Scavengers collect valuable waste at Sidoarjo garbage dump in East Java, on June 5, 2018./AFP
Scavengers collect valuable waste at Sidoarjo garbage dump in East Java, on June 5, 2018./AFP

7 ways to reduce plastic usage and make the planet greener

ASEAN+ June 16, 2018 11:23

By The Jakarta Post
Asia News Network
Jakarta

2,844 Viewed

Did you know that plastic takes 450 years to decompose? It takes even longer in landfills, about 1,000 years.



The worst part is that plastic is literally everywhere, as it is something we use and throw away on a daily basis. It's gotten to the point where plastics are clogging rivers and sewers and causing floods.

While the government has the responsibility to take action on this, here are some of the things that Greenpeace suggests we can do to help.

1. Carry around a reusable bottle

There are places where you can get water for free, so carrying a reusable bottle with you is a great idea. Regularly doing so will help cut down the use of plastic bottles. 

2. Don't use plastic straws

These slim plastic products cause more harm than good. For instance, plastic straws are incredibly bad for ocean creatures: a turtle was documented with a piece of it stuck in its nose

Use paper straws instead of plastic straws if you don't want to cut out using straws entirely.

3. Use reusable coffee cups & tumblers

Are you an avid coffee drinker? Carry around reusable coffee cups or tumblers with you instead of using plastic cups. Statistics indicate that 2.5 billion cups are thrown away each year, and only 1 in 400 cups end up recycled. 

Read also: Seaweed, Indonesia's answer to the global plastic crisis

4. Start carrying shopping bags

Carrying extra bags around with you to help with your shopping can also do wonders for the environment. 

Ever since Jakarta went on a plastic bag diet back in 2017, there has been a huge decline in the amount of plastic waste from shopping bags, and it has brought many benefits for the people living in the city. 

5. Don't use disposable spoons and forks

Those one-time-use spoons and forks are contributing to the plastic waste problem, and it's a difficult one to tackle, considering how the cutlery in some places are mostly made of plastic. 

Consider bringing your own stainless steel cutlery the next time you go out for a bite. 

6. Avoid microbeads like the plague

Microbeads are beginning to be banned all over the world, although products containing them are still being sold in some parts of the world. They are mostly found in cosmetics and personal care products, like facial scrubs and exfoliating body washes, and they harm marine life. 

Keep an eye out for products containing polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and nylon. 

7. Buy refill packages of cleaning products

Instead of buying new plastic bottles of detergents and other cleaning products, you can save plastic by buying the refill packets instead.

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