The world is awash in plastic waste. Every year, we generate more than 300 million tons of plastic, much of which ends up in landfills or the ocean. To make matters worse, only 9% of all the plastic ever produced has been recycled.
So what can we do about all this plastic waste? One solution is to stop using disposable plastic items and switch to reusable alternatives. Another solution is to recycle the plastic we do use. However, recycling can be difficult, and not all plastics are recyclable.
In this article, we will discuss 9 zero waste solutions for the most difficult recycling jobs. We will also provide some tips on how to reduce your reliance on disposable plastic items.
Why Zero Waste?
Zero waste is an approach to reducing plastic pollution that emphasizes resource conservation and reduced consumption. The goal of zero waste is to reduce our reliance on disposable plastic items and to ensure that all materials we do use are either reused, recycled, or composted. Relying on zero-waste solutions reduces our reliance on disposables, which helps reduce the amount of plastic entering our oceans, landfills, and incinerators. Furthermore, transitioning to zero-waste solutions helps us use fewer resources by increasing the number of items that are reused or recycled.
The Benefits of Zero Waste
The benefits of transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle are numerous. The most obvious benefit is a reduction in plastic pollution, as fewer items are going to landfills and the ocean. Additionally, by reducing our reliance on disposable items and intentionally using existing resources, we can reduce our overall consumption, which is beneficial not only for the environment but also financially. This can help us save money while reducing our impact on the planet. Furthermore, zero-waste solutions can help promote social responsibility, as many of the solutions focus on conscious consumption, repurposing existing materials, and reuse. This promotes a more conscious and mindful approach to consumption, which can benefit communities and our overall outlook on consumption.
9 Zero Waste Solutions
There are many solutions to reduce plastic waste and transition to a zero-waste lifestyle. Here are 9 solutions for the most difficult recycling jobs:
• Refillable containers: Refillable bottles and containers are a great way to reduce single-use plastics like disposable water bottles. Keeping a few reusable bottles and containers on hand for everyday use can drastically reduce your plastic consumption.
• Compostable packaging: Compostable packaging is becoming increasingly popular and a great way to reduce your reliance on plastic packaging. This packaging is usually made from plant-based materials like wheat straw and is designed to be composted after it has served its purpose.
• Reusable grocery bags: Shopping bags are one of the most problematic types of plastic waste. Reusable shopping bags are the easiest and most effective way to reduce this type of waste.
• Reusable produce bags: Many people buy fruits and vegetables in plastic bags, which can quickly add up to a lot of waste. Investing in reusable produce bags is an easy way to reduce this type of waste.
• Refillable cleaning products: Many disposable cleaning products are packaged in wasteful plastic containers. Refillable cleaning products are an easy way to reduce this waste.
• Recycling programs: If you live in a city or town with a robust recycling program, participating in it is a great way to ensure that the plastic items you are using are properly recycled.
• Repair and repurpose: Rather than throwing out plastic items, try to repair or repurpose them. This can help reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills.
• Reusable straws: Plastic straws are a major source of plastic waste. Investing in reusable straws is an easy way to reduce your plastic waste.
• Curbside recycling: Most towns and cities offer curbside recycling services. Utilizing these services can help make it easier to recycle plastic items, be sure to check and see what your waste management company accepts.
How to Get Started with Zero Waste
Getting started with zero-waste solutions can seem daunting, but there are a few steps you can take to get started: First, start small making the transition to zero waste can seem overwhelming, so start with one or two reusable items and work your way up. Second, educate yourself on the potential zero-waste solutions available. This will help you make informed decisions and find the solutions that will work best for you. Third use less plastic, take stock of the plastic you use and try to find ways to reduce that number. Finally, get creative with your solutions and repurpose items whenever possible.
Are You Ready to Go Zero Waste?
Going zero waste is an easy way to reduce your reliance on disposables and make a difference in the environment. It can be daunting at first, but with some knowledge and effort, it’s possible to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle and make a meaningful difference. Are you ready to go to zero waste?
Recycling Resources for some hard-to-recycle products
Searching for how and where to recycle items like car seats, pots and pans, old broken toys, and other common household items.
Carseat recycling is available through a twice-a-year program sponsored by Target or through National Carseat Recycling Program, local Bay Area residents may request a free local pickup for Century car seats and baby gear.
Recycling old cookware and baking dishes can be tricky use Earth911 to find a local scrap metal drop-off location. Local pickup service may be offered in some areas or you can ship your items here.
How do I recycle old plastic toys? Mattel Playback Program will accept Barbie®, Matchbox®, and MEGA™ to learn more about their program. Got Legos you need to let go download a free shipping label from Lego Replay. For recycling all Hasbro brand toys and games, Spin Master toys and games, L.O.L. Surprise products and packaging, and VTech and LeapFrog electronic toys and learning devices we have joined forces with TerraCycle to collect and ship these items in bulk. Brand join Terracycle to create closed-loop solutions for their product lines.
How about those plastic parts of the price tags on my clothing? We are still researching this, some of those closures are nylon and others are plastic.
Plastic bags and films can be recycled search for your local drop-off location here.