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Refuse Single-Use Plastic - Start with the easy wins

Refuse Single-Use Plastic - Start with the easy wins

Today is Earth Day. Earth Day 2018 is dedicated to providing the information and inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude and behavior about plastics. Plastic pollution is poisoning our oceans and land, injuring marine life, and affecting our health.

For many of us, plastic equates convenience. This explains the single portion snack that we toss into our kid's backpack and the containers and utensils from our dinner takeout. Look, we are all busy, and nobody is perfect. As much as I would like it, I am far from zero waste. But I truly think small changes, when all of us are on board, can make a big difference.

We are not talking about banning plastic in all its forms, shapes, and applications. I mean, heart and brain surgery wouldn’t be possible without plastic. But we are talking about an attitude change. Shifting from taking plastic for granted to appreciating the cost and complexity of creating and disposing that single plastic stick to stir your morning coffee at your favorite coffee bar.

Easy ways to reduce plastics use:

  • say ‘no’ to straws
  • ask your coffee to be put in a mug instead of the default paper cup if you are hanging around anyway
  • bring your own water bottle and coffee mug
  • bring your own reusable shopping bags
  • use food containers instead of plastic wraps for leftovers
  • refuse products with excessive packaging

This last bullet point is worth elaborating. Recycling is not the answer. Refusing to bring waste into your house, recyclable or otherwise, is the first and most important step. The next time you are shopping, have a think about how you will dispose of the packaging.

Positive changes start from each of us paying attention.

Happy Earth Day!

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