Plastic is a cheap, convenient material that can be found in almost every aspect of our daily lives. Popularized in the 1960s, plastic materials have revolutionized a variety of industries from the creation of non-permeable biohazard bags used by medical professionals to the improvement of safe food storage.

Although the benefits of plastic are undeniable, the production and disposal of plastic materials account for about half of the world’s overall waste. Much of the plastic we consume daily are single-use plastics, or items designed to be thrown away after being used only once. To reduce plastic waste and environmental pollution, start eliminating the use of these single-use plastic items today:

Straws
Sip on your drink instead or carry a reusable straw with you on your next smoothie trip.
Cigarettes
Most cigarettes contain filters made from cellulose acetate, a form of plastic.

Plastic Bags for Produce
Instead of putting your fresh produce or bulk goods (i.e. nuts, dried fruits, etc.) in the thin plastic bags, simply carry a cloth or mesh bag on your next visit to the grocery store.
Bottled Water
Drink water from the tap when at home or carry a refillable bottle with you to quench your thirst throughout the day.

To-Go Cups
For your busiest days, try using a reusable, collapsible beverage cup for added convenience.
Plastic Coffee Stirrers
Use wooden stirrers instead or invest in a portable, multi-purpose stirring spoon to mix your next cup of joe.

Food Take-Out Containers
Refrain from using Styrofoam containers or bring your own reusable food storage containers when dining out.
Plastic Food Wrap and Sandwich Bags
Instead of using the flimsy plastic food wrapping and sandwich bags used to transport lunches and small snacks, store food items in plastic-free food wrapping or use reusable containers.

Cutlery
Minimize and eat efficiently by carrying a reusable spork or set of reusable cutlery.
Facial Scrubs Containing Microbeads
Refrain from using products with microbeads as these tiny specs of plastic wash directly into drains and eventually find their way into the sea.