Cut Back on Single Use Plastics

  • Based on literature found at GreenFest 2019, tweaked by Aurora and Gwydion

Ten Easy Changes to Reduce Plastic Pollution

1. Reusable Shopping Bag vs. Single-Use Plastic Bag

Traditional plastic bag:

  • Made of a material manufactured from petroleum and natural gas.
  • All materials used are non-renewable fossil fuel-based materials.

Eco-Friendly Alternative example:

ChicoBag folds up small enough to put in your purse - Find it at

ChicoBag Shopping Bag at Amazon

2. Reusable Water Bottle/Coffee Cup vs. Plastic Water Bottle/Styrofoam Cup

Plastic Water Bottles:

  • Water bottles are filling up our landfills.
  • Re-using petroleum produced plastic bottles with phthalates cause health concerns.
  • Only one out of four plastic water bottles are actually recycled.

Eco-Friendly Alternative example:

Aldwyn's fave is a stainless steel bottle by CamelBak. Check them out at

CamelBak Stainless Water Bottle at Amazon

3. Reusable Produce Bag vs. Disposable Plastic Bag (or use no bags!)

Plastic Produce Bags:

  • Plastic bags take between 500 and 1,000 years to degrade.

Eco-Friendly Alternative example:

Reusable produce bags. has a variety of choices and sizes.

Reusable Mesh Produce Bags at Amazon

4. Glass or Metal Straws vs. Single Use Straws

Plastic Straws:

  • Straws that are placed in recycling often are too lightweight for machines to sort. They contaminate recycling loads and end up getting disposed of as garbage.

Eco-Friendly Alternative example:

Aurora's favorite glass straws can be found at

Glass Straws at GlassDharma

5. Bamboo Utensils/Reusable Set vs. Single Use Disposable Utensils

Plastic Utensils:

  • Plastic forks, knives and spoons are ending up in our oceans and landfills.
  • Plastic will not biodegrade. It will break down into tiny particles after many years and releases toxic chemicals which make their way into our food and water supply.

Eco-Friendly Alternative example:

This set it amazing, it has everything you need. Use it for lunch and travel, purchase at

Bamboo Utensil Set at Amazon

6. Bamboo or Compostable Plates vs. Plastic/ Styrofoam or Paper Plates Coated in Plastic

Traditional Single-Use Plates:

  • The plastic-coated paper products produce fragments of plastic.
  • Once these plastics are dispersed into the environment, they cause detrimental effects to organisms in a variety of ecosystems.

Eco-Friendly Alternative example:

Use plates made from the by-product of sugar production. Find these plates at

Compostable Plates at Amazon

7. Bamboo Toothbrush vs. Plastic Toothbrush

Traditional Toothbrush:

  • Plastic toothbrushes are made from a mix of plastic materials that combine rubber, crude oil, plastic and cardboard in both the produce and packaging.

Eco-Friendly Alternative example:

Purchase a Bamboo Toothbrush at (even the packaging is compostable).

Biodegradable Toothbrushes at Amazon

8. Cellulose Sponges vs. Traditional Sponges

Traditional Sponges:

  • Most antibacterial sponges have been treated with the antibacterial/antifungal agent that is an environmentally harmful pesticide wreaking havoc on aquatic ecosystems.
  • Cellulose sponges are compostable.

Eco-Friendly Alternative example:

Sponges made from cellulose! Find it at

Cellulose Scrubber at Amazon

9. Beeswax Wrap /Sandwich Wrap vs. Plastic Wrap/ Plastic Ziplock Bags

Plastic Wrap:

  • Most plastic wrap should not be put in the recycling bin - not only is cling wrap usually soiled with food, contaminating other valuable recyclables, but like plastic bags, it's also likely to jam the machinery.
  • Used cling wrap is headed for the incinerator or landfill.

Eco-Friendly Alternative example:

Beeswax wraps are reusable and compostable -- purchase at

Beeswax Wrap at Amazon

10. Biodegradable/Compostable Trash Bags vs. Single Use Petrochemical Trash Bags

  • Little trash in a landfill will break down because of lack of oxygen.
  • Trash bags will not break down, but disintegrate into smaller pieces.
  • Marine life, birds and other animals are ingesting this plastic.

Eco-Friendly Alternative example:

Unni Brand has various sizes of bags, made from plants and BPA free -- purchase at

Biodegradable Compostable Trash Bags at Amazon

11. Compostable or Reusable Coffee K-Cups vs. Single Use Plastic K-Cups

  • Most single use K-Cups are not recyclable.
  • But there are compostable and reusable alternatives

Eco-Friendly Alternative example:

Sereny put us onto these great compostable K-Cups (which include the coffee) -- purchase at

Compostable K-Cups at Amazon

Aurora also recommends reusable pods for coffee machines where you add your own coffee -- purchase at

Stainless Reusable Refillable K-Cup at Amazon


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