With households relying on shopping for virtually all products used in a home, waste packaging can pile up pretty quickly. On-demand food is perhaps the biggest waste packaging contributor in a household. Some of the common packaging that is unrecyclable and harmful to the environment includes:
• Mesh bags for vegetables and fruits
• Plastic ‘clamshell’ for pastries and fruits
• Tetra-Pak containers for milk and juice
• Plastic bags for greens
• Cereal box liners
• Coffee cartridges and lids
• Bioplastic cutlery and tableware often used as use-and-dump in parties
• Unattached plastic bottle caps
• Plastic Straws
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that these common packaging materials accounted for about half of the plastic waste generated.
Reusable and recycled packaging
There are several items around the house that can be used for shopping without extra costs or any inconveniences. Some of these include:
• Fabric carrier bags – These are perhaps the most versatile and eco-friendly packaging items to use for holding shopped items. They are strong and can hold considerable weight. They can also be washed several times without weakening the fabric.
• Cardboard boxes – These are commonly used to hold items such as shoes, stationery, and electronic appliances. These boxes can be used to hold dry items from the store for example clothing or electronic parts.
• Honey jars – Glass jars are very good in keeping food as they are non-reactive and stable in temperature. Glass jars can be used to hold food items such as unpackaged grains or sugar from the store.
• Paper envelopes – These are very reusable as well as recyclable items. Good condition paper envelopes can be reused at the bookstore to hold a few items like postcards or a notebook and pen.
• Old denim – Denim is a tough fabric that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Carrier bags can be fashioned from denim with a few basic tailoring tricks.
• Reusable coffee cups – Some coffee shops offer a discount for customers who come in with reusable coffee cups. These cups are usually made of 100% food safe silicone.
• Reusable water bottles – These bottles can be used to carry water as well as any other beverage or drink. The most durable ones are metallic, made from either stainless steel or aluminum. They also come with a long-lasting attached lid.
• Recycled plastic carriers – These carrier bags are still the cheapest in the market. When there is no other alternative ensure to pick one that is 100% made from recycled plastic.
Better choices in packaging and carrying items for purchases at the store can drastically reduce the amount of waste generated in a home. The good thing is that making a habit of using them is very affordable.