherents. Al Gore’s dire warnings and faux-documentary -“An Inconvenient Truth,” predicted Earth’s total destruction years ago, but political correctness prevented his confrontation and further, ostracized climate scientists who diverged from their politically correct opinions as “Climate Deniers, ” Completrly absurd.

          • Jeanne Bradfield

            Thanks Beth: I’m not blaming the progress of Mankind (like combustible engines and nuclear weapons) for any climate problems, in fact I think all our discoveries are just fine. I’m just getting exhausted from having to defend convenience against these eco-Nazis. I’m willing to live and let live….anyone who wants to ride a bicycle in a tornado is welcome to do it (although most folks wouldn’t even drive a car in a tornado, the problem is trying to control everybody else’s way of life. The most oxymoronic statement I’ve heard is “keep a reusable bag IN YOUR CAR?”

          • Patrick Ira DonEgan

            Do you have a reference for that?

      • Katy Clark

        Great ideas!

    • mvogell

      Use them. They have already been produced so using them again and again won’t produce any more plastic. Yes, they might leach some harmful chemicals into your food, but are you really going to go 100% non plastic on everything? Is that even possible? Doubtful, so just reduce what you buy new.

    • Sheila Lange

      My take on it is that as I already HAVE them, I may as well use them as long as possible. If the reason for not using them is because of the chemicals contained, then I re-purpose the containers for something other than food, such as art supplies or craft projects. Yes, they’re going to end up in a landfill eventually, but getting rid of them now won’t make any difference, and if I need to replace them with something else, then I’m using more of the world’s resources (even if what I use to replace them with is eco-friendly: there’s still the matter of production and transport, etc.).

  • sicpicnic

    Honey bee wraps are a good alternative to plastic wrap for food storage. They’re reusable wax coated fabric wraps for food.

    • yes I’ve heard of these….a Byron invention?

    • Firinel Turner

      obviously not an option for vegans

      • Jennafer DrDoolittle Jackson

        Why not? If it’s harvested correctly, it shouldn’t affect the bees. Actually it should help them.

        • Firinel Turner

          If a product is made using animals in any fashion, either an animal product or via labour, it is inherently not vegan. Simple as that.

          • Deb Makoff

            May be time to rethink your vegan idea…

          • Firinel Turner

            No, Deb, there’s not been any reason given to indicate that at all.

            I find small glass and metal containers to be perfectly adequate for my food storage needs. No reason to use animal products at all.

          • Carrie Robinson

            Do you wear leather shoes?

          • Mirka

            Chances are, Firinel has thought of that. Can that please stop being the go-to “look, you’re just as bad as everyone else” battle cry of the meat eater to vegans? Vegans aren’t going around in leather shoes unless they’re old ones from pre-vegan days. I’m not even vegan and I can’t help but be annoyed by how frequently people believe they are catching vegans out with this… Just let the lady (or gent) use their metal and glass containers. Jeez. Also, if you are concerned about the environment enough to be reading this, then you definitely want to look into cutting out animal products.

          • Boxhawk

            Good grief, what a sanctimonious twit.

          • cj

            I do the same, mostly with glass. What I can’t use I can leave with certain stores that carry bulk products. I can also take my own reused jars, have a clerk will weigh them and label them so at checkout, the jar weight is deducted at the register, e.g., a 1 qt mayo jar might weigh 6 oz. Fillit with local honey, the clerk weighs it, deducts the jar weight, and rings it up. Also, a couple of new buildings used a paving mixture containing ground glass for their sidewalks and ‘bricks’.

          • Brett Gibson

            One animal joining in to help save other animals

          • Craig Volpe

            So you don’t use or eat anything made by humans? 😛

          • Firinel Turner

            You have knowingly taken it to an extreme point, demonstrating that you’re not interested in dicussion, but trolling.

          • Timbox MacNally

            Perfectly good point actually. Veganism is completely unnatural.

          • Craig Volpe

            I was just teasing you. That’s what the “:P” person sticking their tongue out signified. In actuality, I think it’s noble of you not to eat animal products.

          • cj

            Firinel: You seem defensive. I read Craig as doing the sensible and reasonable thing by probing for the limits of the topic. He was tongue-in-cheek, to be sure. You already knew that posting to a public forum will result in a lot of points of view. Unless, of course, you wanted to preach and receive applause from the kool-aid drinking audience. For that, you have to do a lot of careful selection and brainwashing. And, for that, you probably need your own website where you control who sees it, who comments, and who passes muster for publication. Not gonna happen here, apparently.

          • maybelle cross

            Be sure to avoid all fruits and vegetables, since most are pollinated by bees.

          • keygirlus

            Understood, but is strictly sticking to a ‘vegan’ credo more important than making an environmentally responsible change that doesn’t harm animals??? If so, it isn’t a dietary or moral choice, its a religion.
            Something to consider if you are truly into veganism to make good choices, not doctrine choices.

          • Firinel Turner

            keygirlus, can you explain how sticking to using the more vegan option of using glass and metal containers which doesn’t harm animals, and is the same exact option this article offered for any of the points, is in any way less of an environmentally responsible change – MORE so than using wax paper which still a disposable consumable?

          • Jocelyne Hyland

            You should probably do some research on how much of the environment is saved by being vegan ALONE.

          • sandybt

            So you’re not using any kind of fossil fuels in any way? These come from dead animals.

          • Firinel Turner

            It’s interesting to me how whenever someone brings up not using animal products, meat-eaters always – always – take it to an extreme level. Everyone who ascribes to veganism has to draw the line somewhere, and there is always more that one *could* do – that is NOT a sound reason to not do as much as one can.

          • Timbox MacNally

            How do you know they are meat eaters?

          • growerjenn

            actually, you took it to the extreme first, by saying that beeswrap is not a vegan option. Just so you know – it is not paper. It is muslin cloth coated with bees wax. It is not disposable & is very earth friendly. I wonder (honestly) if leather shoes are not an option, then do vegans prefer plastic shoes? I know it sounds snarky in light of the other comments, but I am serious.

          • Naomi

            Most vegan shoes are made with plant fiber and/or recycled rubber from tires, etc. Not usually plastic. Just FYI.

          • sandybt

            Your comment – “If a product is made using animals in any fashion, either an animal product or via labour, it is inherently not vegan. Simple as that.” – seems like the most extreme one in this thread; therefore it’s bringing up a lot of reactions. It’s a provocative stance because there is no product – edible or otherwise – to be found on this planet that doesn’t involve animal input in some way. It’s all part of the circle of life.

          • Spoodle

            No, they come from ancient organic material in general, mostly plants and microorganisms, predating even the dinosaurs.

          • Play Time

            And this is why vegans carry little credibility. It’s all about ideology with you instead of good ol’ common sense.

          • Firinel Turner

            That really makes no sense. I use metal and glass containers, the precise things which this article suggests. Things which are not disposable consumables. So how is choosing not to used waxed paper bags just about ideiology and not about common sense?

          • Timbox MacNally

            I use seal skin and sometimes cow/sheep stomach to make my water containers. Fully biodegradeable.

          • Play Time

            Hysterical!

          • Peter Jenkins

            My concern with the animal labor aspect of that is that humans are animals and plants are pollinated by animals, fertilized by animals, etc.

            So, where do vegans draw the line on the labor argument?

          • Firinel Turner

            Different vegans draw the line for themselves at different places. Some do not agree with horses kept as pets and ridden for pleasure. Some are fine with well cared for animal companions.

            This comment about these not being vegan was never about me personally. A good portion of vegans are concerned about ecology and environmental concerns, so IMO, coming up with sustainable ways which do not explicitly exclude them seems worthwhile and valuable to me.

            Asking “pollinated/fertilized by” = in what way are you asking because of the environmental impact?
            Asking “is disposable waxed paper bags really the best environmental choice” does, though.

            It’s odd to me that disposable waxed paper bags is the hill that so many people seem to want to die on here.

          • Timbox MacNally

            I’d only die in a hill if it was made from a heap of animals that had been tortured to death. Then wrapped in plastic to preserve their sacrifice

          • Naomi

            Oh wow, this threat stings. One thing I’ve learned is that people are so very sensitive about food. I’m fairly certain that the majority of vegans are on the same side as most of the people posting here; we’re all just trying to do our part, and veganism can be a way to do that the same as not using plastic. I know a lot of vegans, and we’ve shared some great discussions about the pros and cons of many daily choices such as eating honey, using up old leather shoes versus donating them, environmental impact of vegetable crops versus impact of livestock, etc. I don’t think the blanket statement that vegans are inherently single-minded and therefore do not make logical decisions is at all valid, the same way that the statement would not apply to all meat-eaters.

            As concerned people of the world, we might get much further by being as open-minded as possible.

          • Naomi

            *thread, is of course what I meant above

          • Jill

            I understand what you are saying but…if you truly think about…everything is used or made my animals. The soil where vegetables grow was composted by worms and other animals eating the worms ( any creature that is multicellular, that mostly ( not all some are asexual) engage in sexual reproduction,find and eat own food(in luding insects, sea sponges, etc.) need oxygen, gets energy from food, has ability to move around on own, needs water and shelter, makes it an animal…kinda simplified but still) our world is sustained by the interactions of one thing to another….our plants are pollinated by birds, bees, bats, etc. the labor a bee puts into pollinating allows us to eat plants . I respect the thoughts of a vegan lifestyle but our ecosystem relies on every living thing in some manner…even the work they do, so it really isnt as simple as one might think.

          • Monroe

            Cripes, why are you lot so bent on catching Firinel in some logical trap? There is a difference between relying on an environment powered by living things and actively using living things to create products for human consumption. Not doing the latter is a choice this person and many like them have made. I am sure there are many more extreme choices they have not made. You should think about why you are so intent on tearing this choice apart. Is it making you self-conscious, perhaps?

