The war on waste is here, with many Australian’s standing up to plastic waste and making sustainable changes inside and outside of their homes. I am one of these people after seeing up close the horrifying impact that it has on our sea life (turtles in particular, who think plastic bags are jelly fish to eat). Honestly, at first, this journey of living with less plastic can be overwhelming and it is often difficult to know where the best places are to start. This is why Lottie Dalziel created Banish an online store and education platform that focuses on providing practical tools and credible information to help Aussies reduce their waste. Here Lottie explains what are currently the biggest pollutants in our oceans and the simple, everyday eco-swaps that can help save our planet. Please welcome, Lottie!
A recent survey of ocean plastics by the European Union found that the following were the top single-use plastic contaminants.
But the best part of these results is that we already have a solution to all of these pollutants, buckle up! It’s time to get swapping.
1. Drink bottles
Personally, I think switching to a reusable water bottle is one of the easiest places to start. Look for a water bottle that is BPA free or better yet stainless steel.
2. Cigarette Butts
Quit the butts and save the planet. Cigarette butts are not only toxic but they are made from plastic which can take between 18 months and ten years to completely degrade.
3. Cotton buds and wipes
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Don’t be fooled these aren’t straws but the sticks from cotton tips that @caroline_south found on her beach clean up. Straws can’t be recycled because of their size so imagine what it’s like for these guys! . . . . . #plogging #plastic #planet #plasticcrisis #take3forthesea #sydney #sustainable #banishau #banishbandit #blueplanet #banthebag #beatplasticpollution #banplastic #savetheplanet #savemarinelife #pickuprubbish #waste #waronplastic #waronwaste #turkey #traveller #beachcleanup #5minbeachcleanup #sustainability #travel #cleanup #sailing #straws #cottontips
I am not going to argue that cotton tips aren’t a super convenient option, but their environmental impact lasts a lot longer than a quick swipe. When it comes to removing make-up one of the most effective and environmentally friendly alternatives are hand knitted makeup wipes, you simply pop them in their drawstring bag and throw them wash and use them again and again!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Swisspers have recently released cotton tips with paper stems for just $2.99 a packet. They are sold in a re-sealable plastic bag uses 90% less plastic than a conventional tub and can be recycled at a RedCycle soft plastics collection points.
4. Food packets
One of the things that I didn’t even think of before living a less waste lifestyle is that it is so much healthier! Most of my favourite unhealthy foods come loaded with extra calories and extra plastic packaging. Now my go-to snacks are fruit and nuts from bulk food stores that I pop in my Onya produce bags.
5. Sanitary products
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Honestly, I was nervous to try out a moon cup for the first time and it kinda irked me. It took a bit of getting used to but now I am one of their biggest advocates, not only is it good for the environment but it is less of a hassle. Let us know if you have any questions and share your experiences below. . . . . . #inspiration #inspo #nourish #zerowaste #mooncup #sustainabilty #vegan #menstrualcup #lunettecup #environment #sustainability #ecofriendly #selflove #selfcare #waste #mindfulness #wastefree #wastefreebeauty #dailydose #blue #blueplanet #goplanet #planeteers #captainplanet #environmentalist #waronwaste #lunette #mooncup #periods
In our lifetime we will use around 10,000 sanitary products. One sanitary pad contains the equivalent amount of plastic to four plastic bags and it takes tampons around 500 years to completely breakdown. So what’s the solution? Reusable items are the green way to go. Switch to a menstrual cup or reusable pads to slash your monthly waste.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Australian brand, Modibody also offer period and pee proof underwear which is washable and reusable. They also sell maternity singlets which are leak proof – so no breast pads are needed! I am very much looking forward to using these when my baby arrives in 5 weeks time!
6. Plastic Bags
After the plastic bag ban in Woolworths and Coles last year we’ve cut down on our usage by over 80%! We’ve still got some plastic bag habits to cut through so try to carry a tote bag with you wherever you go. I keep a couple in my car, handbag and by the front door to avoid being caught out.
7. Plastic cutlery and straws
Another single-use plastic that is important to cut down is the use of plastic cutlery and straws. In Australia, we’re big sippers especially during those warmer months so carry a bamboo or stainless steel straw. Another great idea is to carry some cutlery it can be as simple as grabbing a spoon or fork from your kitchen if you know you’re dining out or grab a light-weight set of bamboo cutlery which is perfect for travelling.
8. Drinks cups and lids
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Happy Monday coffee drinkers☕ Next time you’re heading out for a coffee remember your cup or why not dine in? . . . #plogging #plastic #coffee #plasticcrisis #microplastics #sydney #sustainable #banishau #banishbandit #blueplanet #banthebag #beatplasticpollution #banplastic #savetheplanet #savemarinelife #pickuprubbish #waste #waronplastic #waronwaste #australia #plasticfree #plastic #quoteoftheday #qotd #quote #meme
The ABC’s War on Waste series shone a bright light on our use of disposable coffee cups, make the daily switch to a reusable option.
I was surprised to see balloons make the list and when I first started reducing my plastic waste they didn’t even cross my mind. Be conscious of how you dispose of balloons and make sure you don’t leave them outside to deflate and “bake” in the sun.
10. Takeaway food containers
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With this weeks focus on food waste I thought I would share a bit of inspo! Using up all of your food doesn’t mean you have to go without but might take a bit of creativity! Who else loves adding fruit to their salads? 📷 @brownpapernutrition . . . . . #zerowaste #waste #ecofriendly #australia #consciousliving #ecolife #reuse #recycle #refuse #loveourplanet #planetfriendly #plastic #waronplastic #cleanourplanet #pickuprubbish #drinkclean #environment #savetheplanet #blueplanet #plasticfree #healthyshop #sunday #organic #health #healthylife #plasticfreeshopping #sustainableliving #strawnomore #plasticfreegroceries
This is a tricky one to quit especially if you’re a fan of uber eats, next time you order takeaway think of how you can reduce your waste. You might not be able to say no to the plastic container itself but can you bring your own bag and order a drink in a can rather than a plastic bottle? Every little bit counts.
EDITOR’S NOTE: When it comes to storing food at home, instead of glad wrap, try these silicone reusable covers, I love them! A great alternative to plastic wrap and to be honest, they work better too! They’re waterproof and airtight.
These stainless steel pegs are also a favourite of mine! Goodbye using crumbling plastic pegs.
As I mentioned early it is easy to put all of these switches in the “too hard basket” but to begin with pick one or two of them and work your way through them. If you want to purchase some of these simple swaps from Banish, use the code ‘AMY15’ for 15% off your purchase. It won’t all be easy and there will be some hiccups along the way, if you do forget your straw or coffee cup one day remember it happens to all of us and something is better than nothing. Every small change matters!
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