Lids. Why do I keep lids with missing containers lying around at home? They have no use, they only serve to confuse when I’m looking for the other half…
Plastic tapas plates from a party two years back. Yes, I saved them because I thought they would be useful at some point, but have I used them? No, I haven’t. Not at all, and there is more to come! You wait and see. Plastic serving platters, plastic cutlery, plastic cups and other plastic dishes. How much plastics does one person consume in a lifetime? I’ve consumed enough and so has the environment. Yes, plastics are light-weight and cost-effective and are perfect material for parties as they are disposable and can be thrown away immediately after having used it once. However, there are many problems associated with plastics. For example, a lot of it (and I mean A LOT of it) end up in landfills and in natural habitats; it creates physical problems for wildlife resulting from ingestion or entanglement in plastic; plastic products cause leaching of chemicals and there is a potential for plastics to transfer chemicals to wildlife and humans.
So what can we as responsible consumers do about this? I’m not perfect and I can’t undo learned behaviour and I can’t return previous purchases of plastic material, but it is not too late to start and I’ve already started. We can take small steps towards making the world a better place to live.
These are examples of things that we can do to reduce our environmentally destructive consumer behaviour regarding plastics and plastic bags:
- Do you get your coffee on the run? Use keep-cups!
- Take your own bags with you when you go shopping.
- Always keep a small bag with you wherever you go – you never know when you need it.
- Throwing a party? Be kind to the environment, ditch the plastics and use wooden cutlery and plates.
- Be a responsible consumer – inform others!
- Don’t buy bottled water if you don’t need to – in Australia (and other countries) we are lucky that we can top up our own bottles with drinkable water.