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Did you know that a third of the 100 million tons of plastic waste that is discarded per year ends up in nature? Given the difficult management of plastic waste, it ends up promoting pollution of the sea, as well as of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. It is essential that, individually, we become aware of the need to avoid the consumption of plastics, so that also plastics producing companies change their management and product manufacturing models towards more sustainable goals.

In this Green Ecologist article you will discover how to avoid plastic contamination through multiple tips and solutions that we can apply in our day to day to do our bit against the devastating pollution of plastic.

How to avoid plastic contamination - solutions and tips

Currently, more than 75% of the plastics that societies consume around the world become difficult to manage waste, being responsible for the contamination of countless ecosystems. Therefore, we must choose to directly avoid their consumption, beyond recycling or reuse. In the following list you will find many initiatives that you can follow as solutions for plastic pollution:

  • Use our own alternative bags and packaging when shopping.
  • Eradicate the consumption of single-use plastic products.
  • Use alternative cosmetics: reusable and without plastic packaging.
  • Manufacture and consume our own products to avoid the unnecessary consumption of plastics.

Let's see in more detail in the following sections what advice and solutions we can follow to deal with the harmful plastic pollution suffered by the planet. In addition, we suggest you take a look at this other post with more Tips to reduce the use of plastics and packaging.

Use alternatives to plastic bags when shopping

The number of plastic products that we consume is directly related to the type of products that we buy in supermarkets, so following a series of initiatives when we go to make the purchase can favorably change the level of plastics that end up polluting nature.

Must always carry our own bags, both when going to do the shopping and when ordering take-out food, whether they are bags of fabric, cotton or cardboard and, we can even reuse the plastic that we still have at home.

It is also very important to bet on the purchase of bulk products, for which we can use glass jars and reusable bags. Failing that, we should prefer the purchase of products packaged in cardboard or glass, thus avoiding plastic ones.

In this other post we will talk more about the Alternatives to replace plastic bags.

Don't use single-use plastic products

Carrying our own thermos or coffee mug, as well as a stainless steel or glass water bottle will save us the consumption of a large number of single-use plastic containers. In addition, there are more and more biodegradable products such as alternatives to single-use plastics, so take note of the ones we offer you in the following list:

  • Plates, glasses and cutlery made of bamboo fiber or biodegradable plastic.
  • Wooden, silicone or stainless steel kitchen utensils.
  • Drinking straws made from bamboo, paper, stainless steel, and even edible materials.
  • Cloth or natural beeswax wrappers for wrapping food.
  • Tuppers and glass containers.

Use natural, reusable cosmetics without plastic packaging

Still not using solid soaps and shampoos? Without a doubt, these are one of the products that most help to reduce the purchase of hygiene products packaged in plastics. They are more durable and prevent us from throwing packaging and more plastic packaging into the trash every time we have to buy them. Keep knowing more reusable hygiene items without plastic packaging in the following list:

  • Solid deodorant.
  • Bamboo toothbrushes.
  • Reusable swabs.
  • Solid toothpaste or made with natural products.
  • Menstrual cup, pads and cloth diapers.
  • Reusable stainless steel razor blades.
  • Natural sponges (luffa or esparto).
  • Natural or mineral makeup.

In addition, in these other Green Ecologist articles we explain How to make natural homemade deodorant and How to make ecological homemade makeup.

Be Zero Waste so as not to consume unnecessary plastics

Investing in imagination and time, while saving money with unnecessary purchase of plastics, we can do endless crafts and produce our own resources. Let's see some concrete examples that are part of the Zero Waste or Zero Waste lifestyle:

  • Cook and make homemade products to avoid buying packaged juices, precooked food, frozen, etc.
  • Natural cosmetics and preparing soaps. Here you can see several Recipes to make natural herbal soaps.
  • Make toys with recycled materials and with wood.
  • Make crafts and decorations for the home with wooden pallets and bamboo.
  • Manufacture our own furniture with recycled materials.

Consequences of plastic pollution - environmental impact

The environmental impacts that causes the presence of plastics in nature are truly catastrophic, since the natural cycles of ecosystems and the survival of plant and animal species are seriously affected.

Gigantic masses of floating plastics, called islands of plastics, are responsible for the pollution of the oceans, while all kinds of single-use plastics appear in cities, forests, rivers, beaches and even inside animals.

The social and environmental costs resulting from plastic pollution they have alerted governments and large companies around the world. Several "Plastics Pacts" have been proposed by countries around the world, so that, step by step, and together with the individual collaboration of citizens, we can accelerate the transition towards a sustainable management of plastics, reducing their production and favoring the efficient collection, classification and recycling of the same.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to avoid plastic contamination, we recommend that you enter our Pollution category.

  • Drafting EFE Verde (11/15/2018) Combat plastic pollution in the seas, Agreement of the East Asia Forum. EFE Verde Agency, Sustainable Development.
  • Cordier, M. & Uehara, T. (2022) How much innovation is needed to protect the ocean from plastic contamination? Science Direct: Science of the total Environment. Volume 670, pages: 789-799.
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