As many of us are aware, single-use plastics make a huge environmental impact, and it’s not a positive one. Over 380 million tons of plastic are produced each year, and about half of that is single-use (1). This means that about 190 million tons of single-use plastic are made each year, and then thrown away. Plastic doesn’t break down easily, so these plastics stick around for at least a couple of hundred years after you throw them away. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t be producing this obscene amount of plastic, nor would we be partaking in the purchase of it.
However, single-use plastics are woven into core functions of our life. When you order something online, it’s likely to come wrapped in single-use plastic. Going out to eat? When they give you a straw, it’s probable it’ll be wrapped in plastic. Going shopping? Stores, grocery and retail alike, often have plastic bags, too.
While it’s difficult to cut them out completely, we can take some action to minimize the effects.
Read on to learn __ ways to reuse single-use plastic in your everyday life.
Many products, especially food products, come in single-use plastic containers. However, these containers can often be reused in a multitude of ways. Think of the last time you bought a tub of greek yogurt, or maybe a container of sour cream, or a jug of coffee creamer. Did you consider how you could reuse those products once the food component ran out? Well, you should be! A tub of greek yogurt can convert to a cylindrical tupperware once you’ve finished off the yogurt. This works especially well for liquid-based foods that may not work as well in a typical square-shaped tupperware. Think chili, soups, or even juices or smoothies. Just make sure to let any hot items cool off before putting them in a single-use container, as they’re likely not made to withstand the heat. Likewise, a sour cream container could be used to prep and store dips, and a coffee creamer container can hold snacks, or be used to bring seasonings on-the-go.
Fun with the kids
With kids home for the summer, and even some kids still participating in online classes rather than going to school, you might be struggling to keep them entertained. There are countless DIY projects that can be done with single-use plastics. Does your kid have a bit of a green finger? You can make your own miniature terrarium in a used water bottle. Are they in need of organization for school supplies? Help them make a pencil case out of used water or soda bottles! Have an artist on your hands? The bottom of a water bottle can be used to create beautiful designs when used as a paint stamp. The shape resembles a flower, but you can get creative.
Make use of bottle caps
When people think of reusing single-use plastic, many people think of plastic water bottles. However, we don’t always think of a key component of water bottles- the cap. When fashioned together, caps can actually be quite catching to the eye. You can learn how to make a lamp out of bottle caps here.