Does Reducing Your Use of Single-Use Plastic Help That Much?
Many people may wonder just how much of a difference they can make by reducing the amount of single-use plastic they use. They know it will make some difference, but can it make that much? When you consider the amount of plastic already polluting our oceans and the resources it takes to produce more, our goal should be to do whatever it takes to help reduce the amount of waste we are personally responsible for. Here is why it is important to reduce single-use plastic and how you can do so with Pirani Life.
Why is it important to reduce single-use plastic?
Three main points why it is necessary to reduce single-use plastic are:
So Much Plastic Pollutes Our Oceans and Beaches Already
If we take the time to clean up our beaches and oceans, this only works so well so long as no additional plastics are produced and thrown away. The single-use plastics we currently use are produced on a need basis, because we think we need more plastic when in fact most of it has been disposed of improperly and causing a massive pollution issue. We need to reduce what we currently use to plateau the effect of existing plastics already.
How Long Does It Take Plastic To Break Down?
At least 450 years.
You read that correctly. That’s the rough estimate of how long it takes plastic to decompose, and even that depends greatly on a number of factors such as is the plastic in a landfill or in the ocean. According to National Geographic, “It's unclear how long it will take for that plastic to completely biodegrade into its constituent molecules. Estimates range from 450 years to never.”
The plastic bottle you plan to use one time because you can’t imagine your one decision having a massive impact on the planet, will outlive you. Now think of everyone on the planet thinking the same, that they can’t have that much of an impact if it’s just them. But it’s all of us. We are all responsible for the waste we produce and how we dispose of it, and it really can make that much of a difference.
The Number of Resources It Takes To Produce Plastic
On the opposite side of how long it takes to break down, even just producing a single plastic bottle takes so many resources which are causing more harm than good. Plastics are made from non-renewable resources such as crude oil, gas, and coal. From there, the energy it takes to transport the bottles from the factory to where it will be sold and distributed is more gas and labor, only for you to use the bottle once and then throw it away. Rather than use valuable resources for a one-time buy, why not consider sustainable alternatives?
How can I use less single-use plastic?
Consciously making active efforts to avoid single-use plastic can take some time to adjust to because we live in a society where plastic is everywhere. Most of the time we don’t have much control over it like the packaging at the grocery store on the food we need. In these situations, do your best to avoid excess packaging and contribute to further waste, or purchase from stores with bulk food options and bring your own container. For yourself, the best thing you can do is avoid using plastic where you can.
Take your lunch for example. How often do you resolve to use a plastic sandwich bag or saran wrap? Rather than continuing to use those, switch to reusable containers that are easy to wash or cover food in your fridge with another plate if it’s short term. Consider using that old peanut butter jar or yogurt container as Tupperware. Say no to plastic straws and go without, or invest in a metal one. Bring your own bags and reusable cup with you everywhere and consider buying local from fruit stands to avoid packaging.
We use single-use plastics because they’re quick, cheap, and easy to dispose of. Taking the extra time and money we can to make more conscious efforts to reduce the amount of plastic we use does make all the difference. It not only affects climate change and can be harmful to ocean life, but also breaks down into micro-plastics ending up in our food chain and on our dinner plates.
Why Buy Sustainable Party Cups?
Pirani Life started our efforts to live more sustainably by creating reusable tumblers that you can take with you anywhere and know that your drink will remain hot or cold, just the way you like it! Our BPA-free vacuum insulated tumblers keep your drink cold for up to 12 hours and hot for up to six hours and without “sweating” so your hands stay dry. You can purchase a 4-, 8- or 12-pack for a reduced price so everyone in the family can have one or so you can cycle through your tumblers rather than wait to wash them. They also come in a variety of colors to best match your personal style!
Progress is Being Made Because We’re Making Changes
Reducing our plastic consumption is the most effective means of avoiding this waste and the only reason we continue to make progress is because active efforts are being made to be better. If we don’t all do our part to take action now, there won’t be a healthy planet for future generations to enjoy.
Carrying reusable bags and bottles is one great way to avoid single-use plastics in our day-to-day lives, but it goes deeper to conscientiously work through how we can live sustainably in a number of ways. Help clean up your local beach or donate to a nonprofit you admire - do both when you purchase a party tumbler from Pirani! It may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s not about being perfect. It’s about trying your best and taking small steps in the right direction.