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Plastic Pollution - Turn Off the Tap

Plastic recycling is important, but, currently, less than 10% of plastic produced ends up getting recycled.  Plastic pollution will never be controlled until we learn how to use less. Listed below are some ideas to help you get started in replacing single use plastics:

  1. In the bathroom: replace liquid hand soap and shampoo with a bar form. There are good options for non-plastic toothbrushes and floss.

  2. In the kitchen/laundry room: Do not use liquid laundry detergent. There are many good alternatives that are not in plastic bottles. Use compostable garbage bags. Replace plastic food containers with steel or ceramic ones.

  3. Out and about: Stop using single-use plastic water bottles. Replace them with steel or ceramic reusable ones, the same thing for food and snacks. Take your own reusable shopping bags.  Ask for paper bags at checkout.

  4. Socializing: Skip the plastic gift cards. Replace plastic party utensils with wood or paper. Avoid plastic decorations. Limit the balloons. Be thoughtful in choosing gifts and the packaging it comes in. Avoid plastic straws. Avoid Styrofoam, this can’t even be recycled.

  5. Be thoughtful: Much single-use plastic isn’t even used once. It goes straight to the trash! Often we are given single-use plastics that we don’t need or want. Like straws, and plastic utensils. Refuse these by stating that you won’t be needing them.  If we just think ahead, we can greatly decrease the amount of single-use plastic we use.


Listed below are some good alternatives to single-use plastics.

  • Perhaps the easiest way to begin replacing single-use plastics in your life is Google! Simply enter into the search bar what you are wanting to replace.

  • There are many organizations that offer free advice and products through their website. These can also be reached through Google they include:

    •  Life without plastic

    • Join the Reuse Revolution: 10 Simple Steps

    • Earth 911

    • Beyond Plastics

  • Many grocery stores carry some great alternatives to plastic bags. At Target, you can find compostable trash bags. HEB sells reusable bags for your fruits and vegetables that would otherwise need a plastic bag to be taken to checkout. UNNI also makes a good disposable trash bag that can be purchased online.

  • Consider switching from liquid detergent, which comes in a plastic container, to powder detergent, which comes in a cardboard box. You can easily find this alternative at any local grocery store.

  • Many companies are now making bars of hygiene products. This includes shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste tablets, and so much more! Be sure to check out your local farmers market for these types of items. You can also visit these stores:

    • Lush

    • The Earthling Co

    • Public Goods

    • Flora & Fauna

And perhaps the most important tip of all, do your own research! Something that works for your neighbor may not work for you. Also, just because something has a “recycle” label on it, doesn’t mean it actually can be recycled. The more you learn, the more you know.

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