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  • Writer's pictureThe Last Straw

100 days, 100 ways: Don’t get yourself wrapped in plastic

Plastic bags are among the most common objects that we can find in our homes, offices, vehicles, and even in our yards. Yes, they are cheap, light and they help us carry our stuff more easily. Sorry to say however, but plastic bags are only a short-term benefit. In the long run, plastic is not disposable and will linger on Earth for a very long time.

China is the worst ocean plastic polluter while Malaysia is ranked eighth among the top 10 worst polluters, according to study performed two years ago.

As plastic is composed of major toxic pollutants, it has the potential to cause great harm to the environment in the form of air, water and land pollution. According to researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), eight million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans every year. That’s equivalent to 16 shopping bags full of plastic for every metre of coastline.

So, what can you do to protect our environment? What can you do to save the oceans from being filled with plastic? You can tweak your lifestyle to make a difference so follow these simple tips to reduce the amount of plastic waste in your life.

Wean yourself off disposable plastics

Ninety percent of the plastic items in our daily lives are used only once before they are discarded. These include grocery bags, plastic wraps, disposable cutlery and drinking straws. Take note of how often you rely on these products and replace them with reusable versions. You only need to bring your own bags to the store, silverware to the office, or travel mug to your favourite coffeeshop a few times before these actions become good habits.

Bring your own container

Use your own reusable containers if you plan on ordering takeout if you need to bring food home with you. Plastic or polystyrene food containers are among the worst offenders of ocean pollution.

Buy boxes, not bottles

The next time you go shopping for laundry detergent or dish soap, get them in cardboard boxes instead of plastic bottles. Cardboard is more easily recycled than plastic.

Reuse glass containers

Lots of prepared foods come packaged in glass jars instead of plastic ones, including spaghetti sauce, and peanut butter, just to name a few. Instead of throwing these away or recycling them, why not reuse the jars to store your food? If you have plastic containers leftover from your mayonnaise, peanut butter or pasta sauce, don’t throw them out!

Pack your lunch the right way

If the meal you brought from home is full of disposable plastic items such as cutlery, it's time to make a change. Instead of packing snacks and sandwiches in plastic bags, put them in reusable containers. Also, go for fresh fruit instead of single-serving fruit cups, they’re healthier and greener too!

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