Plastic-Free July might be winding down, but that doesn’t mean our conversations around plastic alternatives have to. Plastic packaging accounts for 161-million tons of waste per year and over the past 50 years,, world plastic production has doubled. If these current trends continue, our oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050.
Mesh produce bags
News flash: Your fruits and veggies can be naked in your shopping cart! The plastic bags we often use to bag our produce are usually not recycled and they have a very short lifespan once you take them home. If you must bag your produce, opt for mesh bags. You can find them online or at most health food stores. Keep a few of them at home and in your car.
The products we keep in our bathroom are generally very plastic-heavy. An easy swap? A shampoo bar! These ones from LUSH are concentrated pucks of shampoo that can outlast two to three bottles of the liquid stuff—one bar will last up to 80 washes!
Disposable sponges are normally made from a combination of plastics, dyes and synthetic disinfectants. They typically aren’t recycled and they break down in landfills into tiny parts, leaching into the soil and water. A biodegrade cloth is a great eco solution.
Recycled paper-wrapped toilet paper
TP comes with more than one issue. First, it comes in a lot of plastic packaging. Secondly, it’s made with virgin trees, which come from old growth forests. Lastly, in many cases, bleach is used, which has a huge environmental footprint. Look for toilet paper that is wrapped in recycled paper.
These are typically not recycled—most people use them a few times and then toss ’em in the garbage. They’re also made from different types of material, which make them hard to recycle—not to mention the plastic wrapping they come in. Safety Razors are a great alternative. They can last a lifetime and actually give a good shave.