          • Janet Lingel Aldrich

            I can’t speak for Jill, but as far as I’m concerned, this “I’m-so-effing-much-more-righteous-than-you” attitude is royally pissing me off. There are organically kept bees, where the beekeepers don’t kill off the queen to increase the hive yield and no non-commercial beekeeper worth their salt drains a hive to the point of non-sustainability. In short, there’s no logical reason NOT to use honey or wax (you have to remove the wax to get the honey, you see). Vegan or not.

          • mvogell

            Plastic is made from oil. Oil is made from long dead animal matter.

          • Spoodle

            Plants and microorganisms. Not that this makes fossil fuels a great option.

          • Jodie Shanks

            So you think we shouldn’t help the bees out because it’s not vegan? Veganism is about being at one with animals, not working agsint them.

          • GutsToSayAnything

            Don’t eat any fruits or most vegetables then. How do you think they’re pollenated?

        • cj

          I researched this deeply. Okay, I googled ‘define vegan’. “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is
          possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to,
          animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” So that means you cannot be a vegan and ride a horse, because obviously you’re exploiting the horse. For the same reason, having a dog is exploiting it for your pleasure or safety, but I suppose we’ll give a bye to the blind who exploit guide dogs. You wear no leather. And, I suppose, you cannot exploit bees.
          I come from centuries of Scots-Irish English folks who were typically small-land owners who raised at least some of their own food. Fast forward a couple centuries, and we still have gardens, and sometimes we raise an animal or two for food. Where I live, reed sandals are out. I could be warm in polyester clothing but that’s a whole other ethics argument. I prefer beeswax to petroleum-based paraffin. I am not an apiarist, but aren’t bees constantly repairing and rebuilding their hives anyway? I’m not sure they care whether they’re in a hollow tree or in a manufactured hive in my back yard. The product of their labor is tasty, medicinal, and nutritious. They’re gonna make it whether I eat it or not. It’s renewable if you aren’t so greedy you ruin the colony. I’ve been vegetarian but only after reading enough to know about combining complementary incomplete proteins to meet nutritional needs. It’s not hard, but it does require study.
          I do encourage people to be aware of whatever it is they choose to eat, wear, drive, etc. I also come from a long line of people who raised their own food, smoked, canned, and preserved it to sustain them in the “off” seasons. It tends to make one practical.

        • Patrick Ira DonEgan

          Well, then you have never seen a commercial bee operation.

          • Janet Lingel Aldrich

            How about non-commercial apiaries? I know several people who keep a hive or two and if I lived where I could, I would as well.

      • Play Time

        oh for the love of god…smh

  • Dara Donnelly

    Another amazing woman also on the same mission is super cool plus size model – Laura Wells. Check out her Insta: @iamlaurawells — she’s done amazing work for the no-plastic movement!

  • Em

    Don’t forget ear buds. Most are plastic and my local beach is covered with their sticks. You can get paper stick ones but most are not.

    • Timbox MacNally

      Most dildos are also made of plastic so forget about those fun friday nights at home. Though I believe there are some silicone models available now

      • Naomi

        I don’t know if you’re being serious–but plastic dildos are not safe for the human body. They harbor bacteria. Silicone is the way to go as they can be disinfected.

        • Timbox MacNally

          Shit, ok that explains the rash on my chocolate starfish, thanks for the info

  • I love this! Thanks for the trigger. I have an add, instead of buying a brand new pen when the ink runs out, buy the refills.

    • The Doc

      No, go old fashioned and invest in fountain pens as I do. Now that we don’t need to sign for credit cards or cheques as much, the fountain pen works brilliantly, and you can get lovely colours for the inks. Don’t use refills, I have a pen for each colour ink I have and a bladder filler. So elegant.

      • Thanks The Doc for challenging me even more, I’m going to find the right option for me!

      • Alana_Miller

        Fountain pens do not work correctly if you are left handed. No way. Full stop.

        • Tricia Mary

          Re: original suggestion of replacing inserts when ink runs out, kikki.K sells lovely metal-body pens with replaceable inserts (I believe the inserts on their plastic pens are also replaceable).

        • Rebeca N.

          Untrue Alana. My father was left handed and used a fountain pen until his death at 83!!!!

        • morri85

          there are fountain pens for left handed people too. same as there are scissors for left handers.

          • growerjenn

            Do these special pens make the print go from right to left, so your hand doesn’t get smeared with ink?

        • Judy-Ed Flaherty

          So that’s why I had so much difficulty using a fountain pen years ago in school!

  • Nikki Ofrasio Perez

    Someone’s flagged the typo on #6 “South Astralia”
    Personally, I let it pass because I was more concerned about the essence of the post, but, if someone could take care of it, would be awesome.

  • mw

    I want a Bamboo toothbrush ..

    • Alana_Miller

      What about the energy expended in getting a series of bamboo toothbrushes to the US? And the splinters?

      • Ann Goggins

        I just recently read about the horrors of bamboo fabric, however I would assume there isn’t as much processing for the toothbrush though

      • GutsToSayAnything

        What about if they’re already in the US? 🙂

  • Esmé

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

  • The Doc

    The fact that undrinkable water is still a problem in many countries leading to the use of disposable plastic, should make the modern traveller and resident of such countries think of the new water filters that are portable (and I don’t mean Bear Gryll’s sock filled with sand).

    • AndrewKr

      Brita has a plastic (!) water bottle with a built-in filter, but depending on what is wrong with the water, the filter may not be enough for the impure water.

      • Rebecca Ednie

        That isn’t safe for bacterial contamination. It only filters out whatever makes water taste bad.

        • AndrewKr

          How do you know that it isn’t safe for bacterial contamination?
          Evidence?

          • Mishi Mallow

            Other than the fact that it says so right on the box? Aquatabs are better, they come in paper packaging which can be recycled (or burnt in a wood stove or fireplace if you have one). They purify a litre at a time and they clear out bacteria, viruses, and common parasites.You do have to wait for them to work, but it’s only a 30 minute wait. Carry two water bottles with you so you can have one ready to drink and one decontaminating if you’re in an especially hot area.

          • Sean Alexander

            Because filters rarely go down to microbe size, and especially not one that sits in the fridge and costs not much.

          • Kottonwood Jones

            Uhh…. Please do your research before posting. There are plenty of cheap filters available that filter virus and bacteria… Chemical pollution is another issue, usually need reverse osmosis for that. Most water in the world is safe to drink with a simple filter. Check REI, Backcountry, etc. Tons of options. …. Don’t drink downstream from nasty factories, refineries, pharmaceutical plants etc.

          • Sean Alexander

            Thanks for that – I was referring to the normal household filters that sit in the fridge in areas with decent water supplies – the Brita filter was the type that was being discussed 🙂

    • unflattering

      Undrinkable water is also a problem in many parts of the US and other industrialized countries.

    • Rebecca Ednie

      You could get a life straw bottle. It’s a bit pricey but I’ve seen stainless steel bottles that cost as much. You can drink water from a puddle safely!

      • SG

        And they seem to break really easily, unfortunately. The Amazon reviews for the life straw are about a 2 1/2 star average and filled with unpleasant anecdotes.

      • Jennafer DrDoolittle Jackson

        Try a sawyer instead

      • Kottonwood Jones

        Way cheaper than bottled water liter for liter

    • Sally Neish

      Now…. the non-drinkable-water ‘cured’ by plastic-water-bottles syndrome smacks of illness ‘cured’ by-pharmaceutical-drugs syndrome. Surely the idea is to find the cause and REALLY cure it at source. Vaccinating people against diseases they get from a foetid water supply is going, as we say politely in the UK ‘arse over tit’ about it and all these billions that are spent on sticking needles in the poor would be far better spent on cleaning up their water supply….permanently…. and obviating the necessity for plastic water bottles all together. Logical?

      • Vicki

        Big picture that’s a thought. But on the ground, when your children are dying of dehydration …. not so much.

      • Tricia Mary

        Cleaning up the water supply should be done *in addition* to vaccinating.

      • mvogell

        Had friends from Mexico over who would only drink bottled water because the water I drink every day out of the well would make them sick. The problem really is that people travel too much now and aren’t adapted to all the different microbes in the water wherever they go.

    • Kottonwood Jones

      Plenty of affordable filters it there. I’ve drank hundreds of gallons through a Sawyer squeeze from all sorts of nasty water sources. Before that I had a platypus gravity filter and it worked great. A filter is WAY cheaper in the long run. Remember to back flush after every use and they last a long time.

  • PaulMurrayCbr

    Relax! Microbes are already evolving to eat plastic.

    • Sean Alexander

      *Some* plastic.

      Are they evolving fast enough? Perhaps that’s for someone qualified to answer.

      • Martin

        It’s not about how fast they’re evolving. It’s about the fact that they are evolving.
        The point is that they will eventually clean up the mess we have already created.
        Not that they now permit us to use plastic again.

        • Sean Alexander

          If they’re not evolving fast enough then they won’t be able to clean up fast enough. And microbes can’t eat all plastics. “Perhaps that’s for someone qualified to answer.”

          • hun

            Sean – All Paul said is that microbes are already evolving to eat plastic lol, then you introduced a variable that requires vetting and acted like it makes Paul’s statement erroneous. Sheesh!

          • Sean Alexander

            Paul also said “relax”, inferring that there was no problem. It’s true that some microbes have been observed to eat plastic, but the question still stands about how effective or fast this is. Martin has stated that they will eventually clean up this mess, which is probably not going to be the case – we humans aren’t exactly slowing down much. Introducing a variable is important if it’s relevant to the topic – after all, we’re all after the truth aren’t we?

            I hope that explains things 🙂

          • hun

            Fair enough, thanks for the explanation. I read some sarcasm/humor in Paul’s OP that perhaps others didn’t, and since Martin is not Paul, my response wasn’t related to Martin’s. Point taken.

          • Sean Alexander

            It’s good to have respectful conversation. Hard to convey things accurately sometimes 🙂

    • Jørgen Reitan Sivertsen

      And how do we spread those microbes over the entire earth? Do we know the consequences of introducing a species world wide? What happens when other species ingest these microbes? We should definitely research this, but for now there’s certainly extremely good reasons to stop plastic waste and no reasons to relax.

