Top 10 plastic items in our everyday life

Let’s replace, reduce, reuse and recycle 

We believe in people. We believe that people are born with a good heart. That doesn’t mean that everything we do is good though. It is time for us to take a look in the mirror and take a hard look at what we are doing, even though we don’t notice what is really happening. The everyday usage of plastics goes through the roof, something we can definitely reduce by taking the right steps, and step number one is building awareness.

Even though a lot of people become more aware of the consequences of plastic, there is still a lot of plastic around us, which doesn’t strike us as that much. Blue Marché has put together a top-10 of plastic items, which are used heavily and how we could avoid them.

1.Plastic bags
This might be an obvious one, but the numbers may also shock you. The average Dutch person throws away 1.5 kilos of plastic bags into bulky waste every year. One and a half kilos does not even soundthat much, but these are 230 plastic bags. This means 4 to 5 plastic bags that we throw away per week. Therefore, always take reusable bags, made of (recycled) cotton or jute for example, with you to the stores. Check out Smir for their nice reusable bags.

reusable plastic bag

 

2. Synthetic clothing
During the years, we started making more and more clothing materials out of plastic, like polyester. It is estimated that approx.1500 fibers get lost with each washing. The fibers go through our waterways to the oceans, to eventually get eaten by fish and other sea life. Of course, not washing your clothes is not an option, but it is an option to buy more clothing made of cotton or bamboo. It’s also a good idea to invest in more durable clothing and less in fast fashion items.

3. Paint
Did you know that latex and acrylic paint are basically liquid plastic? If you didn’t, then you know now. When you are washing the paintbrush in the sink you are sending billions of micro plastic particles into the system. Natural paint can be used instead, which is very eco-friendly.

4.Plastic Straws
Another big ocean polluter are straws. Straws are typically used for not more than 20 minutes! You get your drink, finish it, and then the straw has done its job. The straw’s reward is to idle around in a big sea, surrounded by awesome wildlife. We can also choose an alternative for plastic straws, such as  disposable options like wheat straw and reed straws. But even better always carry your one reusable straw made of bamboo or stainless steel.

bamboo smoothie straw

5. Toothbrushes 
This is the first and last plastic item you use everyday. Around 1 billion toothbrushes get thrown away annually in the US. With the rest of the world included, we are on a few billion toothbrushes that end up as waste. And where do people find 20 to 100 daily? On the beaches of Hawaii. Not brushing your teeth anymore - just like not washing your clothes – is not an option. But we can use alternative toothbrushes, like bamboo, to start and end our days less plastic-y.

6. Plastic bottles.
This one speaks for itself really because you see them all around you, PET bottles. Try to bring your own bottle and reuse it! There are many beautiful brands who stepped up and are making nice designed bottles. 24bottles is one of them. 24Bottles is the Italian brand with the aim of reducing the impact of disposable plastic bottles on the planet and our lives. Their collection is very tasteful and even have cute designs for the little ones. 

24bottles reusable water bottle

Source: Picture from 24bottles

7. Tires
Car tires are a scary one. Each year 2 billion car tires are produced globally. These tires are used everyday in traffic and when they wear off, the plastic tire dust releases. We inhale this invisible dust and it gets washed into our waterways. If possible, try using your car less. This also reduces your costs for gasoline.

8. Cosmetics
Yes, we also apply plastic to our faces and bodies, as there are microbeads in cosmetic products. It is therefore definitely worth reading the label of your products before applying it. Nowadays there are multiple eco-friendly brands who strive for the best clean cosmetics without compromising quality of the product. Iliabeauty is on mission to make clean beauty the norm. They offer a range of colors from neutral to vibrant. A great clean skincare brand with also a beautiful mission is one ocean beauty.

One Ocean Beauty products line

Source: One Ocean beauty

9. Disposable coffee cups and lids
Do you often drink your coffee-to-go? We do too. Nowadays a lot of these companies changed these plastic cups to eco-friendly ones. Some of them still use cups with plastic inner lining though. Handy for not leaking but bad for the environment. And those lids on top of your cup: definitely plastic! A good alternative is to take your coffee with you in your own, reusable, non-plastic cup. Also encourage your local coffee shop to switch to eco-friendly to-go cups. 

10. Product packaging
Last but not least. Almost every product comes in a packaging. Plastic containers, milk bottles, soda bottles, chips bags, bread bags, even Tupperware, it’s all plastic. It would be impossible to stop using them all together but there are great alternatives such as eco-friendly stores or reusable and refillable packaging.