What Are My Alternatives To Single-use Plastic Storage Bags?
By: Dex Jones
Single-use plastic bags are designed for one-time use, and then they’re tossed away. The amount of single-use plastic bags used every day is having a drastic effect on our environment. Here are a few tiny swaps you can make that have a big impact.
How often do you think of your plastic going to waste? When you grab that bottle of juice in the morning, or wrap a snack in a ziplock plastic bag? How about when you wrap those leftovers in cling wrap?
It’s convenient, sure. But what happens when you’re done?
How Do You Use Plastic every day?
Imagine this. You’re at school, and you sit down with your friends for lunch. You all have some variation of the same meal. A sandwich wrapped in plastic, and a fruit or snack on the side. You look inside your bag. Your mom has made you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and placed a bag of chips along with it.
Your class recently learned about how plastic is made and how it ends up in the ocean.
So you do the responsible thing. You make sure to throw your plastic trash in the garbage, so it doesn’t end up as litter.
Good job! That’s a great first step.
Now imagine one hundred kids at your school do the same thing. Then another from all schools. In the state of Oregon alone, there are more than 1200 public schools.
If one hundred students from each school throw away their plastic, that is 120,000 students. Where does all their plastic go?
What Happens To Plastic Bags
After you throw away your plastic waste, it’s picked up by a dumpster service. Then, the service takes it to a waste transfer station or a landfill.
At the waste transfer station, plastic and garbage are sorted to remove recyclable items. Recyclables are items such as plastic bottles and scrap metal. The rest is sorted into trash.
Only nine percent of our plastic garbage is recycled.
What happens to the other ninety-one percent? The non-recyclable items are sent to incinerators, alternative energy sites, or landfills.
Plastic storage such as ziplock bags are not recyclable items and often end up as litter in our oceans or in landfills.
How Can You Help Reduce Pollution?
Now you’ve learned where your plastic waste goes, and how it contributes to plastic pollution. It’s time to start building small habits that reduce your plastic consumption.
One small change you make today has a big impact on the amount of waste sent to landfills. That small change is switching to plastic-free alternatives.
Plastic-free alternatives are items you use more than one time that are made from recyclable materials. Because you use these items more than once, you reduce our amount of waste that ends up as litter and pollution.
What Are Some Alternatives to Plastic Storage?
If every person used an eco-friendly alternative to plastic, we would have less waste. Sixty-million plastic water bottles land in incinerators or landfill each day.
So how can you help spare that 60 million?
Start by making changes in your own home. Some environmentally friendly actions to take now are:
Store leftovers in glass containers.
Pack meals in bamboo boxes or paper bags.
Switch to reusable bags made from materials like canvas or cotton.
Check out this eco-friendly reusable water bottle by Ocean Blue Project.
Look for products made from resources like aluminum, stainless steel, bamboo, and glass. These items are eco-friendly alternatives that can be recycled.
Ocean Blue Project remains dedicated to the fight against plastic waste. For more eco-friendly reusable items, check out some of our favorites here.
Together, we can reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up as garbage. Remember—small habits equal big change.
Dex Jones is an adventurer, mom, copywriter, and PADI scuba diver living in California.