Plastic Best Practices

By , March 14, 2016 7:49 pm

Super Simple Steps to Reduce Plastic Use and Consumption
Courtesy of World Ocean Observatory:

1. Avoid buying items packaged in plastic. Look for produce and other items that aren’t over-packaged. Buy food in glass jars rather than plastic ones, and detergents in boxes rather than bottles. Not only are you reducing the plastic you use, you’re sending a powerful message to the makers of those products that you don’t like plastic packaging.
2. Skip bottled water. Carry a reusable canteen. Plastic bottles are one of the top five most common types of litter found on beaches. Since bottled water is much more expensive than tap water, you’ll also save money doing this, and avoid the possible hazards of plastic toxins leaching into your beverage.
3. Upcycle. Think of new uses for old items rather than discarding them or buying new ones.
4. Say “No straw, please.” Straws are one of the top 10 items found on beaches. In most cases, drinking out of a straw is simply unnecessary. If you do need a straw, you can get a reusable stainless steel or glass one.
5. Wear clothing made from natural (not synthetic) materials. Wearing and washing clothes causes fibers to flake off, and polyester clothing is made of plastic. Tiny particles of microplastic found in oceans around the world have been traced to such synthetic fabrics.
6. Bring a Reusable Mug to Your Coffee Shop.
We all have mugs at home. Stow one on your desk, in your purse, car or bag so you have it on hand when you order or refill your drink. You can also find more mugs to buy here- reusable mug!
7. Don’t just discard electronics. Aim to repair or upgrade your devices instead of buying new ones. Sell gadgets and computer parts, or find a facility where you can turn them in for recycling.

Products and Practices to Replace the Single Use Plastics in your Life
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/unassuming-places-plastic-bags-show-up-and-how-to-avoid-them/

13 Easy Ways To Use Less Plastic In Your Home

1. Carry a Reusable, Lightweight Tote Bag in the Car
Avoiding plastic requires some simple advance planning. Make an investment in a light-weight reusable tote bag that can fit in your pocket, purse, or car, making it easy to have a reusable alternative wherever life takes you. Check out Baggu for some great options. Really any reusable bag that folds up and is easy to carry with you will do the trick.

2. Store Produce in Towels Instead of Plastic
Plastic containers are a major culprit for both environmental and health concerns. The good news is you can swap out plastic containers and bags with a clean dish towel or cloth and keep produce fresh and crispy. Zucchini, cucumber, parsnips, leeks, green beans, carrots all last longer when you wrap them in a damp towel and store in your crisper. For lettuce greens, use a dry cloth or towel, fold it like an envelope and then tie the ends together to make a nice cloth salad knot.

3. Consider Biodegradable Waste Bags for Pet Waste Disposal
Even if you used the plastic bag to pick up after your pet, they are still ending up in landfills. Cats and dogs, combined, produce up to 10 million tons of waste every year and it ends up being preserved in plastic bags, sitting in landfills. It’s not a nice image, we know. Instead of reaching for a plastic bag, try biodegradable waste bags and litter. You can technically even compost your pet’s waste, but be mindful not to use this on edible plants.

4. Pre-plan Your Take-Out Routine
There can be a lot of plastic waste involved in take-out, but if you cut the plastic bag out of your Friday night take-out tradition it’s a great place to start. When ordering takeout or bringing home leftovers, ask if you can get the food in your own reusable container. You can use the same reusable bag you’d put your groceries in to pick up your food, or maybe you want to opt for an insulated lunch bag that will keep your food warm. Check out some options, here.

5. Avoid Disposable Tableware, or Use the Compostable Kind
Try using washable and reusable cups, plates or utensils. When using compostable tableware, be aware they will not biodegrade in a landfill and must be disposed of in appropriate composting conditions. You can also get a reusable set of flatware that you can carry with your lunch to eliminate the need for plastic utensils at work or school. Keep a set in your car as well.

6. Find Personalized Reusable Snack Bags for Your Kids
Tiny ziploc bags are great for packing lunches or snacks to go, but they also contribute to our plastic problem. Luckily, there are plenty of reusable snack bags that come in a variety of colors and patterns – great for school lunches – and they’re easy to clean and use again. You can go a step further in eliminating plastic waste by making your own snacks, instead of buying prepackaged granola bars of chips, and storing them in these handy reusable pouches.

7. Replace Your Cleaning Supplies With Vinegar
You can replace nearly every cleaning spray, scrub or fluid in your home that comes in a plastic bottle with white vinegar. Vinegar can be used to disinfect bathroom and kitchen surfaces, shine up mirrors and silverware, and even unclog drains. Add lemon and orange peels to the bottle to get a natural citrus scent. If you buy white vinegar in bulk (go for a glass bottle), you can upcycle an old glass bottle and one of the spray tops from one of your old cleaners (rinse thoroughly), and make your own hand-held natural spray cleaner.

8. Use a Mason Jar With a Pour Top to Replace Plastic Condiment Bottles
How many different plastic bottles of condiments do you have in your fridge right now? Probably a ton. Instead, try making your own condiments and storing them in mason jars with special top attachments. For salad dressings, try tap-tops. You can also try metal pump tops for ketchup or mustard.

9. Use a Pressure Cooker to Avoid BPA-Lined Cans
Canned beans are a staple in any kitchen, plant-based or not. While you might think that tin cans are preferable over plastic packages or containers, most are actually lined with some form of plastic to keep the can from rusting; Bisphenol-A (BPA), a known endocrine disruptor, is commonly used. Instead, you can soak dried beans overnight and pop them in a pressure cooker for around 10 minutes and you’ve got plastic-free legumes! These can also be stored in glass jars and frozen so you always have some on hand.

10. Buy Wooden Toys Instead of Plastic.
Quality wooden toys can be passed down for generations, or at least to several siblings, cousins or neighbors. They don’t end up in the landfill after a few brief months.


Plastic Recycling: The Chasing Arrows DeMystified

 

pet
PET (Polyethylene terephthalate)
Items~Bottle Water, Soda, Peanut Butter
PET can be recycled into fiberfill for sleeping bags, carpet fibers, rope, pillows…

 

hdpe
HDPE (High density polyethylene)
Items~Water Jugs, Milk, Juice Bottles, Shampoo, Motor Oil, Toys
HDPE can be recycled into flower pots, trash cans, traffic barrier cones, detergent bottles…

 

pvc

 

PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)
Items~Detergent Containers, Commercial grade Plastic Wrap and Mattress Covers
PVC can be recycled into drainage and irrigation pipes…

 

ldpe
LDPE (Low density polyethylene)
Items~Grocery Store Bags, Household Plastic Wrap, Garbage Bags, Squeezable Bottles
LDPE can be recycled into new grocery bags…

 

pp
PP (Polypropylene)
Items~Ice Cream, Yogurt, Drinking Straws, Syrup Bottles Diapers, Plastic Liner in a Cereal Box
PP can be recycled into plastic lumber, car battery cases, manhole steps…

 

psPS (Polystyrene)
Items~Styrofoam, Plastic Utensils, Egg Cartons, Foam Chips “peanuts” for Packaging.
PS can be recycled into plastic lumber, cassette tape boxes, flower pots…

 
 

otherOTHER
Items~Sports bottles, 5 Gallon water Jugs, Clear plastic cutlery, Lining of metal cans, biobased
plastics made from corn, potato and tapioca that are compostable.
Other (number 7) is usually not recycled because it is a mixture of different types of plastics.

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