Cutting Single-Use Plastics Out of Our Daily Lives

28 June 2019, Ana Morales

Plastic-Free July 2019 is almost here — it’s a great cause that has gained traction worldwide, challenging people to try living without single-use plastics. While Thailand is notorious for its use of such plastics, we CAN change our consumption habits, finding new and fairly easy ways to cut single-use plastics out of our daily lives. Here’s how.

  • Plastic cling wrap: Instead of using plastic cling wrap for food, invest in some washable and reusable beeswax-coated cloth wraps from local companies like ecowrap, SuperBee and Wrappini. The wraps last for up to a year, keep foods fresh, and are completely biodegradable.
  • Plastic water bottles: Like grabbing your house keys or wallet when you leave the house, make it a habit to bring your own reusable water bottle with you. Groups like Water Station are offering places around town where you can refill your bottle.
  • Personal care and household cleaning products in plastic bottles: Head over to Refill Station or GreenCall Thailand with your empty bottles and fill ’em up with everything from shampoo to laundry and dish washing detergents. These eco-friendly bulk stores are expanding around town, making it easier for consumers to access packaging-free everyday products.
  • Plastic straws: Do you or the kids really need one? if you get a plastic straw with a drink order at a restaurant or cafe, send it back. You can also bring your own reusable straw. Made of materials like bamboo, stainless steel, glass or silicone, these straws are readily available around Bangkok.
  • Plastic bags: If you’re like us, you already have a huge stash of cloth tote bags at home. Plan ahead and carry a few around if you’re planning to hit the supermarket or shopping mall that day. You can also get light mesh bags from the above bulk stores or at Sourced Grocers, to further reduce plastic use at the supermarket when buying loose fruits and vegetables that are priced by weight.
  • Diapers: Ok, this one’s a bit more challenging but it’s entirely possible and many brave souls have gone down this route. We have previously published a guide on reusable nappies and the alternatives to the non-biodegradable ones most people use.
  • Toys:  Children’s toys are almost impossible to recycle and we all have lots of toys and kid’s gear with plastic components at home. But instead of buying new ones all the time, take the ones you no longer want to swap meets or yard sales. Check out groups like Swap ’til You Drop or BAMBI who occasionally hold such events.

Although there’s not long left until Plastic Free July begins, there’s still time to take the Pesky Plastic Quiz. It’s a great way of finding out what single-use plastics you’re currently using, and what you can cut out during the challenge.

Want to take it further? How about getting kids into recycling, including single-use plastics, this summer?

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