  • Meg

    The other less obvious source of plastic is clothing. So much of what we wear is now man-made fibres and these wind up in the environment too. Even washing them releases small bits of plastic. The solution is easy; wear natural fibres (organic and ethical where possible).

    • Sean Alexander

      But there’s no benefit to organic. That’s been scienced to death by now.

      • Michelle Bedard

        non natural fabrics make me ill….and I am sure I am not alone

        • Sean Alexander

          Fabrics can be natural but not organic-certified. I support using natural fabrics when there’s a need 🙂

      • Meg

        Back that up with some evidence, please.

        • Sean Alexander

          I’m not generally into burden of proof reversal, but if you go onto any credible science-based website you can find out how organic is basically a marketing scam with essentially zero benefit as a whole. In individual cases there will be some benefit in one aspect and in other cases there will be negative effects in another aspect.

          I’m all up for making things eco-and-human-friendly, but organic certification isn’t achieving that. Good science and policy will, with the correct push from society. It’s complex.

          • Brovan

            Sean, I’m not sure how it’s “reversal” when you are the one making a sweeping statement about organic having no benefit. You made the claim, only fair if you can show why it’s true.

            That said, I’d be very interested to develop my understanding further, if what you say is true. Now, does your statement account for the damage to our soil and environment caused by unnatural fertilzer and/or pesticide/herbicide? Or are you simply saying there are no immediate, testable, health adverse effects from consuming non-organic food?

            The topic is complex, on that I agree fully and am simply trying to understand it better.

  • Maree

    Re Soda Stream, I discovered the other day that the plastic bottles are only good for about 2 years. I have now switched to using good old soda siphon which uses all steel carbonation that is fully recyclable. Maybe more pressure on SS and they will bring back glass bottles.

  • Kristen Grunow Ricigliano

    Plastic tampon applicators! Buy OB or find another option, please!

    • Rebecca Ednie

      Or use a menstrual cup!!

    • herring

      Use your finger FFS.

      • Jeanne Bradfield

        Had a good chuckle at that remark!

      • cj

        That’s OB, herring. You are your own applicator. The only ‘trash’ is its plastic wrapper.

    • Jennafer DrDoolittle Jackson

      Or reusable cloths.

    • Stephanie

      Thinx underwear are great!

    • Janet Lingel Aldrich

      Thank God for menopause.

  • Jennifer Langdon

    Plastic straws are one of my biggest pet peeves but #8 never occurred to me! And while I do use a recycled plastic toothbrush (maybe just a US thing?), I’m going to look for bamboo. thanks! I will be sharing this.

    • mvogell

      I’ve found cutting out processed sugars does worlds of good for both my health and my teeth. Little need of a tooth brush if you don’t eat sugar. Use floss instead.

  • Tom

    Do Not invest in a Sodastream- they are an Isreali company with its main manufacturing plant in the occupied West Bank.

    • Joan

      They are located in the Negev and they employ Jews and Arabs equally. Please check your facts.

    • Sean Alexander

      Oh let’s just drop in my political prejudice and hope nobody notices!

      • Barb

        Some of us appreciate the information. I support Israel but not the Occupation.

  • M!

    They recommend Who Gives A Crap and I love everything about that company EXCEPT the toilet paper–it’s like sandpaper on your arse! I tried it, but stopped using is almost immediately. PLEASE improve your product, WGAC, and I’ll invest again in a heartbeat! (I use recycled toilet paper that’s still soft… it can be done!)

    • Meera Naidu

      Or you could join the civilised- and hygienic- world and wash with water.

  • Andrea Joy Ferry

    Great summary Sarah! Thank you

  • Joanne Briana-gartner

    #9 Free pens with logos/company names on them. Given out by the bank, the insurance company, real estate offices, drs offices, any hotel you stay at, etc. etc.

  • bettysyouraunt

    worst human (plastic) invention: Nets of all types and sizes, on land and in the water! We need to figure out how to disarm them ie cut them up

  • Emily Blyth

    I love this message and the helpful tips and ideas.
    Can I suggest one small adjustment? Your comment about it not being ridiculous to carry all these things (I agree) doesn’t take into account that not everyone is physically able to do so – the ‘get over yourself’ stings a bit and isn’t really necessary. Thanks.

    • Thank you very much, i feel the same way.
      When you’re lecturing people into following your (good, granted) advice, making snide remarks isn’t a good way to get your readers on your side. That is one blog I will NOT be subscribing to.
      *You* get over yourself, Sarah.
      Adieu.

  • Will Eizlini

    why not go to india for a few months and give up toilet paper all together?

    • missusfred

      The places we stayed in India didn’t allow you to flush paper down the toilets – you had to put this in a separate bin. This struck me as very environmentally friendly, until we saw the bins being emptied over the wall into the street. It was ok though as the sacred cows, freerange goats, wandering pigs, dogs and monkeys ate it all up. This is why I wouldn’t eat meat in India…..

  • Debbie Lonergan

    What do we do with the cutlery, cups, bags and straws that we already have in our cupboards?

    • Michelle Bedard

      wash and re-use?

  • Victoria Chan

    How would you suggest bringing the quit-plastic movement into industries like healthcare/medicine? So much has to be disposable to prevent contamination and cross infection, but I hate even having to use foam cups and plastic straws, let alone things like sterile packaging, syringes, and tubing 🙁

    • Raichu

      As someone who works in healthcare, this is something that bothers me. We go through SO MANY gloves, specimen bags, specimen cups, etc. The last thing I want to do is compromise good care, but there *has* to be a way to provide good care without creating tons of plastic waste…I wonder if anybody is researching it…

      • fighton10

        We definitely are overly-sterile in the US… I cannot remember the study/source off the top of my head, but it showed that operating rooms in developing countries have almost as low of infection rates as the US, despite not using sterile techniques. I still see people insisting on using sterile technique for abscesses, which are inherently infected already. I suggest reading ‘Second Suns’ to see how surgery can be performed in filthy environments with minimal modifications (although that isn’t the point of the book).

        • Janet Lingel Aldrich

          As someone who just went through a I&D for an abscess, I’d prefer not to follow that up with a course of at-home IV vancomycin because I managed to get a case of MRSD, thankyouverymuch.

  • Roger Davies

    I’ve been really impressed with my oko water filter bottle and try to take it everywhere. I recommend having a look if you’re in the market for a new water bottle. It is plastic, but will reduce your waste from buying bottled water.

  • Brilliant post, it’s so simple to make those changes, we should all do it now

  • Johanna Julén

    I have reacted to how much plastic all our food is wrapped in, and how little alternative we have in stores… There is NO toilet paper not wrapped in plastic in our stores that I have seen. It’s impossible to buy vegetables without plastic and so on

  • Bec Anthony

    Don’t forget the new washing pods, for both dishwasher and washing machines, contained in plastic which dissolves!

  • Mohammed Al-Zuhairy

    Chemical Recycling of Plastics by depolymerization process is the best solution.

  • TTBT123 Tamsin

    Hey guys ive swapped my glad wrap for boomerang organic wraps. Organic Beeswax dipped cotton food covers. I use them for wrapping sandiches, veggies and fruit in the fridge and even fold them into pouches for holding snacks!
    Check out boomerang organic wraps on facebook..theyre pretty groovy!

    • Jennafer DrDoolittle Jackson

      How are they cleaned?

      • Tricia Mary

        Machine washable I believe. If they lose their stick, just give them another coating of beeswax and you’re good to go. 🙂

      • TTBT123 Tamsin

        Just with warm water (not hot, they melt!) And a little eco dishwashing liquid and dried with a soft cloth/teatowel
        …easy peasy! Look at their facebook page ‘boomerang organic wraps” x

  • New Horizons NT

    Agree. Agree.Agree. We all need to make a change.

  • Deborah Brown

    ✔🌄💝

  • Cindy Chong

    First…. just WHERE in Canada, do we acquire “BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSHES???
    Especially at a reasonable price??? We’re in a big recession for the past 30-36 months…
    Second… you are reiterating that “ONCE PLASTIC IS MADE; it remains… FOREVER”. So …. COMPOSTABLE “plastic” is better??? But you said it never goes away… just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. Maybe take a leaf from the Japanese, on recycling? EVERYTHING IS RECYCLEABLE… at the place you purchase it AND is refundable immediately! Styrofoam (a source of plastic), metal, PLASTIC, aluminium foil, wool, Linen (made from flax), pharmaceuticals, paper, cardboard, glass, compostable GMO’s, cotton, cellulose, wood & wood fibers, nylon, Orlon, paint components, ad infinitum! Get the picture? THIRD… awwwww… forget it! You’re way too busy “soapboxing” instead of creating a solution.

    • Raichu

      This is a really weirdly hostile and loud comment. What is your point? (Can you make it without shouting?)

  • Michelle Bedard

    we went to plastics when clear cutting became an issue, remember all
    the “pulp mills” spilling dioxin into watersheds? It was the result of
    “bleaching” pulp, and quietly continues with the making of any white
    paper product……printer paper to toilet paper….how soon we all
    forget…..

  • Ruthie

    I’ve written and asked Dick Persson to lead the way and ban plastic bags on the northern beaches and lead the way for NSW – here’s hoping he will act soon.

  • Ruthie

    P.S. Love your work!

  • Ronald Wilson

    Where does one find bamboo tooth brushes?

    • Kottonwood Jones

      The same place you find everything else…. The internet

  • Rocky

    More ignorant psychotic tree-hugger cultism. It all amounts to massive self-flagellation in order to feel good about one’s self. They base all this on unsubstantiated ‘consensus’ statistics (guesses). Ask Edward Jenner or Einstein and many others about the ignorance of a consensus and how it has delayed progress and cost lives.

    • LRM

      Can you explain the argument for not reducing plastic use?

