10 Tips for Using Less Plastic

Here are some simple ways you can reduce the amount of plastic you purchase and use in your life.

Plastics are everywhere and at times it just can’t be avoided. However, the stuff that’s designed to be used once and thrown away - like water bottles, plastic bags, cutlery, straws, coffee cups and food containers - is a huge contributor to the waste stream that goes to landfill or even worse, ends up in our oceans.

There are already 5 enormous swirling gyres of plastic which have accumulated with the help of major ocean currents including one called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is twice the size of Texas.

These gyres are having an unknown and unpredictable effect on our ecosystems so it’s urgent that we take action now. We know with plastics, it can be hard to get it right all the time but it’s worth remembering that every little bit we can do makes a difference.


- If each Australian family used 1 less plastic bag each week that would be 253 million bags less a year.
- A total of 1,433,046 tonnes of plastics were consumed in Australia in 2010-11
- 287,360 tonnes of plastics were recycled, giving a national plastics recovery rate of only 20%
- Half of Australia’s waste plastics collected for recycling were exported.
- China was the key destination for exported recovered plastics.

Here are 10 tips for usng less plastic:

1.Buy a reusable stainless steel water bottle and fill with tap water. If you’re worried about contaminants or taste it would pay to invest in a water filter.
2. Keep a set of reusable shopping bags at home or in the car.
3. Buy a reusable coffee cup.
4. Take your own container with you when buying foods like sushi and keep a bottle of soy sauce or tamari (which is wheat-free) at work or at home rather than taking a little soy-sauce-filled plastic fish.
5. Buy everyday items like milk and cleaning products in bulk size containers and refill.
6. If you’ve ended up with some of these plastics at home, they can be washed and sorted for re-use or as a last resort – recycled.
7. Research suggests that all plastics may leach chemicals if they’re scratched or heated. Opt for healthier materials like Pyrex, glass or stainless steel for lunch boxes and food storage.
8. Plastic bags that don’t have rips or tears can be taken to the supermarket and used again or used as bin liners.
9. Help make landfill a last resort and reuse the plastic you already have. Old plastic food containers can be re-used to store a million different things like nails, screws, picture hooks, matches and candles.
10. Refuse to buy over-packaged items and always consider the amount of plastic packaging of goods before you buy.

This is article is sourced from www.ecostore.com.au

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