It’s no secret plastic is bad for the environment. It takes years to break down, it doesn’t biodegrade, and plastic pollution has spread into every corner of our planet.
We humans are now living in a plastic world – one that may be hard to escape from. The problem with plastic is not just environmental; it can also have an impact on human health. But there are plenty of products out there that don’t use plastic!
In this blog post, we’ll explore the effects of plastic on the environment and humans and how you can make healthier choices by switching over to plastic-free alternatives for your everyday needs.
The Problem With Plastic
By now, we are all aware of plastic’s harmful effects on the environment. Many documentaries, articles, and research have covered the negative impact of plastic waste on Earth, and more and more people are working towards a plastic-free future.
Plastic is the second most prevalent form of pollution in our oceans. In addition to harming wildlife and the environment as a whole, plastic also has several adverse effects on human health.
Plastic contains toxic chemicals that enter the body through ingestion or inhalation. These include phthalates which are endocrine disruptors that can affect hormones like estrogen and testosterone; bisphenol A (BPA), which affects brain development in infants; polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC), which emits carcinogenic fumes when burned at low temperatures; leaded gasoline additives such as tetraethyllead (TEL), hexavalent chromium, and benzene.
In addition to all of these harmful chemicals in plastic packaging, many forms of plastic require petroleum – a non-renewable resource – for their production process. Petroleum extraction has been linked to increased levels of CO emissions (global warming). It degrades habitats, pollutes drinking water sources, and emits toxic gas when burned at low heat settings during recycling procedures.
The good news is that we can take action against such problems by making lifestyle changes, for example, by using plastic-free products whenever possible!
What does it mean to live a plastic-free life?
Living plastic-free means using plastic alternatives and adopting a minimal to zero waste lifestyle whenever possible. People who choose to ditch plastics use options such as wood, glass, paper, metal, and bamboo, to name just a few.
Many great alternative options are available for some products, such as plastic bottles, plastic bags at the grocery store, plastic straws, or takeout containers!
These products can be found at local stores, while others need to be purchased online from eco-friendly manufacturers who make handmade and zero waste items.
While some people might think that it’s hard to cut out the plastic habit, this is really not the case as plastic-free essentials are readily available in today’s market. They come in all shapes and sizes, colors, and prices to suit your plastic-free lifestyle needs!
Plus, they have tons of benefits for you and the environment.
The Benefits of Plastic Free Products
A plastic-free lifestyle can bring a lot of positive effects for you and the environment. You’ll feel good knowing you’re doing your part to reduce plastic waste from landfills, oceans, beaches – everywhere! Here are five main benefits of choosing plastic-free items over single-use plastic.
They’re healthier for you
Plastic products are made with plasticizers that can leach out of plastic packaging into food or drinks and damage the liver, kidneys, immune system, and reproductive organs. Some studies show that plastics even cause cancer!
A plastic-free lifestyle reduces your risk of exposure to harmful chemicals linked to developmental problems as well as increased infertility rates among adults.
You’ll reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Producing plastic emits greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
When you use plastic-free products, you reduce the amount of plastic waste in our environment, lowering methane emissions associated with landfill decomposition. This is beneficial for slow-moving glaciers and rising sea levels!
They’re better for your wallet
Think about how many plastic bottles or bags we go through per year – it’s a lot!
While plastic packaging has become increasingly affordable over time, plastic products cost more than their plastic-free counterparts when considering production and transportation costs. Your money will be going towards something much more worthwhile instead of lining the pockets of corporations who prioritize profits over people and the planet. Plastic-free items such as a stainless steel lunch box or reusable plastic-free bags can save you tons of money instead of going for products made with plastics.
They’re kinder to animals
Plastic-free items are a great way to reduce plastic waste in the ocean and harm marine life.
It’s estimated that plastic debris kills more than 100,000 sea turtles each year, which is just terrible! By using plastic-free products instead of plastic ones, you’ll be doing your part for animals who live on land or in the ocean!
They’re more sustainable for the environment
When plastic products are recycled, they can only be turned into plastic pellets or bottles, which means that it’s still plastic. On the other hand, plastic-free items don’t fall victim to recycling limitations and can instead be composted at home using worms or by throwing them in with your yard waste.
How To Live A Plastic-Free Lifestyle
It’s pretty simple. Start small. You can replace plastic bags from your local grocery store with plastic-free reusable cotton bags.