      • Rocky

        Not my job. Your job is to prove that all the BS in the article and it’s conclusions are factual. If you and your ignorant buddies think plastic is an issue, then send me your phones, computers,credit cards, tablets, TVs and everything else in your possession made from plastic. You really need to look into how advanced recycling has become.

        • Brovan

          I don’t think we’re recycling plastic that is in landfills or the ocean, and this article is helping to alleviate that, regardless of your condescension

    • Michelle Luna

      Sure, let’s ask Einstein right now…?

      • Rocky

        And your point?

    • Raichu

      Trying to stop destroying our planet is cultism now? Making positive changes that reduce negative impact is self-flagellation? Who pissed in your Cheerios?

      • Rocky

        Going backward is not a positive change.

    • Jawaburger

      Perhaps you don’t appreciate the preachy way the article provides the information, but I can’t see how lowering the amount of waste a person makes from disposable items is a bad thing.

  • Evs

    Anyone know of a collapsible coffee mug that fits in a pocket? Hubby doesn’t carry a bag so this is his biggest downfall.

    • Mitz Bartlett

      Check REI or other camping supply options. I’m certain I’ve seen collapsible mugs/tumblers available.

    • Morgan

      Check out Stojo! They’re plastic, but collapsible, reusable, and can fit in a pocket.

  • Garry Craven

    It doesn’t matter how many times this is shared, or who you get to voice it. The simple matter is that the majority of people who live on this planet do not earn enough money to be conscientious about the material that their food, drink or day to day goods are wrapped in…!
    Plastic is cheap, glass is more expensive, spread the wealth heal the world. Ignore poverty and you’ll kill the planet. The wealthy hold the key, but are just too damn greedy for there own good…! It’s not just plastic that ravages the planet. It’s mining for prestious metals, gem stones, oils, killing animals for handbags and shoes, medicines and sport…! The leaders of industry don’t care about the Earth, they care about keeping ahead of the Jone’s. Give up your money and heal the planet Jeff, because a 5 minute vid won’t do it…! The rich need to heel us because the poor can’t afford too FACT….!

  • OldScold

    Avoid biros. Use a refillable fountain pen.

    • Tricia Mary

      Someone above said fountain pens aren’t any good for lefties (I don’t know how that works, but I’m a privileged rightie 😉 ), and I would be somewhat concerned about ink leaking into my handbag (I keep a pen handy at all times!). kikki.K sells some beautiful metal-body pens, and when you run out of ink, you can replace just the ink insert, so that’s less plastic being used.

  • Anna Carolina Alves

    Great post! Many things I didn’t think of before. One thing i don’t know how to solve is plastic bags though: I reuse the supermarket ones for garbage, as the alternative is to buy bin bags which are also made of plastic. What kind of bag could we use for garbage otherwise? That won’t leak etc? Any tips or ideas? Thanks!

  • Katie Di Iuorio

    I thought plastic bottles were recycled?

  • Heather Roberts-VanSickle

    Hey, I just wanted to point out that a Soda Stream plus the accoutrement that go with it (bottles, caps, charging cylinders, bottles of flavoring) are all plastic. And with Joco cups the lid/sleeve are a plastic/rubber hybrid that is also not biodegradable.
    Reusable items are great but these specific ones don’t fix a plastic problem.

    • Tricia Mary

      The charging cylinders are almost entirely metal (except for the labelling, which they could easily change). A pity they don’t make glass bottles anymore; we had a Soda Stream with the glass bottles growing up and they were great, reasonably thick glass so they were actually quite sturdy and could be knocked about a bit without issue.

      What does have me curious is why they have a “use by” date on their plastic bottles – they are BPA-free, so what issue do they pose, and should all plastic water bottles be tossed after two years or so? Terrible wastage right there.

      • Tricia

        If you use a soda stream bottle beyond the date, you take a risk of it exploding.

  • herring

    Fearmongering.

    • Raichu

      The destruction of the only planet we have to live on is worth fearing.

      • herring

        ‘destruction of a planet’ what nonsense. Greenie exaggeration hype.

  • Debi Warford

    It’s interesting that all this plastic stuff, especially shopping bags, came about as an environmentally more friendly alternative to paper bags in the ’70s. Now we want to go back to paper as better for the planet.

    • Jawaburger

      People also thought it was a fine idea to put lead in paint till 1978.

  • Meg

    I would add cling wrap to your list of horrors. I now have a collection of beeswax wraps and some cheap silicone squares that stretch over bowls (the reviews on these were mixed but clearly some people have been trying to use them upside down!). No more cling wrap in our home and no need to use plastic bags to store our vegetables.

  • ACEamI

    I’ll drop the bottled water once the government gets all the added toxins out of the tap water. I’d prefer to start with the fluoride!

    • herring

      here come the nutters…

    • Raichu

      Fluoride? really?? give me a break.

    • Tricia Mary

      The dose makes the poison. There is such a small amount of flouride in the water supply that it has no negative effects on your health (it is in fact better for your health as it protects your teeth). Don’t buy into the “OMG toxinzzzz chemikills!!!” rubbish; anyone who tries to sell you that message is clearly scientifically ignorant (right up there with the “chemical-free” nutters – EVERYTHING is a chemical; chemicals are the building blocks of matter)!

  • Tko Byotch

    So easy. We’re all responsible and capable of making these and other small changes.

  • Derek Birch

    now
    dont get me wrong, I certainly agree that we need to get off of
    plastic, I eliminated 90% of the plastic in my home 20 years ago, and I
    continue to live that way, but still there is no need for misleading
    facts like this one:

    “3. Bottled water. In the US,
    1500 plastic water bottles are consumed every second. Every SECOND. The
    plastic contains BPA and phthalates, both of which have a huge negative
    impact on our bodies. They also take 25 per cent of their volume in oil
    to make each bottle. That’s a lot of fossil fuels.”

    it
    does not take 25% of their volume in oil to make one. plastic was
    developed as a use for the byproducts of the oil industry. we are
    dependent on plastic because we are dependent on oil, One plastic
    water bottle is made from the byproducts of 25% of their volume in oil.

    to
    get off of plastic we need to get off of oil because so long as
    refineries are creating by products when they refine oil into gasoline,
    they will be looking for uses for those byproducts.

  • Angus John Houston

    Brilliant, brilliant piece which distills all the big points in one place and critically includes solutions. Well done.

  • Boston Babe

    Great article…thank you for sharing such valuable information and useful tips!!! Cambridge (MA) has finally banned plastic bags….a start anyway.

  • Marc Bauchet (acromarcopolo)

    about toothbrushes. what does that mean? “And no, the plastic is not recyclable. (It’s a softer plastic, so these are usually turned into other products…)”

    not recyclable? or turned into other products?

  • Scott Wagner

    I was with you until “Do this: Keep reusable bags in your car.” If plastic is bad, automobiles (constructed of ten thousand straws’ worth of plastic each) are worse. Ditch the car and ride a bike!

  • bereca

    I like the toothbrush idea, however the toothbrush i use has rubber in with the bristles and I’ve found this really helps with keeping my teeth clean, wondering if you know of any equivalent brushes

  • Sherri Crawford

    But what should be done with all the plastic stuff we stop using? It would be very helpful to have that in the article, unless I missed it?

  • Jane Goodall

    I keep the plastic under control most of the time, as per your instructions above. But just dealing with Ikea furniture packing, I’m amazed how much plastic is in there. Most of it could be swapped for brown paper.

  • Joshua Davis

    Try one I’ve given up that’s not on this list; soft drink (soda) bottles! I only drink water; water’s cheap 😉 Sodas aren’t good for you anyway 😛

  • piratespeak

    And coffee capsules! Maybe they count as metals, I’m not sure, but also a huge problem, million little capsules wasted. Some shops do capsule recycling, but as you wrote, once it exists, it’s never going to be gone.

  • Wenche Dyngeland

    If we take away the containers, are we going to throw all of the carbage into the streets or in the forests then?

  • Laura Sturk

    If you’re currently using reusable plastic products it doesn’t make sense to get rid of them, just don’t buy any more. Just because you don’t possess it anymore, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It’s hard to think of anything that isn’t made out of plastic. Money, packaging, computers, tools.

  • LM

    How about razors with replaceable blades instead of disposables?

  • Ben Cowell

    It’s social conditioning,. trends change things very quickly. get past the corporate consumption based wall of nonsense and you can make anything happen on a large scale. We just have to make it cool. Sad but effective.

  • Marty Whittle

    We each need to keep our side of the street clean. It’s a world wide issue that needs to start at home.

  • Melina Watts

    The onus is on the noble consumer to hold back. Only a small percentage care enough to do so and of that our percentage generally the efficacy is intermittent. Nagging consumers is a too little too late approach. #BANPLASTICS

    There are a very few medical and industrial uses where nothing but plastic will work. Apart from this, this is a policy issue and a deisgn issue. We have to stop producing plastics in mass! Immediately!

  • Meredith Goodrich

    In the Bahamas the sea urchins have multiple cocktail drink stirrers embedded with their quills.

  • Tom Leutner

    Too bad the USA won’t be participating. We’re about to do away with our EPA, dismantle it completely.

  • Chris Borst

    Why can’t we figure out a way to make cardboard utensils that can be disposed of without the plastic consequences?

    • Tricia Mary

      There is already bamboo cutlery at some places, and it seems to be becoming more common.

    • Mitz Bartlett

      There’s a group in India that is doing edible cutlery, with aims to extend options out further. The Kickstarter was fairly successful, but then slightly mangled by some… admin issues, I’ll call them. However, they are back on track and I look forward to getting mine soon.

      The great thing about these is, while long lasting with proper storage, once used they degrade within a week or so, should you decide you weren’t quite hungry enough to eat the spoon after all.

