8 Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Waste
Here at APECS we are dedicated to reducing the amount of plastic used in both our manufacturing and shipping process as well as in our offices around the world. The issue with plastic is becoming a bigger and bigger problem and if something doesn’t change, then humans could do irreparable damage to the planet.
Our War on Plastic will see APECS reduce the amount of plastic used in our packaging by up to 80% as well as moving all of the plastic we do use over to 100% recycled sources. We have also reduced the size of our cylinder packaging, meaning we can fit more cylinders into each shipment, lowering our carbon footprint.
You don’t have to do something as big as this to help the issue and in this article, we have listed eight simple ways to reduce your plastic waste.
1. Carry a re-usable water bottle
Plastic water bottles are one of the most commonly purchased single use plastics, especially if your work means that you are on the road a lot. More than 60 million plastic water bottles are sent to landfills or incinerators every day, totalling 22 billion each year.
You can purchase a re-usable water bottle for a few pounds and this will not only save you a lot of money in the long run, but also help reduce the amount of plastic waste.
2. Get yourself a re-usable coffee cup
Another way you can reduce your plastic waste is by carrying your own re-usable coffee cup around. It is estimated that around 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away every year in the UK alone – that’s seven million a day! Less than 1% of these can be recycled, meaning most spend up to 50 years in landfill.
Again, a re-usable coffee cup is a great way to help the environment and also save some money at the same time. Most high street and independent coffee shops now offer a discount to customers who bring their own cups with them.
A great cup you could get is the collapsible cup, available at most supermarkets and also online. This is a great portable cup, because when you’re done using it, it collapses down into a small disc, making it very easy to store in your bag or glove compartment.
3. Opt for wooden takeaway cutlery, or even better, carry your own!
Lots of places are moving towards wooden takeaway cutlery, but plenty are still using cheap plastic ones, which are often kept in individually wrapped plastic bags. This creates a huge amount of plastic waste and is something which can be easily avoided.
If the place you are buying your food from has the option of wooden cutlery, opt for that, or even better if you are able to carry your own cutlery around with you, that is the best option. Remember, if you’re taking your lunch back to the office to eat, you don’t need the disposable cutlery!
4. Carry a re-usable shopping bag or tote bag
This is another one which will save you money and also help save the environment! Carrying a shopping bag with you means you won’t have to spend 5p every time you go to the shop.
Plastic bags are estimated to take around 1000 years to decompose, which means that all of the supermarket shopping bags that you're keeping under the sink are going to last for a long, long...long time!
5. Say no to straws
Although the UK is nowhere near as bad as the US when it comes to the amount of plastic waste that comes from straws, we still create plenty of our own waste. A whopping 500 million plastic straws are thrown away every day in the US and they are such a simple thing to say no to. If you do need a straw or stirrer, opt for paper or wooden ones.
6. Give up the gum
You may not realise that chewing gum is actually made from plastic. The UK is the second biggest consumer of chewing gum in the world and although it might make your breath fresh, it certainly isn’t good for the environment. There are options out there which are plastic free, so if you do need gum in your life, then it’s best to opt for one of these!
7. Switch over to loose leaf tea or plastic free tea bags at home
It may come as quite a surprise to you that most tea-bags contain plastic. What will not come as so much of a surprise is that the UK consumes around 165 million cups of tea per day!
When you consider all of the tea being consumed, there is a huge amount of plastic waste being created with the tea bags. To help avoid this, you can switch over to loose leaf tea, or use a company use provide plastic free tea bags, such as Teapigs.
8. Consider changes you can make in your own life
There are lots of little things we can do in our own personal lives to make a positive change. For example, if you eat a lot of pasta, buy your pasta in bulk to avoid having to regularly buy plastic pasta bags. If you drink wine, try to buy bottles where the corks are made from cork, rather than plastic or screw tops which both contain plastic.
There are plenty of things we can all do to make a change and although it may seem like a drop in the ocean, if everyone does their bit, we can create a sea of change.
"Working with APECS has been great. They are both friendly and professional to deal with and all of the products we have used have been of the highest quality."