EHT Blogger - MDNI Writer
Reduce Paper & Plastic Waste with Sustainable Eco-Friendly Microfiber
Updated: Dec 3, 2018
Eliminating, or cutting drastically back on these items can put a big dent in your personal contribution to landfills each year and put money back into your wallet. There's a big push from the 'zero-waste' community to eliminate paper & plastic waste, particularly the 500 million plastic straws in the United States that get thrown away each day, and it's worth paying attention to this movement. There are other one-time-use items such as; paper towels, paper napkins, plastic shopping bags, plastic produce bags, plastic zipper bags, cling-film plastic wrap..... that most Americans use daily that we need to eliminate, too.
Paper towels & Paper napkinsare incredibly convenient, but they're also incredibly wasteful and expensive. According to Better Planet Paper, 13 billion pounds (6,500,000 TONS) of paper towels are used in the U.S. each year, ending up as waste. Paper towels, a product mostly used out of habit, are some of the most overused and environmentally damaging paper products used today!
In the U.S. alone, paper towels yield a $6 billion market.
544,000 trees could be saved each year if each US household used just one less roll of paper towels. Plus, it would eliminate $4.1 million in landfill dumping fees.
17 trees and 20,000 gallons of water are polluted to make just ONE TON of paper towels.
It would take 51,000 trees per day to replace the number of paper towels that are tossed each day.
>120,000 tons of waste could be saved if each American household used three less rolls a year.
SOLUTION: If you put your mind to it, you can eliminate more than three rolls each year by using microfiber cloths and microfiber napkins instead of paper towels and paper napkins.
Zippered Plastic Bags, Plastic Wrap, Plastic Straws, Bottled Water For leftovers, lunches and even storing things, zipper plastic bags and cling-film wrap make it easy, but they're almost always thrown away after use and are rarely recycled. About 50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away. Plastic ends up in landfills, as trash on the street and as ocean plastic, harming marine life.
About one trillion single-use plastic bags are used annually across the globe. That’s nearly 2 million every minute.
Over half of the world’s plastic thrown out in 2015 was plastic packaging. That’s over 141 million metric tons.
Plastic takes more than 400 years to degrade, so most of it still exists in some form. Only 12 percent has been incinerated.
Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year (source: Brita)
Purchase a supply of reusable containers in various sizes to store food instead of using throw-away bags. Purchase a supply of reusable multi-sized bowl covers. Purchase a supply of reusable stainless-steel straws. Purchase an economical water filtration pitcher and save more than $300 monthly when compared to purchasing water in plastic bottles. It may be a little extra work to wash them, but the savings to the environment are well worth it.
Plastic Shopping Bags - Plastic Produce Bags We use about 100 billion plastic shopping bags every year in the U.S., and each bag is useful for an average of 12 minutes, according to Conserving Now. Those 12 minutes are the time from the checkout lane to home where most of them get thrown away. The world generates at least 3.5 million tons of plastic and other solid waste a day, 10 times the amount a century ago, according to World Bank researchers.
Of the 8.3 billion metric tons that has been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Of that, only nine percent has been recycled. The vast majority—79 percent—is accumulating in landfills or sloughing off in the natural environment as litter. Meaning: at some point, much of it ends up in the oceans, the final sink.
8.3 billion metric tons is the equivalent to five grocery bags of plastic trash for every foot of coastline around the globe.
The rapid acceleration of plastic manufacturing, which so far has doubled roughly every 15 years, has outpaced nearly every other man-made material. Half of all plastic manufactured becomes trash in less than a year, the study found.
The U.S. is the king of trash, producing a world-leading 250 million tons a year—roughly 4.4 pounds of trash per person per day.
SOLUTION: Purchasing reusable grocery bags and reusable produce/food bags is inexpensive, and each time you use one, you put a small dent in that 100 billion plastic bag statistic. Remember to take them every time you go to the grocery store, the pharmacy and even clothes shopping. Buy reusable produce bags for fruits and vegetables so you don't have to use the plastic bags in the produce section.
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