Ashley; owner and editor of Girlwithherviews blog on a white background, holding a reusable cup with a gold stainless steel straw. Single Use Plastics - IMG_4549
Bahamas,  lifestyle

The Steps I Am Taking to Quit Single Use Plastics

We all have a role to play to help alleviate the major problems that single use plastics create. This is why I decided I wanted to quit using single use plastics and have been taking steps since 2017 to do so. I haven’t completely phased single use plastics out of my life but I started to take steps to gradually remove single use plastics from my life. 

Shown in the photo is a bamboo utensil set that includes a fork, spoon, knife, chopsticks and straw in a red patterned carrying case, along with stainless steel straws and silicone food storage bags on a blue tiled background.  Single Use Plastics - IMG_4540

Here are a few ways you can wean yourself off of single use plastics: 

  1. Reusable Water Bottles – It can be stainless steel or glass. I use a Swell bottle because it keeps my water cold for 24+ hours. I also use a Tervis and a glass water bottle interchangeably. While Tervis is still made of plastic I will use it thousands of times before I need to dispose of it. 
  2. Reusable Straws – I started using stainless steel straws in 2017 and never looked back. There are other options like bamboo, glass and even biodegradable straws. I actually prefer the feel of the metal straws over plastic now.
  3. Reusable Containers – While most of my lunch containers are still plastic, I have started replacing them with smaller Pyrex dishes that have lids.
  4. Reusable Food Storage Bags – These bags are made of silicone and are super durable. They can be washed and reused over and over again.
  5. Tote Bags – I always have some sort of tote bag with me. I keep one in my car and in my office. They are multipurpose and it’s better to use a tote at the grocery store than having 30 plastic bags when you get home. 
  6. Mason Jars – In The Bahamas we are not at the point yet where we have shops catered to bulk purchase of grains, nuts, tea and coffee beans. You can use glass jars as drinking containers, for storing dry items from the store or even as decorations around your home.
  7. Metal or Bamboo Utensils – I take lunch to work quite often so this is not a huge problem for me. I started refusing disposable utensils at fast food and takeout spots a while now.

Related: Plastic Ban 2020 Is Just What We Need

Bonus Items:

My quest to use less plastic and disposable items in general has lead me to make some changes to persona hygiene items as well. I currently have replaced:

  • Cotton Rounds/Balls with reusable makeup remover pads. These are made of fabric and come in fun colors and patterns. Once you are done with them you can wash and reuse. I have not missed using cotton balls.
  • Plastic Tooth brushes have been replaced with bamboo tooth brushes, the ones that I use even come in a paper package. It took some getting used to at first because the shape of the handle is a bit different but now I’ve been using them for over a year and a half.
Shown are reusable fabric makeup remover rounds, a reusable makeup remover towel and bamboo toothbrushes on a blue tiled background. Single Use Plastics - IMG_4542

While it may not be possible for most people to completely rid their lives of plastic. It is possible for all of us to make an effort to reduce our use and find alternatives. Some companies have no issue allowing you to use your own cups and containers while others simply refuse. We have a long way to go to get to the point of not depending on plastics as a form of convenience. What steps are you taking to reduce your use of single use plastics and disposable items?

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