Plastic is ubiquitous in our everyday life – we use it almost all the time, because a large part of everyday objects is made of this material. It seems that such a widespread raw material cannot do any harm. However, it is completely different. A world without plastic.
Why we should give up plastic
For several months, there have been more and more social campaigns and legal regulations aimed at making people aware of the importance of limiting plastic – starting with paid disposable bags, ending with social campaigns. And although many people think that this is an unnecessary difficulty in life, it is worth realizing the scale of the problem.
There are two main risks associated with the use of plastic – it is harmful to our health and highly pollutes the environment, which affects both nature and us. Scientists have calculated that by 2050 more plastic than fish will swim in the oceans unless we change our habits. Already, many researchers prove that plastic particles circulate in the body of each of us – ingested with water and food.
What to replace plastic
It should be remembered that there are different types of plastic – on plastic packages you can find markings from 1 to 7 and it is worth paying attention to them, because basically only packages marked with symbols 2 and 5 are safe for our health. Other types should not come into contact with food. We should especially avoid single-use plastic items and those of the worst quality plastic. For health and environmental reasons, we should choose items from more friendly materials, such as glass, wood, paper or metal. Of course, it is not possible to completely give up plastic, but it is real to reduce it or replace it with other raw materials. Most of the activities do not require much effort from us, and can have a real impact on both our health and the condition of our environment.
Which plastics are the easiest to give up
Disposable bags, which have ceased to be free since January 1, 2018, can be replaced with fabric bags – many of them have interesting prints that will emphasize our style. Showing up with a bag like this is definitely more trendy than walking around with a disposable plastic bag. The fabric bag takes up little space, so you can always carry it in a purse or even a jacket pocket. They are more durable and will serve us much longer than paid plastic bags, and additionally they will not pollute the environment. You can also replace the thin plastic bags in which we pack fruit, vegetables and bread in the store. It is enough to stock up on fabric bags, made of thin fabric – they do not weigh much more than plastic bags, and their use is more ecological.
Disposable tableware and cutlery is another item to replace. Morning coffee in your favorite coffee shop does not have to be associated with the production of plastic waste, and the poor quality plates and brittle forks that we use during family grilling may be replaced with better quality dishes. When planning to buy coffee, it is a good idea to bring your own thermo mug before leaving the house – some cafes offer discounts to customers who do not use disposable dishes. Coffee in a good quality thermo mug will not burn your hands and will not taste like a plastic overlay. If you are planning an outdoor party, it is better to serve meals on ceramic dishes and serve metal cutlery – probably nobody enjoys eating on plates that heat up and bend, and the use of non-durable cutlery. Plastic can release harmful substances when exposed to heat, so it’s best to avoid the use of disposable crockery and cutlery, especially by children.
Plastic toys are perishable and can also be harmful, especially to little ones who bite or lick them frequently. Therefore, it is worth looking for alternatives to plastic blocks, cars and dolls. Wooden toys are of much better quality than plastic ones – they will not break quickly, and even if they do, they are easier to repair. In addition, wood is much friendlier to our health than plastic, the origin of which we cannot be sure of. Some toys are available on paper, such as cardboard dollhouses. Nothing prevents a child, with the help of adults, from making toys by himself, learning the secrets of origami at the same time. A beloved doll does not have to be made of plastic – a material cuddly toy can easily replace it. Of course, there are toys that cannot be made of any material other than plastic, but if we decide to buy them, it’s good to choose the best quality ones so that they are durable and do not harm the health of children. The containers in which the toys are stored should also be replaced with paper or wooden ones – they are more aesthetic and friendlier to the environment and our health.
Straws are a fashionable topic lately. For several months, various social campaigns and celebrities taking part in them have been urging people to give up plastic straws. It turns out that this innocent-looking, colorful object is one of the most common rubbish found in the oceans. Many people argue that a small straw does not significantly affect pollution, but what if only in small country several hundred thousand straws are thrown away every day? A straw is a gadget without which most people are able to drink a drink. If, due to disability or other reasons, someone has to use straws, there are many alternatives to plastic ones – metal, glass or bamboo straws will last a long time, and paper, pasta or … straws are more environmentally friendly, and you will surely be able to offer them to your guests. With interest.
Of course, you can approach the matter more radically and give up cosmetics in plastic packaging and buying food in plastic. However, it is worth remembering that every action on our part brings benefits and a positive impact on our health and the world around us. We have to get used to reducing plastic, because within a few years, European Union countries are expected to introduce significant restrictions on the use of disposable plastic items, and many companies are already pledging to withdraw plastic disposables from their product range.