Single-Use Plastic in The Pandemic: How to Stay Safe and Sustainable
Anyone out for a walk recently may have noticed there are new types of plastics littering our environment – masks and gloves from the pandemic.
Demand for disposable wipes, cleaning agents, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves and masks is at a record high - but they are also being thrown out in unprecedented volumes.
Additionally, tons of medical waste are being generated – a necessary measure adding to the tide of virus-related plastic waste.
Plastic bags had become a regular target under the development of the proposed single use plastics ban but fears of viral contamination from reusable bags owned by shoppers appeared to grow.
So, with the coronavirus becoming the most important issue in the world, have the perils of climate change and plastic pollution been cast to one side?
Here are 4 ways to avoid single-use plastics during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Choose Reusable Water Bottles
Not only does this avoid single-use plastic from piling up in landfills, but it also sets an example for the people around you. Did you know more than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills every day? That’s a total of roughly 22 billion a year.
- Bring Reusable Tupperware
We know you’re getting sick of cooking at home and have been debating picking up food from your favorite restaurant. If you decide to order take-out, bring reusable Tupperware with you!
- Avoid Plastic Bags While Grocery Shopping
For the time being, reusable bags aren’t allowed in grocery stores. However, you can rinse plastic bags and reuse them. Or even better, don’t bag your groceries in the store. Instead, place them in reusable bags once you get to your trunk to avoid the use of single-use plastic altogether.
- Limit the Use of Plastic Gloves
If you do wear gloves, try to source compostable options or simply wash and reuse them. But hand sanitizer and soap are effective ways to kill the virus!
Here are a few other things you can integrate into your daily life to be environmentally friendly:
- Eat less meat
- Use canvas bags vs plastic bags
- Ride your bike instead of driving to the store
- Buy LED light bulbs
- Opt for a bar of soap vs body wash
- Purchase bamboo toothbrushes
- Bring a thermos when you pick up coffee
- Hangs dry your clothes
- Wash clothes in cold water
- Use reusable dishcloths vs paper towels
- Shop at your local farmer's market
- Re-use your tea leaves
- Support local, sustainable businesses