  • Louise Brunet

    Fabulous thank you! Great suggestions. I never thought about my toothbrush, that was a “bam!” moment. I will be getting a bamboo version. Also I thought you might like to check out Dung Beetle Designs – they have reusable sandwich bags that are fantastic. Cloth with a food grade fabric liner. easy to wash and use again. I have several and love them.

  • Shari

    Thank you for reminding me of my wish to be more green. I have stopped using single use plastic. It’s not hard to find alternative things to use. Just look left instead of right, right? Haha!

  • Sally

    Sarah could you please provide sources for your quote about there being 6x more plastic in the ocean than sea life? Thanks.

  • lookintomymind

    As to the note at the end of the article, sounds like a necessity that needs invention…a washable, reusable carrying case for ones spork, steel straw, bamboo toothbrush, and drink container. And a bag with a pocket just to keep that case tucked in. What shall we call it? ForeveReusables? Market it with these items inside! Genius! Wait…does this exist already? Point me to it if so. If not, this is my invention and intellectual property! May it be so. It’s not enough to simply pick up trash to Keep America Beautiful. We must stop making so much trash!

  • Marcia

    Do you have any suggestions for what people who live in an apartment building (in a big city like New York for example) can use for garbage disposal bags? Paper does not handle wet trash. I’m aware that there a some places that will take compostable trash, but for those who can’t access these, what do you suggest?

  • Lorraine I. O’Dell

    Great list and I’m good on most but I need a suggestion for garbage bags. I still use supermarket plastic bags because I reuse them to line wastebaskets for garbage only. I once tried making wastebasket liners out of newspapers from a pattern that I found online but found it to be too much trouble and not very effective for some kinds of garbage. Those of us who live in apartments don’t have placed to compost, so that’s an added component. I would love to stop using the plastic but they work perfectly for garbage So I”m interested in whatever you might suggest. I’m so happy that I don’t drink coffee, don’t subscribe to a newspaper, don’t smoke; a lot of refuse from all of them.

  • Mickey Barrett

    A lot of companies use sugar cane and other vegetable based plastics as packaging already, even big brands like Pantene and AT&T. Support those products and not only will they stop using petrol-plastics for any of their products but more companies will follow their lead. You can already get water and juice in plant based “plastic” bottles that are fully bio-degradable but if not enough people support it, that will go away. It’s a matter of money, it’s almost impossible to change packaging without spending money but if we all refuse to buy products that use petrol-plastic containers and wrap then it will be too expensive for companies to not make the switch. Cut out any petrol-product use that you can survive without and remember, places like hospitals and airplanes rely on plastic and can’t do without it so support bio-plastic producers and ask your favorite brands to support them too. The more they are used the more they will improve and can replace petrol-plastics forever.

  • Marian Adams Gilbert

    I will never understand why a straw is put in a mug of hot chocolate .

  • Sailakshmi Deepak

    I am going far from plastic. But I wish supermarkets used something other than plastic containers for eggs, grapes, mushrooms. I wish I could empty them into my paper or cotton bags; as of now my veggies go into one big bag and the cashiers hate me

    • Mitz Bartlett

      Many of the stores around me use paper pulp containers for eggs and mushrooms. If your stores have a “suggestion” option I would use it and mention that.

      I’ve also seen reusable mesh bags for veggies available. The down side is that, yes, they are still plastic, but if plastic must be used, better one bag with a hundred uses, than just one – and the cashiers will be less antagonistic.

  • Elizabeth

    Great !
    I am going to try all of these – not sure if they carry that toilet paper in LA – but will try !
    Thanks

  • Ellen Colingsworth

    This is great advice & discipline. Let’s get with the programme.

  • Janet Powell

    When I was a child our drinking straws were made of paper many things can be used instead of plastic. Like the biodegradable beer can rings. The problem is the manufacturer. yes i know we can protest with our pocket and not buy those things but rules should be made to stop he production of plastics in the first place.
    In the mean time I do recycle and use as little as possible

  • Lila Kate Wheeler

    I love Bee’s Wraps — they are beeswax-covered cotton cloths that are flexible to cover leftover food tightly. They also keep bread fresh. Cost a bit but last a very long time and are washable.

  • Gigi Walters

    I promise I will try my very best to stop using disposable plastic. I have become lazy in my elder age. I will change.

  • Aynn Titchenal

    Have carried my own flatware, and a spare set, in my car for more than 20 years…stopped using straws and balloons in the early 90s…don’t do takeout beverage containers unless there is absolutely no alternative…and never do bottled water (except the ones I have filled from my at-home tap). Thanks for adding a few things to my list.

  • Alice Catherine Cotton

    I don’t use shampoo in bottles anymore, I use shampoo bars produced locally. There is only a little paper packaging. And I wash my clothes with soapnuts or compressed soap strips, so no more big detergent bottles, just paper and cardboard.

  • Frances de Jong

    FYI plastic toothbrushes, floss containers and toothpaste tubes can be recycled via the Tetracycle container at Lane Cove Council office.

  • Wynn Ray

    plastic toothbrushes contradicted itself, the plastic that is used in toothbrushes is soft for protection, and the softer the plastic, the easier it is to recycle. Otherwise the article was good.

  • Betty Frank

    Great info and for the better good, but why all the product endorsement. A part of the problem is are buying habits. Use what you have for as long as possible, don’t continue to buy new stuff to have the latest fashionable “eco” thing. We have so much stuff and choice in general, try practicing doing without more.

  • Alejandro Tellez

    Hi, I´ve always had a doubt: If I don´t use the plastic bags of the supermarket, which bags are better to use for my waste?

  • Alexandra

    Never thought about my toothbrush – good point! Curious to know what people who use bamboo brushes think of them. Do they clean as well as plastic? How long do they last?

  • Josh Reilly

    How does DDS get into plastic?

  • Josh Reilly

    How does DDT get into plastic?

  • Keith Roberts

    Get a milkman who delivers milk in glass bottles (just need washing – not even recycling) and a small metal foil cap (easily recycled). Recycling plastic milk bottles costs and the screw-tops can’t be recycled anyway. Get a milkman (or a milkwoman) and do it now.

    • Timbox MacNally

      I like to milk my milkman directly either into my mouth or onto my cereal

  • John Geoghegan

    agree with all of your article, except… don’t invest in a Soda Stream. Boycott Israeli goods until Israel recognises international law and ends the illegal occupation of Palestine!

  • Ora Fireflyz Hill

    Someone needs to come out with cheap affordable bamboo toothbrushes. There is no excuse for them being so expensive. A toothbrush is something your supposed to change frequently and making people pay 5 or more bucks for one means they are going to choose a cheaper alternative.

  • Kathy Cull

    I’m very old, but I temember in my youth Unraveling paper straws when we were done with them. Are they still available?

  • Edward Wysocki

    Need to use electric toothbrush….can’t find any bamboo ones that can be used on Oral B or Sonicare….anyone?

  • Frank Bosco

    I love my Keurig however the pods are not only expensive but all that plastic I bought the conversion kit it’s a little bit of work yes I drink 3 cups of coffee a day so in a month that’s 90 plastic pods that are not going into landfills. I recycle everything I
    possibly can we only have one Earth let’s take care of it.

  • boomeractivist

    I will buy bottled water in a cardboard box. But the only company that sells it this way charges way to much for it. It seems cardboard costs far more than plastic.

  • Duggan Sisters

    Good on you. As the makers of lifestinks deodorant, please add “deodorant sticks and roll-ons” to your list! From day one, we offered our safe, effective deodorant in a stainless steel refillable decanter. To date, lifestinks users have eliminated the creation, use and disposal of 512,679 deodorant containers! Both humans and mother earth are 70% water – and as lymphatic wellness practitioners, we created lifestinks to take care of both.

  • Anne Ridout

    I like the string bags as they collapse to almost nothing in my handbag where I keep one incase I forget the other bags in my car boot.

  • Rach

    If I get plastic bags or the plastic packaging food comes in I will save it up and take it back to my local Coles super market as they recycle it all into furniture for schools. Okay the furniture is probably not biodegradable but it keeps plastic out of the earth for a few more years. Printer cartridges can be taken to be recyled into vegetable planters for schools too.

  • Alex Allen

    I have dogs and have to walk them around to do there duty, how do I clean up after them..

    • Tricia Mary

      Off the top of my head, try a child’s spade (like that used when making sand castles) and paper lunch bags perhaps? You would want a bin nearby though!

  • Emily Boles

    hi everyone there I a man just starting up now is making biodegradable plastic shopping bags ….he’s out of boston mass. usa
    a 2 week brakedown in uv light maybe some folks can help him out….who know where this can go….this bags do need any new equipment…so startup production can use the same bag manufactuers with no changes

    • John Sinclair

      These bags have been available in Europe for over 20 years now in all the shops. People are now routinely also carrying a non-uvdegradable plastic or linen or jute bag that means they don’t need to use throwawsy plastic bags at all.

  • Rebecca

    Are there any alternatives to dog poop bags? I feel guilty using them on our walks. It’s 2-3 a day! /:

    • John Sinclair

      Yes. Use a stick and chuck the shit under a bush where no one ever goes. It does the bush good and no more trees get decorated with bags of shit.

    • Timbox MacNally

      Smear it over yourself it works as a sunscreen.

  • I must admit that I always forget to take my own bags to the shop but I am going to try really hard to remember from now on!

