A report from Loop Cayman.
Plastic is used for packaging almost every item we buy, from vegetables to food, to clothing and more. And it’s killing our planet.
However, we can still act to cut down on how much plastic we use in our daily lives.
Here are 10 ways to cut down on plastic use in the Caribbean.
1. Give up bottled water
In the Caribbean, not many plastic water bottles are recyclable. And even if they are, tremendous resources are used to extract, bottle, and ship them.
In fact, many brands of bottled water are simply filtered tap water.
As an option, get a reusable stainless steel bottle, fill it with water before you leave home and just refill it at work or school.
2. Use reusable shopping bags
Remember the days of going to market with straw bags? Turns out our grandparents knew best. Reusable shopping bags are much better for the environment and can cut down on the amount of plastic we use.
When shopping, just let the cashier know that you don’t need a plastic bag and place it into your reusable bag instead.
3. Say no to microbeads
Those face scrubs and body scrubs with tiny beads have been shown to be very bad for the environment. Thousands of tonnes of plastic microbeads from products such as exfoliating face scrubs and toothpastes wash into the sea every year, where they harm wildlife and can ultimately be eaten by people.
A September 2015 study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology estimated that 808 trillion plastic microbeads are washed down US household drains every day. Of those, eight trillion make it through water treatment plants and out into lakes, oceans and rivers.
4. Ditch the straws
Plastic straws are not biodegradable and often end up in the ocean where they can kill marine life. Recent reports show that British people use around 8.5 billion of them a year, while Americans use over 500 million a day.
5. Use reusable cutlery
When buying lunch, opt out of the plastic fork and instead just keep your own cutlery in your lunch container. Not only do you use less plastic but your sturdy metal cutlery will do a much better job instead of that flimsy disposable spork.
We can all do our part to ensure our planet is healthier, safer, and cleaner for generations to come.
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