Plastic – Reduce and Reuse

One of the things am deeply passionate about is the reduction of plastic in our life and of course to help others also reduce the use of plastic. While there are many “good” uses of plastic, using it literally everywhere is what creates the problem of non-biodegradable waste. With the pandemic, single use plastic is back with a bang because the virus obviously doesn’t survive on plastic !!

Large Size Containers – Reduce Plastic

For the past year plus, I have been buying 5 Litre cans of floor cleaning liquid, dishwashing liquid, toilet cleaner and liquid detergent. I have retained all the smaller plastic containers and simply refill them from the cans.

Plastic - Reduce and Reuse
The floor cleaner from Bubblenut is both organic and comes in a 5 litre can. The smaller Lizol container was bought a couple of years back.

I recommend the BubbleNut brand, as all its products are based on Soapnuts or Reetha. The five litre cans are very useful for storing water, oils or any liquid item. They can also be reused effectively.

Cream Refill – Reusing Plastic

We had bought the body cream at the Ritual brand store on Mariahilfer street in Vienna during our 2019 visit. Day 26 – Finding the man with a fish bowl. When I wanted to buy another body cream with a different fragrance, the sales lady told us that I can buy just the inner pot. The outer shell can remain and the inner refill pot can be replaced !

Plastic - Reduce and Reuse
Reusing the same outer container and just replacing the inner tub of cream.

I hope this gives additional ideas for cosmetics manufacturers to reduce the use of plastic and increase the reuse.

Reducing plastic usage at home

Some other practices that we have adopted to reduce and reuse plastic at home –

  1. Carry cloth bags for shopping fruits and vegetables. During the pandemic, this was challenged as we couldn’t go out to buy, but we have restarted this practise now.
  2. Buy groceries in bulk quantities. We buy 5 kilos of rice or wheat or pulses instead of 1 kg packs.
  3. No ordering of food from restaurants and if we do, we click on the option of not sending cutlery. Look for this option on Zomato.
  4. Gave up the microwave, so we have no plastic containers to cook in !
  5. The large plastic bags in which groceries are delivered are reused for storing vegetables in the fridge and then as garbage liners. This way it delays their journey to a landfill.

The pandemic has unfortunately increased the use of plastic with masks, face shields and PPE kits etc but we can reduce our usage of plastic in other areas to compensate. We have to do that as plastic is not just a environmental challenge but also a health challenge. Read this deeply disturbing article – ‘Cyborg babies’: Scientists find microplastics in mother’s womb for first time.

Reduce and Reuse Plastic.

#SayNoToPlastic #BanPlasticBags

2 thoughts on “Plastic – Reduce and Reuse”

  1. Bindu,
    As usual, I applaud your commitment to reducing plastic. I’m almost fanatical in my avoidance of it, but in the US, that’s almost impossible to do. I shop with canvas bags and have become creative with re-purposing packaging.

    Good point about the pandemic’s being a boon for the plastics and packaging industries. I highly recommend the book, “Plastic: A Toxic Love Story,” by Susan Freinkel, published in 2011. I had reason just a couple of days ago to re-read the blog I wrote about the book, in October, 2014.

    My search was prompted by reading on Stuart Bramhall’s site (stuartbramhall.wordpress.com) about US Congresswomen urging the FDA ban the use of certain plastics in medical equipment, like IV bags and tubing. I’d remembered reading something about the hormone-disrupting DEHP in Freinkel’s book.

    I read the book a long time ago, but it seems plastic breakdown products have many hormone-disrupting effects, not only on humans, but on marine animals who ingest so much plastic waste that their stomachs fill up with it. Besides its hormone-disrupting effects, the animals become malnourished because they are eating plastic instead of getting the nutrients they need.

    Reply
    • Katharine, I have the book. I bought it a couple of years back when you had mentioned about it on a blogpost of mine. I started to read it, and got very worried every few pages. I will make another attempt to read it in full and post a review. Plastic is so ubiquitous that we don’t see it as a problem … then there are new ideas of turning plastic waste into some wearable product (yikes!!!) or something that can be used again. I feel turning plastic waste into something wearable etc will just make people use plastic more and more. We need to just stop producing single use plastic. It has some beneficial uses in industries – let it just remain there and not get into our homes and consequently into food.

      This is a tough battle though. Not many people even now think of plastic as a problem. That needs to be addressed first. If there are no single use plastic bags manufactured, then people will find other things to substitute. If plastic bags become available and we are hoping for people to change their behaviour, we might as well migrate to Mars before that happens. 🙁

      Stay well, my friend and we will keep trying to reduce our use of plastic and keep trying to encourage as many people as we can.

      Reply

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