6 Tips For Living Without Plastic

Mischa Josephs

Mischa Josephs

Have you ever experienced walking on the beach, the sun is setting and its extremely beautiful, and then BAM!!! An empty plastic chips packet gets stuck on your shoe.

Plastic is one of the top pollution issues we have in this world. Our lakes, rivers and oceans are filled with plastic and all the animals that are somehow connected to these water spots are affected with polluted water.

The plastic boom started after World War 2, and now it’s everywhere!!! Plastic is cheap and easy to find, and with that being said we end up using so much of it because it’s easy to just toss away and buy a new batch. On that note, glass and steel costs much more but it lasts a lot longer, it is also constantly reusable and recyclable.

Since 1950 there has been 9.1billion tons of plastic items made; of that, about 7 billion tons are no longer used and was never recycled or reused; they were simply just tossed away and now its suffocating our Earth.

Plastic waste in the waters around the Earth has shown to harm more than 600 species of marine life. How? You may be asking

When these plastic items end up in our oceans, seas, rivers, etc. they are then broken down by the sun and salt in the water causing a gross mixture of plastic mush. This is basically a bad mix of chemicals and toxins which end up floating around in the water systems; I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to be swimming around in that.

Source: http://www.exploringcircle.com/plastics-in-water

Let’s get back to the plastics that have not yet broken down and are just floating about. Plenty of times when animals like birds are looking for food and cannot dive deep enough, they browse around near the surface of the water and they end up getting entangled in the larger debris, and the smaller pieces can easily be mistaken for food, they then end up eating it and either choking or they get some form of internal damage.

So think about this for a second; You buy a Iced coffee at your nearest Dunkin Donuts, you then throw away the disposable plastic cup and the dirt truck then comes to pick up the dirt, Somehow that cup along with a few other items fall off the truck and end up in the ocean, fish start pecking at it and they get contaminated with the plastic pieces, fishermen catch those fish and sell it to your favourite fisheries, you go and buy a fish and chips parcel and then a few months down the line you end up with some serious health problems and it is unexplained what the cause could be…

With this in mind, how are we going to change our habits and make a difference?

Well the 6 R’s of course!!!

1 Refuse what you don’t need: Turn down freebies, promo pamphlets, straws, and other items you will probably end up throwing out.

2 Reduce what you do need:


  • Instead of using the plastic bags they offer at super markets for your groceries which could take years to decompose opt for the reusable cloth bags and remember to keep a few of these in your car when going shopping.
  • Invest in some acrylic or steel straws and carry it with you when you are heading out with some friends, that way you will be reducing the amount of disposable plastic straws being used and thrown away.
  • Instead of your regular plastic wrap opt for a reusable food wrap made from beeswax.
  • Use reusable BPA water bottles instead of the disposable plastic bottles, this will be a big help to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Bring cutlery from home if you are going on a picnic or to a restaurant you know only has plastic cutlery that ends up being tossed away, you will be reducing the amount of plastic cutlery that ends up in dumpsites.
  • Reduce the amount of paper you bring into your home by downloading eBooks and receiving and sending emails instead of paper mail.
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels

3 Reuse what you already have: have some extra jars laying around? Reuse them for storage purposes or take it with you when you go grocery shopping, instead of using the plastic bags given for nuts and sweets you can just fill up your jar. Jars can be measured before being filled up.

Recycle what you can: How many toothbrushes does an average person use in his/her lifetime? A lot!!! Try switching out your regular plastic toothbrush for a wooden or bamboo toothbrush, these are recyclable and decomposable; keep your mouth clean while knowing that you are making a difference.

Repair what broke: Trash is inevitable, but we can definitely reduce it by repairing things that break instead of tossing it out and buying new.

6 Rot the rest: Dig a hole in your back yard and use this for anything that is not reusable but is decomposable, such as food scraps, this hole will serve as a compost hole to fertilize your soil.

Photo by Lukas from Pexels

I know it can be tough to break habits and to change things you have literally been doing all your life but take it one step at a time, concentrate on reducing and everything else will fall into place.


If you have any tips you would like to share with me please drop me a mail to hello@infinitecreations.co.za or leave your comment on any of my social media channels.

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