  • John Sinclair

    Plastic in Nature doesn’t look good and damages turtles and many other animals but to say plastic things outnumber the animals in the sea is off the wall batty and to say it will never be gone likewise. Plastic is very durable but it certainly isn’t immortal and the huge fear isn’t that it won’t go away but that along will come a microbe that can metabolise it in some way and down would tumble much of the good things we have made of …… Plastic. As is often and truly said don’t worry about the life on planet earth as it will be here long after humans have left it in one way or another. Many of the things on the list can be reused again and again, I have a plastic straw I’ve had for over a year now because I wash it. Plastic components of unnecessary packaging is the huge issue for how the planet looks but remember a plastic egg box may not look pretty but it can make a lovely home for a mouse under a bush. Animals don’t look at the world in the same way we do. The day when non registered plastic will be banned from existing isn’t far off in any case so I for one won’t worry about it. Years ago when I walked the beaches of the East coast of. Scotland I found bottle after plastic bottle washed up on the shore but now there are very very very few. Last weekend whilst searching for coloured glass along a mile long stretch of beach I saw not one bottle and the only plastic I saw was fisherman’s nets and two rubber gloves. Things are getting better but it is the packaging that does the real damage, ….. except if you are a mouse looking for that dry des-res rather than a wet hole. 🐭

  • Fraser Hutton

    What about condoms? I use over 400 per year. Is there a better way as I don’t want kids either and don’t trust women

    • Timbox MacNally

      Pull out before you cum in her pussy, do anal/oral or get your spunk
      tubes cut. The first 2 work for me. Might get a vasectomy though

  • C O

    Excellent advice all around — thank you. It’d be super if you didn’t recommend Soda Stream, though, given its operation in a settlement that violates international law, lousy treatment of its largely Palestinian workforce, etc.. Cheers!

  • Olivia

    I think in a city like NYC, it’s easy to make the water choices, but I’m thinking about places in the Southern US where it’s not safe to drink the water. Or honestly, Flint Michigan! My family is from a Caribbean nation and there is a major overuse of plastics, and people just actually throw them in the water. I think your observations are spot on, but also the incentive has to be more than just “we should” do that. I think we have to stop the plastic making at the source, because people who don’t have a lot of resources will use whatever is convenient or cheap. So how do we start to attack it from that angle?

  • Christine Kan

    I think another important point that is not often addressed is the use of sanitary pads and tampons. A good alternative is reusable period cups!

  • Katherine Harms

    It is abnormal for me to read all the way to the end of an envirinmental rant. This post is a serious exception. Even people who believe God’s great earth is powerful and designed to thrive dspite any human effort to destroy it will recognize pure common sense in this article. No esoteric speech. No earth mother trivia. No pseudoscience. Just pure, unadulterated common sense.
    Wow !

  • Play Time

    I was onboard with you until your needless dig at the end…”get over yourself” You lost all credibility with me. Did you ever hear the saying “You attract more bees with honey than vinegar”? Try it.

  • Lesley Fell

    Better still- look around your house for things that you can use instead- no need to buy a spork- carry a set of cutlery from home- most of us have some odd bits. I have a problem with environmentally conscious folk whose advice prods us to buy,buy,buy. I am reusing my plastics judiciously for as long as possible in order to avoid tossing them out into the environment. I will replace things only when it is necessary and will then do so with biodegradable or truly recyclable replacements. I must say that I have a weirdly hard time resisting the allure of some of the great replacement products like steel straws.

  • Peter Jenkins

    I like many of the suggestions here although it does veer into the science denial area a bit. However, I would also note that Soda Streams are made of plastic and will have to be tossed out after only a few years.

  • Kay Kehoe Eckdahl

    Why doesn’t anyone address the issue of disposable diapers

  • travelingprincess

    They don’t ship to the U.S. What a pity. They should. I would buy this stuff.

  • I have never seen toilet paper wrapped in paper. Everything else is doable!

  • Paul Linder

    We are already “Past the power curve” as we used to say in the jet bombers. Society is not going to change its habits. Too self centered.
    You might as well prepare for the.physical results to life on the planet.

  • Debbi Anne Roth

    Eye opening

  • Buckley

    Get a descent fountain pen and mechanical pencil and ditch the disposable pen and pencils made out of plastic.

  • Marian Keeler

    It’s also worth noting that another option is to lobby your city, county, local municipal refuse collection agency to implement municipal-scale composting. San Francisco’s is one of the more progressive infrastructures in the US. We can compost not only garden waste, food scrap of all varieties, but also soiled paper. Our plastics recycling program accepts plastics of all shapes and types, barring plastic film and polystyrene. We’ve instituted bans on both plastic bags and styrene food containers in the city. If it can happen here, it can happen elsewhere.

  • Linda Rosario

    Suggestions for take out containers … when you’ve dined out and want to take a portion of the meal home? Styrofoam and plastic seem to be their only options…

    • Mitz Bartlett

      There have been several times where I’ve been tempted to bring my own container, if I know we’re going to be at a place where I usually have trouble finishing my meal. Space and weight constraints in my bag would mean that said container would probably have to be plastic (or metal, but I don’t have any metal containers yet), but since it would be reusable, it would at least be better than the foam stuff.

      Might get a few odd looks at Saltgrass, though.

  • Sharing this to our volunteer litter picking group here in New Brighton, Wirral UK – The New Brighteners
    Facebook – groups/thenewbrighteners

  • jeefray

    Toilet paper wrapped in paper is no real improvement over plastic, when you consider the manufacturing process of paper.

    • Mitz Bartlett

      Except that the process for making plastic isn’t any better.

      • jeefray

        Paper manufacture uses millions of gallons of fresh water, causes deforestation, creates dioxin and host of other issues. Bio degradable plastic and hemp paper are the future, not paper from trees, wrapped in paper from trees.

  • Karla Iverson

    I saw your article when a friend shared it on fb. I thought I’d go look at your list, but didn’t expect to see much that I’m not already doing. I have my own coffee cup, shopping bags, etc. But nice surprise! I bought the bamboo toothbrush to try because I’m not happy simply recycling toothbrushes, and I will start buying my tp wrapped in paper. While I don’t buy to go food, I’ve found myself at odd times needing a spoon, fork or bottle opener while I was away from home. So I bought the spork, too. It looks like a good fit for my purse. Thank you for a great article.

  • Kevin Colter Kline

    Awesome post . only thing i would change is drinking tap water being that it is filled with biproduct waste labeled as fluoride. I don’t have the solutoon for that maybe find a well and fill up everything . great post

  • Cristina Mylroie

    I use a thermal mug when I am out and about, and at work.

  • stardreamer44

    Thank-you. Great ideas.

  • gorgegirl

    Does your state have an aggressive recycling program? My grocery store in Hood River, Oregon just quit using plastic bags. Bring your own or use paper. I have been disappointed that many states lag behind in recycling efforts. A few years ago I was in southeastern Oklahoma. They don’t have any recycling programs in the Hugo area for instance. If they had a statewide “bottle bill” program, they would keep water bottles and pop cans from lining the roadways. Just saying.

  • Andy

    Great Job Sarah! These are all great ideas!

  • JoLaine Jones-Pokorney

    what about buying plastic bottles of liquid soap! Buy a bar of soap for crying out loud! You can even buy them that are wrapped in nothing at all.

  • Timbox MacNally

    Zionist propaganda masquerading as an environmental piece. Your soda stream advert gave you away I’m afraid.

  • Ali Morgan

    Great tips BUT please don’t buy Soda Stream products – they are a very unethical illegal Israeli settlement company – destroying lives and the environment of Palestine.

  • Jim Peale

    Good list.

  • Mackenzie Smith

    This is a great post, and I love the directives that show how we can change our lifestyle to stop putting so much plastic back into the world. Thank you for taking the time to write this out for us. One thing though, “In the US, 1500 plastic water bottles are consumed every second. Every SECOND. The plastic contains BPA and phthalates, both of which have a huge negative impact on our bodies. They also take 25 per cent of their volume in oil to make each bottle. That’s a lot of fossil fuels.” Do you have a source for that? I’d love to be able to share this article, but with specific numbers like that quoted, it would be helpful to know where those stats are coming from. Thank you!

  • Sherry Beth Hoover

    Love love your final sentence

  • writerdawn

    LOVE THIS post. Sorry, yes I am shouting

  • Irma

    I would love any tips on what to do with school lunches. What are the alternatives to using tupperware and plastic take-away containers and zip lock bags? Paper bags only work for some things. Are there eco-friendly options out there? I haven’t come across any!

    • Mitz Bartlett

      I’ve seen metal lunch containers at Container Store, and also reusable bags similar to Ziploc (though not not completely sealing, I think). The bags still use a PUL(?) lining, which is still plastic, but if you cannot completely eliminate plastic, these can at least help you cut back drastically on the amount used.

  • Jocelyne Hyland

    Your article is great but a good alternative to bottled water is NOT tap water. If you are concerned about endocrine disruptors, drinking the birth control pill and chemotherapy and other drugs in tap water is NOT safe. Perhaps home filtering systems or water refill centres instead.

  • Bill D

    Use fountain pens instead of disposable plastic ballpoints.

    Most fountain pens are refillable from bottled ink and for those that take plastic ink cartridges, you can refill the cartridges easily with a syringe from bottled ink or better yet just use a “converter” instead of a disposable cartridge to hold the ink. Many fountain pens can store a spare cartridge in the barrel so you never have to worry about running out of ink in a meeting, unlike other pens. And you can refill and reuse the empty cartridge later, again unlike other pens.

    They write much nicer than ballpoints too! You can find them for under $5 (Platinum Preppies, for example, a very nice starter fountain pen) or spend more for a much nicer pen that will last a lifetime – fountain pens are available to fit any budget.

    Fountain pen ink is water-based and easily washes out of clothes (except for the kinds marked ‘permanent’ or ‘archival’). Ballpoint ink is oil-based and harder to get out of clothes.

    You can also get other types of pens now (rollerball, felt tip, highlighter and brush pens) that will take fountain pen cartridges or even the aforementioned converters for using bottled ink too.)

    There are hundreds of ink color choices available, and you can even mix your own!

    I haven’t even mentioned the wide assortment of nib sizes and styles, either.

    Fountain pens are very popular again, for these reasons and more. Check them out!

  • Muriel

    I remember when plastic everything was invented. Plastic is a horror! I despise those plastic soda holders as well. It is terrible to see so many animals in the sea and on the land who suffer from the uncaring humans who are so careless and self involved. ALL LIFE MATTERS, not just human life!

