Plastic packaging, which is created with petroleum, is popular for its durability and low manufacturing cost. However, the durability of plastic presents another problem— it is not biodegradable and thus occupies precious space in landfills. Plastics are made with different blends of chemicals, some of which - Bisphenol-A
, for example - are toxic. These toxins can be released into the environment as the plastic slowly breaks down into smaller particles, presenting a danger to the living species in the area.
There are many ways to help reduce plastic waste. Reduce
: The first and most effective step is to avoid bringing more plastic into ciculation. Avoid purchasing products with excess packaging and bring your own bag instead of using disposable plastic bags. Reuse
: When you can't avoid plastic, try to find ways to reuse the container, like for storage, before discarding. Recycle
: Lastly, plastic packaging can be recycled, so start by evaluating what plastic goods in your household can be recycled (two main culprits are plastic bottles and plastic grocery bags) and be aware of the option to recycle. Contact your local recycling center to find out which types of plastics are accepted in your area (generally Types 1, 2, and 3). When possible, opt for re-usables or biodegradables instead of plastics. To learn more creative ideas on how to reduce, check out our 'Beyond the Bin' guide