Plastic. It’s become the dirty word of our generation – and with good reason. Since the invention of the first manmade plastic in 1862, over 8 billion tons of plastic have been produced, with 9.5 million tons entering the ocean each year, according to researchers. The sad truth is, plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, so most (if not all) of it is still around, in some form or another.
And although we all know that we should ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’, the best thing to do is to ‘refuse’ all single-use plastics instead. This week’s #8Shades8Weeks challenge is all about doing just that, and it’s as easy as BYOB (that’s ‘b’ for bottle) when you head out the door. With the prize being a customised 8Shades water bottle from Casetify, be sure to sign up now to get started!
To help you on your way to getting rid of more single-use plastics in your life, check out these eight simple swaps:
Plastic water bottles
Stop buying plastic water bottles at the convenience store and bring your own bottle instead. This uber-cool Casetify bottle is not only customisable with your name – it comes in two sizes and keeps your drinks hot or cold for several hours, too.
Say no to plastic straws and cast a mean side-eye to whoever gives you one, while you’re at it. Think about whether it’s really needed – could a tall spoon do the trick instead, perhaps? Otherwise, bring along a flexible silicon straw instead to use on-the-go (bamboo and stainless steel straws also work).
Plastic shopping bags
Going to the grocery store? Why use a flimsy plastic shopping bag when you can bring your own reusable ones? We love these foldable shopping bags from G.O.D. that show off your love for Hong Kong at the same time.
Plastic produce bags
Those thin plastic bags for bagging produce are among the worst single-use plastics out there. Instead, opt for some mesh produce bags that are specifically made for holding your fresh fruits and vegetables. The Re-Sack produce bags are made from organic cotton that are biodegradable and recyclable.
Plastic cling wrap
Give up on flimsy cling wrap for good with the more sustainable beeswax wraps from Sustomi. Available at Slowood, they are made from 100 percent organic cotton, Tasmanian beeswax, jojoba oil and natural tree resin, and perfect for wrapping cheese, veggie wraps or as bowl covers.
Make the switch from single-use plastic utensils to bamboo once and for all. Bamboo is fast-growing, strong and durable, and it won’t stain or get warped over time. This BAMBAROO set comes with everything you’ll need including a knife, fork, spoon, straw, straw-cleaner, chopsticks, and toothbrush – and even a case to carry around town in style.
Plastic sandwich bags
Unlike an ordinary sandwich bag, a Stashr bag can hold soups, marinade meats and even be used for sous vide cooking. Available in a variety of eye-pleasing colours, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit all your kitchen needs.
Plastic takeaway containers
Going out for lunch can be a little more guilt-free if you bring your own container. For hot meals, opt for glass containers with snap-on lids to keep things splash-free, or if you’re enjoying a cold/room-temperature meal, we recommend and love the multi-tiered designs of monbento’s original bento box.
What are you waiting for? Sign up for the #8Shades8Weeks challenge today to start making these simple swaps for single-use plastics, and you might just win a few prizes while you’re at it!
See also: Plastic-Free July: 8 Ways To Take Part