You can also start bringing your own containers to work instead of using plastic utensils and plastic containers for leftovers or takeout meals. You’ll be amazed at how much plastic you actually use on a daily basis!
To really make an impact, it’s essential to reduce the amount of plastic we consume and reuse items as many times as possible before recycling them.
This way, they won’t end up in our landfills or oceans, where they will harm wildlife and humans alike! So what are some tremendous plastic-free essentials?
10 Plastic-Free And Zero Waste Essentials You Need In
Interested in joining the plastic-free revolution but don’t know where to begin?
Here are ten plastic-free items you can start using immediately! They will help you live a plastic-free lifestyle without sacrificing the things that matter most.
A reusable bag is great for shopping in bulk or when grocery shopping.
Instead of using plastic bags that can harm animals, opt for plastic-free cotton or cloth bags. These bags can be used over and over again, so they’ll save you money in the long run, and they’re better for the environment!
Reusable Water Bottle
Plastic bottles are bad for the environment and can harm wildlife. It is said the plastic water bottles are the number one plastic item found in the ocean.
Instead of plastic, invest in reusable bottles that you can use over and over again! You can purchase plastic-free stainless steel bottles or glass bottles in your local grocery store or even in online zero-waste stores.
Most commercial toothbrushes are made from plastic which can contribute to plastic pollution.
Instead of purchasing plastic toothbrushes, opt for a bamboo one! Not only are they plastic-free, but bamboo can also be a completely sustainable resource.
Stainless Steel Straws
Ditch disposable straws and settle for plastic-free stainless steel straws!
Not only are plastic straws harmful, but they can also be dangerous for humans. There have been many cases of people ingesting plastic pieces that broke off from plastic drinking straws, which is why it’s best to just stick with reusable alternatives like these ones instead.
You can use a reusable stainless steel straw at home or when out and about instead of plastic ones. They come in different styles and colors, so you can pick the one that best suits your needs.
Eco-Friendly Menstrual Products
This plastic item is controversial as some people feel like it’s really not plastic, but either way, these products are better for the environment because they’re reusable and plastic-free! They don’t contain harsh chemicals from plastic products, so they’re better for your body and the environment.
These items are not plastic-free, but they can be composted instead of being thrown out! They include organic cotton tampons, pads, menstrual cups, cloth pads, and even reusable sanitary napkins that you can wash just like a regular towel.
Glass storage containers such as glass jars are another plastic-free alternative to plastic Tupperware.
Instead of using plastic containers, opt for glass ones instead! They’re safer and better for the environment because they don’t release chemicals into food like plastic.
They’re also great if you need to store things in the freezer or microwave as well.
Compostable trash bags
Instead of plastic trash bags, opt for compostable or plant-based ones!
These are plastic-free and can be used to line your kitchen trash bin. They’re a great way to keep the environment clean because they don’t contribute plastic waste into landfills or oceans as plastic ones do. Plus, compostable plastic bags can help you make your own compost heap at home and create a natural fertilizer for plants!
Plastic-free skincare products
You can also go plastic-free in beauty and skincare products!
Zero waste brands such as Lush Cosmetics use recycled paper for packaging instead of plastic. They also use recycled aluminum for their lids and plastic-free, compostable labels. Plus, all their products are palm oil-free, meaning they don’t contribute to plastic pollution or endanger wildlife.
Stainless steel cutlery
Another plastic-free alternative is stainless steel utensils that can actually be used to replace plastic ones.
Instead of using plastic spoons, knives, and forks at home or when you’re out for a meal, opt for metal alternatives instead! Not only are they better for the environment, but they also make much more sense considering how reusable they are.
You can also opt for plastic-free cups made from glass, bamboo, or even stainless steel!
These are great if you’re looking to reduce plastic waste. Not only are they plastic-free, but you can use them over and over again, so there’s no need to keep buying single-use disposable plastic ones anymore. Plus, they come in various styles and colors, so you can choose the plastic-free cup that best suits your needs.
How and where can I buy products without plastic?
Now that you know about plastic-free alternatives for so many plastic products, you can start shopping plastic-free!
Try to look for the closest plastic-free shop in your area. You can also look for online plastic-free and zero waste stores and products on the internet.
Hopefully, this article has inspired you to make a change and ditch all of those plastic products that are harming the planet. Plastic is only going to get worse if we keep using it at such an alarming rate.
Luckily for us, there are so many wonderful alternatives out there like the ones we’ve listed on this blog post! The best part? You’ll be helping protect our environment while also saving money!