THE AMOUNT OF PLASTIC
in our environment has already reached critical levels. There are islands of plastic waste floating in the oceans, choking and killing the wildlife and forever altering the environment and washing up on our beaches. This waste is damaging the environment that our wildlife thrives in, and is washing up on our beautiful beaches
Each product packaging has a recycling symbol that features a specific number within a triangle. These symbols provide a great deal of information relating to the chemicals contained in the plastic, the likeliness of it leaching (the release of chemicals over a period of time), and how it is being recycled into other goods.
The fewer single-use plastics we use, the fewer we have to recycle or dispose into the environment.
What you can do to help reduce your waste:
- Change your shopping and eating habits and behaviours to reduce the amounts of plastics that we “consume” or have to recycle.
- Refuse single-use plastics.
- Make recycling a conscious part of your every day life and learn about the proper way to recycle in your community.
- Educate your neighbors on good recycling practices and share local information and resources specific to where you live.
- Don't buy plastics such as sandwich bags, straws and plastic wraps, and instead purchase reusable storage or paper products.
- Repurpose plastic containers; several single-use containers can be turned into plant pots, pencil holders, holders for clips and small accessories, etc. The list is as unlimited as your creativity.
- Remove single-use plastics from the lunchroom. Buy ceramic cups and plates, and use proper metal utensils.
- Refuse to use single use plastic products like plastic wrap and Ziploc bags. For short term storage, paper bags work equally well.
- Refuse to use plastic water bottles. Instead, use filtered water, glass pitchers and glasses, or glass water bottles.
- Refuse plastic decorations and plastic pots for plants.
- Repurpose plastic containers for plant and supply holders.
- Refuse plastic office supplies such as plastic paper clips and plastic document holders.
- When planning company events, reuse part décor and refuse single-use plastics when serving food and beverages.
- When shipping and receiving goods, refuse to use non-recyclable or non-biodegradable tape or packing materials. Use packing materials that are recyclable or biodegradable.
OUT FOR LUNCH?
- Refuse to buy takeaway meals served in plastic/Styrofoam containers served with plastic utensils. Buy from vendors who serve food in recyclable containers or bring your own non-plastic/Styrofoam containers.
- Refuse water served in plastic bottles. Purchase water in glass bottles or bring a non-plastic water bottle from home.
- Refuse drinks such as coffee and soft drinks served in waxed paper cups and refuse plastic straws.
- Bring your own coffee cup. Get to know your barista and using your own cup won't be a problem or awkward.
- Shop local farmers’ markets. Grocery stores who sell items from larger food manufacturers will have a lot more items packaged in plastic containers. In contrast, a farmer’s market from local producers will often have fewer, if any, pre-packaged plastic materials.
- Always refuse plastic bags and always carry cloth or canvas bags for your groceries. Don’t forget to bring paper bags for your produce.
- Find stores where you can buy items such as milk and yogurt in glass containers rather than plastic containers, and buy butter wrapped in paper rather than in a plastic tub.
- Reduce the amount of items you purchase that are packaged in single-use plastic or Styrofoam, such as produce, fruits and meats.
- When shopping for meats and seafood, opt for the butcher section of the market rather than the pre-packaged plastic containers of meat and seafood.