  • Sassy Sue Cross

    Hawaii did away with plastic bags a few years back, but when I asked an employee at a grocery store where I can recycle plastic bags and he said “We don’t give out plastic bags any more”–he looked confused when I pointed out that they still have them in their produce section!

  • Lyrica

    Stop using 1-time-use plastic pens that cannot be refilled! I bought a beautiful refillable ballpoint pen at my local art store, and I love using it! I carry it in my purse and it’s my only pen!

  • Jelena Smoljanović Resanović

    What about trash bags? They are all plastic… And they seem unavoidable.

  • Susan cosier

    I have read that they also put tiny bits of plastic in toothpaste to give it the consistency we are accustomed to. And it all gets washed down the sink and into the water supply where it gets into the food chain via the fish that end up swallowing it. They also use them in facial scrubs and who knows what all else.

  • eleni_aus

    the use of straws is often unnecessary – drink from the glass directly (or the bottle, or the can etc). It also ‘feels’ better too – your lips on the glass, sense it temperature, the liquid sliding directly into your mouth, note the viscosity, and down your throat – far nicer than sucking noisily on a straw ….. etc. Upend you drinking container to finish – do so with a flourish, rather than a hoggish noise…. Simply enjoy drinking as it is meant to be …

  • Harriet Springbett

    Thank you for sharing this information. Some good tips to bear in mind.

  • Abbie Rudman

    How do ziplock bags differ from plastic wrap? Do they not also contain phthalates and BPA?

  • Lydia Nicholson

    I thought i knew quite a lot about disposable plastic & recycling & really try hard to do the right thing how wrong was i !!! From today this changes no more plastic this video is amazing

  • Norma N Patrick Ward

    Any options for dog poop bags?

  • Jimmy

    “If you find yourself thinking it’s ridiculous of me to suggest you carry such things in your bag, think about the fact you might already carry a water bottle already anyway, you’re fine to carry your phone, a spare jumper, etc. It’s really just about getting over yourself and adjusting.” – nice and passive aggressive

  • Nancy

    I love Jeff Bridges! I also really like this movement I need to practice more of… no more straws on my home golf course!
    I wonder if he would mind me making reusable items from plastic bags… like sleeping mats for the homeless or even sturdier bags and totes… ?

  • Rokk Lattanzio

    I just don’t get it… So many otherwise intelligent caring people I encounter are still quite happy to keep consuming and throwing away totally unnecessary plastic stuff on a daily basis. We humans really are just a bunch of fucking selfish, moronic, imbeciles who do not deserve to enjoy the beauty of nature. Because as a collective we seem to have no respect for the most precious gifts mother nature provides. The clean air, soil and water all earthly lifeforms depend on. Seriously, WTF is wrong with people! … Thank you Sarah Wilson for your efforts …

  • Steve

    Stupid post…starts with a statement that is simply incorrect so misses the point and then bases the rest of the advice off this that sorta ruins good advice later

    Maybe stick with ‘plastic is bad for humans and life right now’ topic rather than say dum stuff like plastic is here forever and cant be digested which is utterly wrong. Plastic takes 200-1000 years to break down… long term that’s bugger all. Your bricks in your garden have been there for 1000000+ of years they still break down. The water you drink has been on the planet 4.5 billion years and is recycled god knowd how many times. Plastic lasts a very short time compared to natural things like oil (which makes plastics) it’s not good for now … granted and there all alternatives but it certainly does not ‘never’ go away… so don’t start a blog post with a completely unfactual statement… 😬

  • Laurie Corriveau

    Did you know that chewing gum is now made of plastic? It has been for 20 years.

  • Rudi Affolter

    Done.

  • The Arguist

    People seem to be naturally lazy. Wake from your slumber! Stop and think! We don’t have to be perfect, but we all can do better!
    Also, bynow we should have so many more biodegradable plastics!

  • Wax paper? Do you mean paraffin wax? I’m sure that’s not sustainable

  • Susan Fisher

    This fits here in Canada for sure. The other things are Styrofoam under products being sold in stores. We need to decrease the surplus plastics/foams/discards, and we can start by changing our purchasing habits. Take those re useable items with you, and use them!

  • Lavona George

    Thank you for this rant. Much appreciated. Let us not forget the horrible amount of packacging used when we do our shopping online.

  • tnjazzgal

    Suggestion for #6 – if you have pockets in your car doors, these are a great place to keep reusable shopping bags!

  • CheshireRed

    Send your article to Asia and Africa. That’s where they dump plastic straight into the sea, rivers, waterways, the lot. May not be achingly right-on PC but the truth often isn’t.

  • Elisa Szlobodnik

    I know I might sound dumb but I honestly thought we were recycling and plastic had stopped being washed up how wrong I am and this is so upsetting 🙁

  • rhoner

    If you DO use some plastic make damn sure it doesn’t end up in the ocean! What is wrong with people that throw their crap everywhere? I have always thought there are really only two kinds of people in this world – the ones that throw their crap everywhere and those that don’t.

  • Mongoose

    If each of us adopted just one of these ideas to start, and then added another and another, we could make a huge difference. My husband and I make a conscious effort to do our part. We owe it to the planet and the animals we share it with.

  • Kelsey Rose

    Fantastic, thank you!

  • Susanne Wilder

    All true and correct and Important! Amen sister!

  • Justin Bellbooth

    Soda stream is made in the occupied territory. BDS

  • Shianne Cutler

    I think we should also promote recycling programs like Terracycle, LLC or Gimme me 5 that take items that seem unrecycleable and turn them into every day things. These programs recycle everything from little bites wrappers to chip bags to soda caps to plastic silverware.

  • Lenore Lanka

    Thank you for reminding us of the importance not only of recycling what we have but of giving up what we don’t need!

  • Nancy Thayer

    Thank you.

  • Isilme

    Another thing that should be in this list is boycott fleece fabric made of polyester since it pollutes our water.

  • Progressive Liberal

    I have been at this a long, long time. I went out of my way to buy soda in reusable glass bottles. Ask for no plastic bags unless essential…carry my own canvas bags. Reuse everything and then recycle. And, no weed killers that get in the water and hurt plants

  • Trish

    I have a very serious question! Can anyone out there help me with my dilemma? I have several cats (seven) who all dutifully use their litter boxes in my basement. I scoop every day, but I’ve been using my plastic grocery bags to put the in clump litter so I can take it outside or store it until garbage day. What else can I use or do that won’t harm Mother Earth?

    • Green lady

      Best option would be to dig a hole in the garden and dispose of it there. That is what I always did when I had a cat.

  • Jon Karmazin

    Finally, something I can agree with on social media! I may be a bit to the right of Atilla the Hun politically, and I bet your a liberal, but you know what? You are 100% correct on this issue! Good for you! I think conservation should be MANDATED! But, hey , thats just me…in the meantime, increasing awareness like your doing is fantastic. Bravo!

  • Jean Goul

    Here in Benton County, OR, we recycle lots of plastic, but it has to be the right shape: tubs, bottles, jars. Our garbage service does not recycle lighter plastics called “clamshells”. I try to reuse them, but so many things come packed in clamshells: spinach, baked goods, salads, chicken. How do we get companies to stop using the very neat, and efficient clamshells? I’ve taken to buying spinach in plastic bags, and we do recycle plastic wraps in a different bin, which is good. Plastics have been bothering me for decades! One recycling place here used to ship ALL plastics to China, but then it was realized in China that recycling some of that plastic was a hazardous activity. I hate putting plastics in the landfill, but that is what we’re supposed to do if it is not recyclable.
    Finally, many people believe that if there’s a recycle symbol on the container, with a number, that it is indeed recyclable. But not so in Benton County. There is no regulation on what the numbers actually mean. Thanks for your campaign.

  • Kurtz-Murray Nova

    Six is not technically correct in the ACT, yes plastic bags are “banned”, but that just means they now charge for them at stores instead of giving them free. It’s not like we have a black market of shifty looking individuals selling plastic bags or going to jail because of the ban.

  • Sammie Jones

    Really interesting, would like to find out more about this subject cause I would like to be more eco but don’t really know where to start??

  • Virginia

    #9 plastic applicator tampons — buy cardboard

  • Andrea Winzor

    Bamboo toothbrushes are available at health food stores.

  • Ginger Berryman

    Is there a bamboo toothbrush out there that doesn’t have nylon bristles?

  • Gato Cat

    When I was a kid (about 55 years ago) disposable dinnerware was of wood. Now excuse me, I’ve got to Google “bamboo toothbrush”.

  • Robert

    Some of these are great. Some are simply not possible right now, at least where I am. I’ve never seen a bamboo toothbrush. Almost every roll of TP I’ve seen in the past 20 years has been wrapped in plastic.
    The vast majority of take away containers in my region are compostable so that’s a plus.
    Some great thoughts and reminders though. Time to try a little harder to make this world a more sustainable place.

  • Kara Christiansen

    Awesome and completely agree… except for maybe the toothbrush one.- that may be pushing it (I’ve never seen a bamboo toothbrush before and sounds expensive) 🙂

  • H

    If all plastic for food and disposable items was biodegradable and normal plastic banned for food and water items and nappies it would be better. Our Tap water tastes more toxic than plastic water glass is too expensive.
    Health foods are highly taxed as a luxury only for the rich. Should be no tax on healthier/environmental options

  • Welsh Bint

    I remember when straws used to be made of paper – would be easy to go back to that – like the campaign to ban the plastic in cotton buds

  • Rafael Bern

    While I wholeheartedly approve of the message, some of the facts presented here are dubious at best. DDT is a pesticide banned several decades ago and is not “in plastic”, and PCBs are electrical insulators that were used up until the 2000s in electronics, so they’re also not “in plastics”. They are both persistent organic pollutants, so they are still indeed in the environment, but it is misleading to suggest they are components of consumer-level plastics.

    The claim that “plastic now outnumbers sea life six to one” is odd. How do you quantify that? By mass? Number of objects? And, most importantly, what is your source for this number?

