Plastic is everywhere; it’s in our groceries, in our workplaces, and it’s littered in our homes. From cling wrap, zip-lock bags, grocery bags, plastic packaging, coffee pods, plastic beverage bottles and plastic straws, we are consuming and generating significant amounts of landfill-bound waste just within our kitchen alone. With only 9% of our plastic being recycled, this indicates we need to make some significant changes to our consumption habits. Rather than trying to go cold-turkey, however, look to ease your way in, or out, of using plastic by choosing one type of single-use plastic in your kitchen, setting yourself the goal of switching to a sustainable alternative, and developing that habit before moving onto the next item.
An easy starting place is to make sure everything you use is reusable. Switch to reusable shopping bags and material produce pouches instead of plastic bags, glass or reusable plastic containers instead of plastic zip-lock bags, metal straws instead of plastic ones, and reusable bee wax covers or compostable cling wrap instead of regular plastic cling wrap. Saving empty glass condiment jars for example, are a great, affordable way of transitioning to reusable food storage.
Once you have the resources to support your transition, stop buying single-use plastic items. Cut out zip-lock bags, cling wrap, plastic straws and plastic fruit and vegetable bags from your shopping basket. Although it may seem daunting not having these items in the pantry for easy storage solutions, you will quickly realise that the alternatives outlined previously do just as good of a job, if not better!
Lastly, looking to switch to bulk buying with paper bags or return and refill services are great ways to cut out the additional, single-use plastics that find their way into our bins. Local markets, health food stores, and even some major supermarkets are offering consumers the chance to bulk buy with paper bags or provide return and refill products. Conducting some research on what stores and brands offer this form of shopping will make the journey of completely clearing your kitchen of plastic significantly more achievable.