Seven Recycling Mistakes You’re Probably Making There’s no doubt about it — plastic water bottles, take-out containers and to-go coffee cups are super convenient. But since plastic is basically non-biodegradable, the world currently has five giant gyres (whirlpools of waste) floating around in the ocean. The EU is considering a full-on ban on many types of single-use plastic. And here’s the thing: it’s actually really easy to reduce the plastic waste you produce on a daily basis. We’ve rounded up ten simple (and cute!) reusable items to get you started.
1. Cut plastic packaging and switch to bar soaps
Hand soap, body soap, face soap, shampoo bars and even solid conditioners all come in bar form — sans plastic.
2. Buy in bulk — and try reusable containers
You don’t even have to spend money on this one if you don’t want to. Bringing an old spaghetti sauce jar to bulk stores for things like pasta, rice and other dried goods is an easy way to cut out food packaging. (Make sure to have your empty container weighed first so you’re not charged for the extra weight).
Bulk Barn glass cylinder jar, $5, bulkbarn.ca.
3. Ditch the plastic freezer bags
If hand washing used resealable bags isn’t your style, these silicone versions are leakproof and heat resistant. They’re also dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe.
Stasher Aqua silicone reusable bag 15oz, $17, indigo.ca.
4. Use fabric grocery bags
Plus, it’ll double as a cute tote.
Baggu tote, $14, indigo.ca.
5. Carry a reusable water bottle
Think of how much money you spend on buying bottled water — and how much money and plastic you’d save by tossing a cute water bottle in your bag.
Photo, mybkr.comBkr water bottle, $45, detoxmarket.ca.
6. Ditch the plastic wrap
These innovative Etee food wraps take food preservation to the next level by using organic cotton, essential oils, soy wax, and tree resins to keep your food fresh. They are easy to wash, last for roughly 120-150 uses, and are completely compostable.
Etee reusable food wrap, $26, shopetee.com.
7. Invest in a glass or metal straw
Think of all those iced coffees you drink in the summer! Opt for a glass or metal straw that you can carry around in your purse stored in one of these.
Glass straw, $7, glasssipper.ca.
8. Quit plastic sponges
Instead of disposable plastic sponges, try using a dishcloth that you can throw in the wash and a washable, reusable pot scrubber for tougher-to-clean residue.
World’s Best flat pot scrubbers, $4, kitchensmart.ca.
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9. Leave a coffee mug at your desk
Coffee shops often give discounts if you bring your own mug. (Contrary to popular belief, single-use coffee cups aren’t usually recyclable; in some places, neither are black plastic lids.) Think of how many cups you could divert from landfills each week by bringing your own.
KeepCup Brew Cork 16oz mugs, $36, eightouncecoffee.ca.
10. Bring your own cutlery set
While you can always just bring a fork from home, bamboo cutlery is lightweight and easy to pack. A washable carrying case also lets you throw everything into your bag after lunch without making a mess.
Bamboo cutlery set, $12, bohoandhobo.ca.