One of our Seven Health Resolutions is to “Reduce your toxic load”.
In addition to being the toxic load on your body, mind and emotions, it also means to reduce your toxic load on your environment.
When it comes to reducing the toxic load on our environment, one of the first places to start is to examine our use of single-use plastics.
Minimizing our use of single-use plastics is both achievable and makes an immediate impact on the environment around us.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), single use plastics are, “goods that are made primarily from fossil fuel-based chemicals (petrochemicals) and are meant to be disposed of right after use.” (1)
These are items that we often use out of convenience, but do not give much thought to the impact of using these items one-time before discarding them. Bottles, serviceware (cutlery, straws, to-go containers), packaging and bags are some of the more common places you will find single-use plastic.
The biggest problem with single-use plastics is that the vast majority of them are never recycled. This results in them ending up in landfills or in the ocean where they can be harmful to wildlife and have other negative effects on the environment.
For example, as these plastics break down, they do not actually disintegrate. Rather, they break up into small pieces, sometimes called microplastic. These microscopic plastic fragments are consumed by wildlife where they accumulate and can lead to death.
Microplastics are oftentimes found in human cadavers, likely from water and food consumption from sources where these microplastics occur. Many of the chemicals used in plastics are known endocrine disruptors (2), which can have a negative effect on the human body.
Shelie Miller, an environmental engineer at the University of Michigan, offers an interesting perspective of single use plastics. Miller says, “most of the environmental impacts of many consumer products, including soft drinks, are tied to the products inside.” (3).
In other words, if there was less demand for the products that utilize single-use plastic, there would be less use of single-use plastics.
If you consider most of the single-use plastics that you would use on any given day, you will discover that most of those items are things that you could go without. Junk food, carbonated beverages and sugar-laden coffee drinks are counter-productive to health. Avoiding these things is not only helpful in reducing the use of single-use plastics, but also enables you to avoid consuming the contents that they contain.
According to the NRDC, the United States throws away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour! (4) If the current recycling rate of 9% is accurate, that means that 2.275 million plastic bottles end up in a landfill or in the ocean every hour.
Here are the top 10 single-use plastics to avoid, according to the World Wildlife Federation (5):
There are instances where single-use plastics may be unavoidable. If so, try your best to reuse or recycle that item to minimize the amount of single-use plastics you are using overall.
The best way to reduce single-use plastics is to avoid them all together. However, there are times where you could benefit from the conveniences that single-use plastics provide. In these situations, substituting the single-use plastic item with a sustainable alternative will have an impact on your overall utilization of single-use plastics.
Here are a few of our favorite single-use plastic alternatives:
If you examine your daily rituals and routines, you can quickly identify the single-use plastics that you use. There is likely a solution to either reduce your use, or eliminate it from your life all together.
We live in an age where many consumer-packaged good manufacturers are working on providing products that reduce or eliminate single-use plastics, and in the process, are developing even healthier products for their customers.
Utzy Naturals shares in this pursuit, which is why we choose to package our products in an eco-friendly glass bottle, rather than a plastic bottle. Our amber and blue glass bottles are able to be recycled and reduce the amount of single-use plastics used to securely deliver our effective products to your doorstep.
You will find that most products that make an intentional effort to reduce single-use plastics, tend to provide a higher quality product.
You will discover the same to be true with Utzy Naturals. We choose quality over cost, standards over status quo and facts over fads. We are committed to crafting products for you that are safe and truly effective. This is why we stand behind all of our products with our empty-bottle guarantee. If you are unhappy with our products, for any reason, just let us know and we will refund you the cost of that product so you can try an alternative solution.
Simply being mindful of what you consume will make a large impact on how many single-use plastics you consume. Reducing your consumption will reduce your toxic burden on the environment, and ironically, likely reduce the toxic burden on what you consume, resulting in a reduction of the toxic burden on your body.
We would love to hear from you! Comment below with your favorite single-use plastic alternatives.
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