Our oceans are in a critical condition as a result of litter and plastics being discarded. We are now at a stage of a serious hazard, resulting in an ocean plastic crisis. Creating awareness of the situation is extremely important, along with purchasing and using less plastic at a business and personal level. Making these changes is as an effective way to reduce plastic waste and bring in a positive change for our planet and communities within it. We saw 320 million tons of plastic being produced globally in 2015 and the global production of the same is being expected to double over the next 20 years unless we begin to act differently. With truckloads of plastic being dumped in our oceans each minute, the most effective thing to do is learn how to reduce plastic use. Below are some suggested ways to use plastic free alternatives in order to re-start the process of drastically improving our habits.
- Discussions about plastic in our oceans must be initiated: Education has a huge role to play in making people aware about things concerning their planet and environmental well-being. In the times in which we live, media-coverage has only made spreading information easier. Motivating colleagues about the ocean plastic crisis, getting expert advice, and delving into details about plastic pollution being hazardous to our environment will undoubtedly make people think and start acting in a responsible way regarding plastic usage.
- A park or river cleaning exercise with your office team: The best way to drive home a strong message on a plastic free environment is by giving everyone a practical demonstration. An activity where you arrange to take your team to the nearby park or river to assist cleaning the plastic will help them fully realize the magnitude of the problem. Not only will you be doing something meaningful together but also do your bit to reduce plastic waste. There are many companies that allocate charity time to carry out these types of activities.
- Remove reusable plastic cups from the office: Incentivize staff to use reusable cups and flasks instead of disposable alternatives and maybe enhance this by installing filtered water taps. This is certainly going to motivate your colleagues to ditch the use of plastic bottles. This will also make them think about using reusable water bottles.
- Kitchens and Canteens must be full of reusable going forward: Disposable plastic cutlery, plates and cups are a thing of the past. We know that plastic stays within the environment and keeps on damaging and harming wildlife, polluting the oceans and damaging our Eco-system. Making the switch to reusable and washable tableware that can be used again and again will also encourage staff to bring their own. .
- Change the way we buy: Those struggling to know how to reduce plastic use can opt for this way of actually beginning to reduce it. Try to have milk sourced in reusable and returnable glass bottles. Store water in an insulated water bottle that you might want to use while brewing tea/coffee in office. This is also a great way to embark on a plastic free life. This is one of the best plastic free alternatives that one can actually consider. Try consuming loose leaf tea. Opt for tea bag brands that abhor using plastic. Coffee consumers can opt for freshly roasted coffee beans in plastic-free packaging. Think of using reusable mugs and spoons. This is another great way of taking the ‘no plastic’ movement forward.
- Start gifting reusable products to your team: Gifts they say, is a reflection of one’s state of mind. In the office, if you start gifting your team members key reusable items such as water bottles, lunchboxes and coffee cups, this sends across a very strong message about your intention to cut down on plastic use. Occasions to do so include birthdays or performance appreciation days. This not only keeps the ‘cut-down-on-plastic-use’ movement going but also encourages Eco-friendly habits.
- Share your success story with others: This will motivate them to act accordingly. Numbers work. Tell them about the number of bags of landfill and recycling waste generated by your organization daily/weekly/monthly and start sharing reports of improvement. When you have some impressive statistics to show, you maximize opportunities to inspire others to act in the same way.
These are the many ways to reduce plastic use and do your bit to protect our ecology and environment.