    In this era of fake news, if you want to spread a valuable and important message, it is counterproductive to include dubious or even false “facts”.

  • Nathan Lawyer

    This article is loaded with falsehood, beginning with the implication that plastics somehow come from somewhere other than the Earth. The idea that every piece of plastic ever produced still exists is the product of utter stupidity. Plastics are photo-thermodegradable, meaning they fully decompose with intense light and heat. Most water bottles sold in the US now are soy-based plastics that biodegrade without light and heat. Milk jugs are made from plastics that biodegrade within ten years, fewer if they are used for other liquids.

  • Dave Wood

    If you have to buy plastic recycle it.

  • Margaret Goss

    After an hour of walking on the beach (near Vero Beach, FL) I filled this up too many times to count. I only picked up plastic.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e14aee13279c2e19900b3e4d257cd3c6de5b82993f161b58e6ad77e055564cd1.png

  • resortman

    Stop the plastic bags in supermarkets and malls, use recycled paper bags or bring your own shopping baskets instead. Use indigenous products, like the abaca baskets from the Philippines. Dont patronize fast food chains that uses plastic wares, dine in or take out. Take the challenge, stop being plastic!

  • tuxmuxforpugs

    These are things you can do, but how would you actually do a lot of them? Besides a few obvious ones that could simply be simplified to “reduce”, how would you actually avoid using straws, coffee cups, bottled water, or take away containers? A lot of the time, these aren’t really your choice– do you expect people to call up their restaurant and say “I’ll bring my own tupperware, thanks!”, or “oh and here, you can put my latte in this thermos!”

    ?

  • Dudley Evenson

    There are so many alternatives to plastic. What about the containers you store leftovers in? You can easily use glass jars that you might just toss or recycle. You can always have cloth grocery bags in your car and bring with you when you shop. It takes some self discipline but isn’t that what life is about? Use glass or metal water bottles and always keep water with you so you won’t need to buy water in plastic bottles. I have even seen water in containers like milk cartons. An inexpensive water filter you put on your faucet will give you water about as good as what you buy in plastic bottles.

  • Toby

    Thanks for this article, and link to the video. I agree it’s an important issue. One thing that I didn’t find mentioned (and maybe it’s in comments below already) was the discussion of recycling. Particularly soft plastics like plastic bags and the wrapping on the toilet paper. I love when plastic bags are banned in some countries, and plastic eating utensils, but I also love when plastic is recycled rather than thrown out.

  • Terri Marcell

    Everyone should use Tupperware, I can help you out with that!

  • Gilbert

    COME ON PEOPLE RECYCLE , DO IT TODAY MAKE A PLAN AND WORK YOUR PLAN , S00 EASY . STOP BEING S0 LAZY EARTH IS YOUR HOME KEEP IT CLEAN . . .

  • Vicki Buckley

    I agree with, and practice, most of the principles you list. However, I maintain that there is no benefit or gain to banning plastic shopping bags while supermarkets sell plastic rubbish bags. I have argued this repeatedly for years. I use the plastic shopping bags for rubbish bags, while supposedly the shoppers using re-usable bags are purchasing plastic bags for their rubbish bins. When plastic bags are no longer sold, I’ll reconsider my stance.

  • My Kitchen in Asia

    I agree with the message you are sending and I’m on board with almost all of your suggestions. I’m wondering however what to do about garbage bags. I have recently started using the plastic bags at grocery stores (apparently recyclable) as well as my reuseable grocery bags since I use the plastic bags to libr my kitchen bin. If I don’t use the grocery bag I’d have to buy bin liners… what’s the best choice?

  • Third_stone

    The toilet paper? Show me organic in paper wrap and I will buy it. I will accept the wrapping compromise because the recycled toilet paper makes a big dent. Plastics? Dirty stuff. I diminish my use, but have not been able to eliminate. One of my favorite savings is making something useful of the plastic. I have a fitting made of 2 spent lotion bottles that helps me get the last drop. I have a screw plow, which most of you will find obscure, but I keep my screws and nails in bottles or cans, and dump them on the workbench to see them. Then I take my hersheys chocolate drink power can, and clean up. Like a small dust pan. It actually is very versatile. If I spilled a sack of beans this would be the tool. When I pour rice from the sack into my jar, I use a funnel made from the top of an orange juice jug, complete with a good side of hole and a handle molded into the side. I fully expect these tools will outlive me. Happily for me, my children may argue to be the one who gets them.
    I tried the bamboo toothbrushes and I felt they were not as good a brush.
    One other point, that plastic wrap can be reused as well as foil. If its clean, use it.

  • Antonio Tejada

    PET bottles do not contain BPA. BPA is used to produce polycarbonate, as used in many reusable rigid (non-squeezy) sports bottles.

  • guts knuckleson

    If everyone who cares about this would just commit to picking up three pieces of plastic litter per day, we could solve this problem or at least make a massive dent in it. I’ve been doing that for a year now on my morning walk, and it’s interesting that every day I pick up the same pudding cups, little liquor bottles and candy wrappers. There is someone in my neighborhood leaving a trail from Safeway back to their house, er, cardboard box more likely. I’ve never seen anyone littler that didn’t look like street trash themselves.

  • Anne

    Love to buy goods packed in aluminium, glass or paper rather than plastic, but how many manufacturers are listening ?

  • JR Murphy Poetry

    I gave up gladwrap – use plates to cover food in fridge or reusable containers – use a teatowel to cover something I taking to a BBQ etc. I do have a plastic knife fork and spoon in my car glovebox that I reuse when needed.
    I only buy kids presents that aren’t plastic – the amount of packaging and childrens presents in our landfills is a crime. Why are we giving our kids so much shit? They need out time and attention, money doesn’t give them this.

  • Judith Osterman

    Stop worrying about germs obsessively, & you won’t have to use as much plastic. Cut vegetables form a thin skin when exposed to the air which protects them better than plastic. Expose yourself to “turista” germs, you’ll develop a resistance.

  • Suman Mg

    About time all the developed nations realise how detrimental are all these habits to our earth also developing nations to cut down the use of plastic which is in vogue to catch up with t other countries .

  • J3551C4

    My husband and I frequent a restaurant that uses taterware for disposable cutlery. We either eat in or take out, and end up stashing the cutlery for later use. One of these days, we’re going to rock a picnic with our collection.
    Considering the path I took to find this post, I was kinda surprised I didn’t see a mention of menstrual cups in here. They replace tampons and pads.

  • Leaetta Wacker

    I am so into this cause. Our dependence on plastic as an everyday affair is very very hard to break. But i will give it a go. Now if I can just stop driving my car.

  • wendy ekbery

    Tampax tampons were paper until recently, now invariably plastic. In fact all sanitary products are way over-wrapped. Much more education needed on not flushing them down the loo too !

  • HonestMike

    This is great advice! Blunt, and with simple solutions provided. I already do 7 out of the 8 ideas here, and it really is easy, once you’ve decided the goal is worth it. (Of course it is!) The 8th will be easy for me too now.

  • HonestMike

    I recently learnt (and use) this simple tip:
    Use a paper mushroom bag for small amounts of fruit & veg that you buy, instead of *more* polypropylene bags..!

  • Denise Demise Dunne

    Great info. It’s time the plastic industry makes biodergadable plastics.

  • Brenda Irving

    Where does one buy bamboo toothbrushes? Never heard of them. Thanks

  • lynn

    The trouble with banning plastic bags is that it just enables the supermarkets to sell you worse plastic bags. I live in the ACT and both coles and woolies will sell you a plastic bag that is very thick – for 15c each. So more plastic and more profit for the supermarkets.

    I hate using those enviro bags for groceries – too unhygienic

  • Janet Lingel Aldrich

    If I have food delivered (I have issues with my knees and legs and so I do occasionally get food brought in) how would you suggest I make the food companies I order from to put things on plates with foil?

  • Bill Purkins

    Wonderful article, thank you so much. Only one criticism. Reusing Ziploc bags can be dangerous when foods have been stored in them. Bacteria.

  • Kali Curlee

    What do you recommend instead of plastic food containers?

  • Susan Millett

    remember wax coated paper straws? what happened to them? came in a cardboard box

  • Target recycles. I take so much stuff to them!

  • Shubhra GreenGrow

    Applying everything except for the bamboo toothbrush. Never seen one anywhere.

  • Loz Boz

    Are you sure plastics don’t contain Agent Orange too?

    Plastics do not contain DDT. DDT use was banned in the US in the 70s and later in the EU
    Plastics made post 1979 do not contain PCBs, which were banned in 79
    There are biodegradable plastics that degrade to Innocuous components. Look and you will find.

    Whilst a reduction in plastic use is valid in many areas a crusade against plastice based on fake news is not warranted

  • smokeyjofencing

    This guy is my hero. Too many people, often the ones with kids where I live, don’t care. It takes people like Jeff to show them that high profile people care. 🙂

  • Jill Schulz

    See how I upcycle Plastic bags into reusable, durable totes on etsy,com/gogreenladybug/shop. Anything I don’t use is recycled-even little bits!

  • blinda

    Plastic wrapped TP isn’t so bad… Provided you save all those types of plastic wrappers stick them in an old plastic bag that’s outlived its usefulness, then take to your local big chain supermarket and put them in their plastic recycling bins there.

  • Pamela Weaver Tucker

    I am always horrified when I think of the disposable undergarments and especially baby diapers that go into the landfill every day. If you think about how many diapers just one baby can go through in a day and how long every single one of them will be in the landfill…the numbers are frightening.

  • Sara James

    For plastic wrap, they make “bees wrap” which is cloth covered in bees was that you form and “melt” to stick to the dish, it’s washable, reusable and you can make your own!

  • suzisunshine

    Just ordered some Bamboo toothbrushes from Amazon,will get to work on the rest.

  • loquacialoon

    Why buy toilet paper? Use water! More hygienic and no waste of paper.

  • Great article. We would love to translate it to Portuguese. Will contact you. Thanks