Single-use plastics are plastics that can only be used once. According to a report from National Geographic, 40% of plastics produced are for packaging purposes and are single-use. Consequentially, these plastics end up in our oceans.
These single-use plastics can be sighted at our local grocery stores and they are often used to package vegetables and meat. Here are a few tips you can follow in avoiding single-use plastics.
In The Supermarket
Single-use plastics are often seen at the vegetables, fruits and meat section.
For vegetables, instead of choosing the saran-wrapped vegetables or fruits, opt for the “loose” fruits or vegetables. Place it in old tights or stockings rather than using plastics to contain them before having them weighed.
For wet goods, instead of using plastics, use a food container and have it tared. Tare means you have your empty container weighed first before placing contents so that the weight of the container will not be added to the price of your meat. You can also bring an insulated bag to place your meat so that the cool temperature will be maintained.
Don’t forget to bring a tote or Eco bag with you so you can ditch the plastic bags or boxes when carrying the groceries!
You can also try visiting sustainable specialty stores that carry alternatives to everyday items such as cooking oil, grains, rice, cleaning items, and hygiene products.
In the Public Market
Public markets can be more flexible with sustainability because compared to supermarkets most of the goods sold at the public market are not pre-packed.
You can use the fruit, vegetable and meat tip to the public market also. As for the other items, here are some ideas you can follow:
When buying salt, some public markets sell iodized and rock salts placed in bilaos. Bring a container with you that is fit for the amount of salt you need at home.
Same goes for buying eggs,you bring a container that will fit the number of eggs needed. You can finally ditch the egg cartons once and for all.
For vinegar, soy sauce and fish sauce, public markets sell these condiments in a glass bottle. These glass bottles are better than purchasing the ones in plastic. Some sellers even encourage frequent buyers to bring with them their empty glass bottles when they repurchase so they can simply refill and get discounts.
Choose To Refuse
People might ask for the rationale behind going through all the trouble of bringing containers & Eco bags to the market. The point is that we are so immersed and guilty of ‘convenience culture’ that whatever makes our lives easier is always the best option and anything that may cause the slightest inconvenience is not even an option.
We clearly live in a society that craves instant results. However, a sustainable lifestyle cannot be attained overnight.
Truth be told, this is the least we can do for mother earth. Through these simple ways, we can integrate caring for the environment in our busy, fast-paced lives.