It’s no secret that our plastic addiction is a huge problem. We currently produce a whopping 300 million tons of it worldwide, and it takes hundreds of years to degrade. Globally, our cities and oceans are polluted with the stuff, which kills wildlife and affects whole eco-systems as a result.
Despite the shocking facts and figures, single-use plastic remains a huge part of our daily lives – from shopping bags to straws to containers and more. In cities like Singapore in particular, where so many of us use plastic bags to dispose of our trash and hawker centre takeaway containers are a regular sight, how easy is it to make a change?
Well, we don’t know about you, but we’ve had enough of living that disposable lifestyle! There are simple, easy ways we can all make a difference as individuals. Here are five easy replacements you can make in your everyday routine to drastically reduce your plastic waste and make a positive impact!
1. Use a bamboo or metal straw.
Did you know here in Singapore we use 2.2 million plastic straws daily!? That’s a mind-blowing figure. So if you really need to use a straw for your kopi or smoothies, do your part and keep a reusable alternative in your handbag, like bamboo or metal. Today you can find plenty of eco-conscious stores selling reusable straws. Try from our friends at The Social Space (we love their rose gold version!) to online stores like Bamboo Straw Girl, which ships worldwide.
2. Carry reusable cutlery
Eating out is a huge past time in Singapore, but that means we’re at risk of using disposable plastic cutlery on a daily. Therefore, it makes sense getting your own which fit neatly in your handbag. Most importantly, it is a great step towards being more environmentally friendly at your next meal. There’s plenty of zero waste options out there that are functional, inexpensive and cute. From stainless steel to even this cute set made from biodegradable and compostable straw wheat from Trove of Gaia.
3. Pack a spare shopper bag
We all need to do last-minute supermarket runs. But that doesn’t mean you have to resort to accepting plastic bags (especially as Singapore isn’t placing a ban on them anytime soon – *cue eye roll*). Keep a foldable tote or canvas shopper in your handbag. They’re lightweight and take up minimal space, so it means you’ll always be prepared for those unexpected situations which require you needing something extra to carry!
4. Buy groceries from wet markets instead of supermarkets
We don’t know about you, but trips to the supermarket have become increasingly painful. Especially since we’ve become more conscious of our plastic waste. Until they sort their agendas out, why not visit your local wet market instead? You’ll be supporting local farmers and small businesses in your area and find plenty of fresh and seasonal produce sans plastic wrapping. Win-win!
5. Bring a reusable cup
Last but not least, ditch plastic bottles in favour for a reusable cup! There’s no excuse for not bringing your own. More so, a lot of cafes will be happy to fill up your own cup, even for things like tea and coffee. Ever fans of Insta-worthy homeware, we love these smart cups from Australian cafe Carrotsticks and Cravings.
We hope you enjoyed the read on how to reduce our plastic waste! For a weekly dose of inspiration and to find out about our latest interviews, features and new arrivals delivered straight to your inbox, join our community here.