Why should we try to reduce our plastic waste in the kitchen? The average person in the EU creates about 31 kg of plastic waste per year, mostly with packaging. We are also unknowingly ingesting plastic. Yes, you’ve read that right. One individual can ingest about 250 grams of plastic per year and about 39,000-52,000 micro plastic particles a year, via micro particles in seafood, water bottles, pasta, bread, milk, plastic cutlery, dishwashing sponge, sugar, rice, and toothbrushes.
The truth is, we can’t completely cut down on plastic consumption or even avoid plastic. It’s everywhere. But we need to reduce our plastic waste. There are simple ways to do that at home, especially in the kitchen where we tend to create the most plastic pollution.
Each small step can considerably reduce your plastic waste in the kitchen.
Don’t buy produce wrapped in plastic.
Many fruits and vegetables are wrapped in plastic. There’s no need for that; just wash your fruits and vegetables when you get home, or get one of those reusable bags to keep your produce in while grocery shopping.
Bring a reusable tote or grocery bag.
Single-use plastic bags are the worst. Many countries have actually banned those, encouraging people to go for reusable grocery bags instead.
Buy produce in bulk and from your local market.
Buying in bulk means cutting down on plastic. On that note, try to avoid buying individually wrapped cookies and small juice boxes. Sure they are convenient, but also wasteful.
Glass containers such as mason jars rather than plastic.
Mason jars and other airtight glass containers actually keep your food fresh.
Give up the disposable plastic water bottle.
Carry a reusable water bottle when you’re out. At home if the tap water is not drinkable, you can boil the water or use a filter with recyclable water filter cartridges.
Bring your own containers when ordering take out.
So much plastic and styrofoam waste is created when ordering take away, but one way to combat that is to bring your own reusable containers. The restaurant owners will even appreciate it, as it also benefits them.
Use baking soda and dishwashing soap to wash dishes.
Aside from the plastic bottles they come in, using dishwashing liquids can be harmful for the environment as they contain harsh chemicals and some are even tested on animals.
Use powdered laundry detergent.
Use powdered dishwasher detergent from a cardboard box rather than the liquid ones from big plastic boxes.
Avoid using plastic gloves for cleaning.
Washing your hands thoroughly will clean them.
Use loose tea leaves instead of tea bags.
Most tea bags actually contain microplastics, and tea boxes are usually wrapped in plastic as well.
Use beeswax wraps instead of plastic wrap.
Beeswax wraps are easy to use and keep the food fresh. They just need to be washed with cold water and re-waxed once in a while.
Avoid using plastic sponges for washing dishes.
Use natural cleaning cloths and scrubbers instead. Dishwashing sponges contain plastic.
Choose mint candy over chewing gum.
Most chewing gums are made of plastic. Mint candy will keep your breath just as fresh.
Use reusable cloth sandwich/snack bags.
There are many cloth sandwich bags now with all kinds of designs. They are a much better alternative to plastic baggies
Use stainless steel and cast iron cookware instead of non-stick cookware.
Non-stick cookware coated with Teflon or other resins give off toxic PFCs (perfluoro chemicals) when heated.
Ccrave supports a zero waste and waste-based lifestyle based on circular economy principles, and we make that accessible to everyone. Find out how to reduce your plastic waste in the bathroom and live a more sustainable lifestyle.