Nowadays it seems almost impossible to escape plastic products, everything is made out of it, and most corporations don't seem to be interested in changing this trend.
Plastic can take up to 1000 years to start degrading, that means that all the plastic ever created still exists! Even when plastic begins to deteriorate, it is only broken down into smaller toxic parts that contaminate our oceans and the environment. Here are some horrific facts about the current state of our planet:
- More than 50% of all plastic produced is for single use, then thrown away
- Over one million plastic bags are being used every minute (500 billion is used every year)
- More than 8 billion tons of plastic is dumped into oceans every year
- Over 100,000 marine mammals and 1 million seabirds are killed by plastic pollution annually
- Less than a fifth of all plastic is recycled
It is clear that if this trend continues and we don't act now, plastic pollution in the world's oceans is projected to increase three-fold within seven years.
While companies are hesitant to change their production methods, it is up to consumers to eliminate plastic from their daily lives.
What Can You Do?
You can start by eliminating plastic products from your daily life. It is not an easy task at first, but believe me, it is gratifying. I personally began from switching to biodegradable toothbrushes before fully embracing zero waste lifestyle. After realising that on average a person will throw away 300 toothbrushes in his lifetime, I couldn't deny any longer the individual impact I have on the environment. Shortly after, I started expanding my environmentally friendly collection, and in less than a year, there was almost no plastic in my house.
To help you transition to an entirely zero waste lifestyle, I have put together what I believe are the most essential plastic substitutes out there:
1. Bamboo Toothbrush
What difference will one toothbrush make? Over 5 billion plastic toothbrushes are used every year… Switching out your plastic toothbrush for a sustainable alternative is how many people get started on their eco-journey. A quick and effortless change, and a great gift to help your friends make the switch.
2. Bamboo Toothbrush Travel Case
This stylish handcrafted bamboo travel case is perfect for eco-friendly people on the go! Take your biodegradable toothbrush with you where ever you go and stop relying on flexible options.
3. Natural Teeth Whitening Activated Charcoal
Unlike most of the mainstream teeth-whitening products, which are packaged in single-use plastic tubes, this natural whitening charcoal comes in a stainless steel container that can be easily recycled, or better yet, reused. Plus, this charcoal powder is made from 100% organic coconut, leaving your teeth extremely white without all the nasty chemicals.
4. Safety Razor
The EPA estimates that 2 billion razors are disposed of each year. Stainless steel alternatives will not only last you a lifetime but will also be much cheaper in the long-term in comparison to disposable ones.
5. Reusable Coffee Mugs:
Half a trillion disposable cups are manufactured annually around the world; that’s over 70 cups for every person on the planet. If you love drinking coffee or tea, investing in a sustainable substitute is definitely a wise choice. Don't forget to bring your reusable mug to your favourite coffee shop to refill each time. Doing that will ensure that hundreds of disposable cups will not end up in the landfill each year.
6. Eco-Friendly Bags:
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, more than a million plastic bags are thrown away every minute. If this fact doesn't make you want to switch to a sustainable alternative, then I don't know what will. There are various options one can choose from, I personally love products made out of cotton as it's plastic-free and highly sustainable.
All it takes is grabbing your lovely bag before heading out for groceries and do so knowing you’re not contributing to the plastic bag epidemic.
7. Biodegradable Cotton Swabs:
Cotton buds are another one of those products which we use for just a few seconds then instantly dispose of. The issue is what they’re made from – plastic! But once again bamboo is here to the rescue. Natural and 100% biodegradable, bamboo cotton swabs are changing the way we look at disposable earbuds.
8. Bamboo Cutlery Set
While takeout food habits are becoming increasingly common, so is the plastic utensil litter that goes along with it. According to various reports, more than 60% of litter on the streets was from food and beverage packaging.
For those who like to enjoy a little picnic from now and then or those who bring their food to work, this set is an ideal product for you, it even has a bamboo straw to enjoy your beverage. The cutlery is made from natural, certified organic bamboo, a much safer and healthier alternative to plastic.
9. Reusable Stainless Steel Straws:
A plastic straw is another product that significantly contributes to pollution levels as millions of them are thrown away each year.
Why use plastic if you can get yourself a stainless steel straw, that you can just wash and reuse over and over again. They also come with a handy little pouch so you can store it in your bag without getting it dirty.
10. Plastic Bottle Cutter
If you haven't heard of this device, then you are in for a treat!
Less than 20% of all plastic is recycled, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and reuse the plastic myself. I use this cutter to turn bottles into ropes and use them for DIYs for example. What you do with the rope is already up to your imagination, my friends and I already found 7 different ways we could utilise this in our lives.
There you go, a list of 10 eco-friendly products to get you started helping the world become a cleaner place. If you made it till the end, well done! You are one of the few that are really committed to making sustainable living a reality.
Baby steps will help the planet
If every single human started switching to eco-friendly and biodegradable options, the evil trend of plastic pollution could be reversed. Living by example is an essential component to defeat plastic pollution. Once you start sharing your plastic free journey with the people around you, you will notice how others start taking this path as well. So be sure to let people know which alternative products you use, share articles like this and try to raise awareness. As more people board the eco-friendly train, we will start noticing significant improvements to the environment.
It can be a little overwhelming to change to greener alternatives overnight, so I hope this list helped you in getting started. If you would like to know more about the state of our environment, learn tips and tricks for zero waste lifestyle then sign up for our free newsletter!