Humans produce over 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which is used in single-use items like shopping bags, cups and straws. And at least 8 million tons of manufactured plastic end up in our oceans year after year, with floating plastic debris being the most common kind of marine litter1.
It’s not all doom and gloom though! It’s a lot easier to find alternatives to throwaway plastic these days. Here are five simple ways you can start making a difference at home right now:
Stop Buying Single-Use Water Bottles
Consider a reusable water bottle filled at home with clean and refreshing drinking water, purified by a whole house water filter or reverse osmosis system. Not only could it help you to lessen your impact on the environment, you can rent one for about $1 a day.
Stop Using Plastic Cutlery, Straws and Cups
At home, either skip straws altogether or stock up on some metal or paper ones. Having a party? Look for compostable plates and cutlery if you don’t have enough dinnerware and metal cutlery on hand.
Reliance™ is eliminating single-use plastics at our branch offices, replacing paper cups with ceramic mugs. This will divert around 65,000 cups alone from landfills per year – one small step that makes a big difference in our communities and around the planet.
Switch to Reusable Shopping Bags
A 2019 California study2 revealed that a plastic shopping bag ban curtailed coastal pollution and reduced plastic bag use by 85% . If you have a stash of single-use plastic bags, by all means, keep using them – even though they’re designed for single-use, they last a lot longer, and the most sustainable choice is using something you already have. And when you run out, bring along a few reusable totes to carry your groceries and other purchases.
Fill It Up!
Explore your neighbourhood for markets that let you bring your own containers to fill up on essentials like olive oil and shampoo to avoid recycling all those bottles.
Change Your Chewing Gum
Did you know that gum has plastic in it? And unless you are eating some ABC (Already Been Chewed) gum, it definitely falls under the category of single-use plastic. Not to mention the sticky mess on sidewalks and in sewer systems caused by people just spitting it out. Yes, that’s what all those black spots on the sidewalk are! There are a few companies making gum without plastic in it that you may find at your local health food store. You still shouldn’t spit it on the sidewalk though. Gross!
To learn more about Reliance’s environmental sustainability initiatives and how you can help, visit our Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance page. Interested in exploring water purification solutions for your home? Visit our Water Purification page!