We Are Going Plastic Free This July- Are You?
Plastic Free July is an initiative from the Plastic Free Foundation. The Plastic Free Foundation is a not-for-profit organization who work towards their vision of seeing the world without plastic waste, which is a belief that also lies with us here at Container Deposit Systems.
Plastic Free July began in 2011 and is now where people commit the month of July to going plastic-free and being aware of their waste usage. This event is now carried out by people worldwide and many people make the change for life. While it is based on plastic, it is an opportunity to reduce waste in all areas.
There are so many hidden plastics in your life that you may not realise, or maybe you’re just unsure of how to dispose of them correctly. Well, we are here to help! There is so much information out there, it may become overwhelming, but you are making the first step by wanting to make change.
Disposing of Soft Plastic
Bread bags, frozen vegetable bags, old 15c reusable bags- all of these can be saved and returned to your nearest supermarket! All large supermarkets have a soft plastics bin as you walk in the door which all you need to do is pop them in there, and they do the rest! Once they’re all gone, you can reduce your soft plastics use by buying fresh bread and vegetables and bringing your own bread bags and reusable mesh bags.
Reusable cups, straws, water bottles… you name it, it has a reusable option. Plastic straws are easy to replace with metal or bamboo straws, which are both environmentally friendly and help you reduce your plastic waste. They come in a thin size for water, juice or iced coffee, in a thicker size for smoothies and half sizes for when you are using a smaller glass. Each kit also comes with a brush that helps you clean the inside of your straw. Reusable drink bottles are everywhere, you probably already have one in your cupboard! Or alternatively you can buy an aluminium one which helps keeps your drinks hot or cold for longer. Reusable coffee cups are also crucial, but depending on where you are in the world, COVID-19 may have put a stop to using them. If you can, still take one with you when you get your morning coffee as many takeaway cups have a plastic lining which makes them landfill. Or alternatively, buy from a coffee outlet that uses compostable cups.
It is likely the toothbrush you own right now is made of plastic. The perfect alternative to this is a bamboo toothbrush which are completely biodegradable when disposed of in a compost bin! They are an easy, cost-effective change to make in your bathroom.
Disposing of Paper Towels
If you are at home or in a workplace, you would be using a lot of paper towels during cooking, cleaning, and drying your hands. Many people dispose of this in their general waste bins, but they can be placed in your green waste bin! Paper towels are compostable and easily break down. And if you have an entire bin dedicated to paper towels, be sure to pour them into the green waste bin and not wrap them in a plastic bag first as no plastic can ever go in the green bin.
Composting is so easy now using your kerbside green waste bin! You can purchase a kitchen caddy and compostable bags to dispose of your food scraps in. These are available from most local councils or from your local hardware store. Instead of placing your food scraps in your general waste bin, pop them in a compostable kitchen caddy, and when it’s full, place it in the green waste bin. This reduces the amount of waste you send to landfill as well as creates a useful cycle for your food waste. Or try composting at home with large compost bins available at your local hardware store or make your own.
Recycling is the most important part of going plastic free or reducing your general waste. But, if you are going to recycle, anything you put in the recycling bin needs to be clean! Peanut butter jars need to be rinsed, empty margarine containers, milk cartons, tuna cans- while this may still be using plastic, at least you are taking the right steps to ensure it is able to be repurposed instead of thrown into landfill because it’s dirty.
Avoid Plastic Cutlery
If you’re grabbing a takeaway meal (there are a lot of these during COVID-19) be sure to use either compostable wooden cutlery which most takeaway venues will now provide you with or bring your own! There are plenty of reusable wooden or metal cutlery packs that come complete with a knife, fork and spoon.
Coffee pods/capsules are not directly recyclable and are contributing to landfill. But if you collect your coffee pods, there are local drop-off points where you can take your used pods and they will be recycled and repurposed as they are made of aluminium and can be remanufactured countless times.
Return Your 10c Deposit Containers
If you live in a state where you get a 10c refund on your eligible containers (eg. bottles and cans), then dedicate a bin or a crate and dispose of them in there instead of in your kerbside recycling bin. When it’s full, take it back to the recycling depot and collect your refund. This is a great way to make a little extra cash in your pocket and keep the environment clean!
To find out more, head to www.plasticfreejuly.org
Container Deposit Systems brings decades of experience in the operation and management of beverage container recycling. CDS has an unparalleled track record of success in the areas of design, engineering, manufacturing, and automation. Container Deposit Systems works with current and prospective operators of recycling facilities seeking to grow businesses that set best practices in the industry.