Lockdowns and travel bans are (hopefully) a thing of the past, but Australia’s plastic pandemic is seemingly here to stay.
Over 3.2 million of us still drink bottled water at home, and new research from BRITA has found that a quarter of us are choosing convenience over sustainability. But this combination of ‘convenience culture’, apathy for single-use plastic reduction and a lack of education on how to reduce or refuse single-use plastic isn’t just costing the planet – it’s costing us money, too.
“With over one million Australian households mostly drinking bottled water at home, we’re spending over $3.4 million each day and significantly contributing to plastic waste,” says Anita Birges, a home organisation expert who has teamed up with BRITA this Plastic Free July. “We know that attainable sustainability is important to over 14 million Australians who want to find ways to save the planet whilst also saving on the household budget.”
This Plastic Free July, BRITA has educated Aussies about the simple ways we can reduce our plastic waste. It’s timely, as 77 percent of Australians have said more education needs to be made available on how to reduce plastic waste, and over two million Australians admitted they don’t know how to reduce their plastic waste.
According to BRITA’s research, a quarter of Australians say they mostly purchase or use a single-use plastic bottle when they forget to bring their own refillable one. But, 46 percent of Australians say this purchase happens on average once every month, which cumulatively equates to 110,734,711 bottles per year which could have been avoided landfill with better planning.
It doesn’t stop there. To help Australians act during Plastic Free July, here are our top 11 tips for reducing plastic waste at home:
- Make the switch to a filter water jug instead of using single-use bottles at home or work.
- Invest in a quality water bottle for on the go – the more expensive, the more attached to it you will be (try forgetting a $60 water bottle at the bus stop!).
- Opt for a biodegradable or bamboo toothbrush next time you need to upgrade.
- Ditch the cling film in favour of plates, bowls or reusable wraps to cover your food.
- Invest in some silicone snap seal bags instead of the single-use plastic variety
- Keep your reusable shopping bags handy (we have them stashed all over so we never have to buy more!)
- Bring your own containers when you pick up your takeaway – simply ask when you order on the phone if they’ll let you BYO Tupperware.
- When grocery shopping, choose the pre-packaged items that have no plastic (think toilet paper, oil bottles and salt and pepper bags). Start small with three swaps and work up to a totally plastic-free shop.
- Bring your own cutlery when you’re out and about. It doesn’t need to be fancy; a knife, fork, spoon and metal straw in a napkin works a treat.
- Grow your own herbs instead of buying the pre-packaged versions. Sustainable and affordable!
- Remember the three R’s for a better planet – reduce, reuse, recycle.