Plastic pollution flows into the world’s oceans and kills about one million sea creatures each year. Despite increased public awareness, consumers still use 5 trillion plastic bags annually—about 160,000 per second. Sadly, most plastic items never break down, and only one percent of plastic gets recycled yearly.
If the current rate of plastic consumption and disposal persists, the World Economic Forum projects that by 2040, almost 30 million metric tons of plastic will leak into the oceans yearly. If no action is taken, this alarming prediction will become a reality and cause even more aquatic deaths.
You can help curb the problem and preserve marine life by eliminating plastic baggies, bags, and wraps. Consider using one or more of these eco-friendly alternatives instead.
Reusable Grocery Totes and Produce Bags
Single-use plastic grocery bags are convenient and popular but bad for the earth. Did you know that it takes 1,000 years for a single bag to break down? Many U.S. states have already banned plastic grocery bags, which is a step in the right direction. However, a global plastic crisis still exists.
To do your part, take your own reusable grocery totes and produce bags on your next trip to the store. Brands like BeeGreen offer washable extra-large capacity totes that hold up to 50 lbs. in various colors, prints, and sizes. Simply Ecology offers Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) certified organic cotton muslin bags. The strong, lightweight totes feature nifty interior sleeves to keep bottles and other tall items upright during transport.
Likewise, you can trade those tricky-to-open plastic produce bags on the reel for reusable alternatives. Look for mesh produce bags that are washable and fold for easy storage.
Eco-Friendly “Baggie” Alternatives
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From sandwiches and snacks to crayons, craft items, and beyond, plastic baggies provide lots of storage solutions. Thankfully, reusable bags and containers offer an eco-friendlier option.
Look for an eco-friendly product that includes BPA-free, FDA-tested food-grade silicone freezer bags, silicone stretch food covers, and reusable silicone straws. The versatile storage bags come in three different sizes and are dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe.
If you prefer containers with lids to store leftovers, meal prep, and other foods, Verel offers an airtight set of 36 oz. plastic-free and BPA-free glass containers with bamboo lids. The containers are microwave, freezer, oven, and dishwasher safe. The non-porous, non-toxic glass is stain and odor-resistant - and the leakproof cover helps prevent spills. The eco-friendly bamboo lids can also double as cutting boards.
Sustainable Food Wrap
Large or odd-shaped bowls and containers often require a stretchy cover. Plastic wrap is a standard solution. However, it’s not an Earth-friendly choice. Beeswax wraps are a fantastic sustainable solution. Some vendors offer odorless, plastic-free food wraps that you can mold to fit many different sizes and shapes, and the sticky wraps boast a tight seal. Simply clean the wraps in cold water and let them dry before re-use.
Silicone stretch lids and bowl covers are another popular product. ExcelGadgets offers a plastic-free, lead-free, BPA-free, and Phthalate-free set of six lids. They stretch to fit a multitude of sizes and are dishwasher, freezer, and microwave-safe.
Earth-Friendly Pet Waste Bags
Part of caring for your pet is cleaning up their waste, and My AlphaPet offers an environmentally-savvy solution. Their corn starch dog poop bags are made from GM Free Corn and are 100 percent biodegradable. The thick and sturdy bags are compostable - which means they are also zero waste - and their large 9 x 13 size makes them suitable for doggie waste and cat litter clumps.
Cutting plastic consumption and reducing plastic waste is essential to leading an eco-friendly lifestyle. Swapping single-use disposable plastic bags, baggies, and sacks for reusable, sustainable alternatives is one simple thing you can do to reduce plastic pollution and help protect the planet.