Tips to reduce the use of plastic in the kitchen

Plastic certainly changed our lives when it arrived. A material that could take any shape and form and be used in thousands of ways. It made our day-to-day life easier. We abused its production, and through its large consumption, this led to excessive waste. Now we must learn to reduce the use of plastic.

I remember playing with my plastic dolls and my brothers with their little soldiers and other plastic toys. I also remember when I gave my children their first colourful cup for drinking water. Despite the good memories, plastic is one of the most environmentally damaging materials everywhere.

One of the biggest drawbacks is that not all plastics can be recycled. Many are only for single-use, do not tend to last as long, and are produced in a highly polluting way.

This does not mean that you should throw away all the plastic you have at home right now. The main and most important thing is to reduce the use of plastic from now on.

There are hundreds of alternatives that are better than plastic, for example, when you use cardboard or a wooden box to store children’s toys – you can paint them and give them a fun design!


Why isn’t it good to heat your food in any plastic container?


Each plastic container has a number written inside a triangle. I’m sure you’ve seen it. This serves to indicate the type of plastic it is. All products with the same number are made of the same material. Of the variety of plastics out there, those marked with the numbers 2, 4, and 5 are the only plastics that are resistant and safer for heating food in the microwave with.


Why reduce the use of plastic?


Plastic is not the best material. Many plastics are fragile because they are manufactured in masses and are therefore of poor quality, this keeps the cost price low.

Over time, these containers can begin to deform and absorb the aromas of the food you keep in them. For example, if you cooked something with garlic, that smell will be very difficult to remove.

Reducing plastic at home, and especially in the kitchen, will help you have better containers and be more confident about avoiding chemicals leaching into your food.

Plastic is everywhere because we use it for everything.

You may think that reducing plastic can be a very laborious task, but it is easier than ever!

When you leave a bottle of water in the sun for a long time, it releases toxic gases that are harmful to your health. Also, plastic has reached seas, lakes, and rivers causing terrible damage to ecosystems.

Plastic takes hundreds of years to biodegrade. Plastic in the seas does not disintegrate, it just erodes into parts as small as grains of sand. When fish eat the plastic and we eat them, we end up hurting ourselves.

Some alternative materials to plastic are much stronger, for example, stainless steel. There are bottles and plastic containers made out of this material and are an investment you may not be able to make at the moment.

With these tips, you can start doing your bit to rebuild the health of the planet together, as a society.

How to reduce the use of plastic?

There are several options to reduce the use of plastic at home.
The first recommendation is to make the most of all the plastic containers, utensils, and cutlery you have. If you have plastic lids that you no longer use, you can use them as a base for your pots.

Here are some ideas that you can put into practice:

  • Start by taking your cloth bags to the market, supermarket, or convenience store (you can make them out of T-shirts you no longer use).
  • If you are going to buy reusable bags, make sure they are not made of synthetic fibers such as polyester, which is also plastic.
  • Avoid using plastic bags for each type of vegetable. One option is to buy or make woven bags for them. If you have time, it’s very easy! You can also help by buying from a small local business that produces them.
  • Take your containers to the supermarket for your meat, sausage, and seafood, etcetera, or even your products.
  • Choose brands and products whose packaging is easily recyclable. That is, they should be packed in cardboard, aluminum, glass, or even a tetra pack. These packages are easier to recycle once you discard them.
  • When you want to replace your plastic containers, opt for glass containers. One way to avoid spending money on these containers is to reuse your jam, coffee, sauce, or spice containers.
  • Use your resealable bags more often. They are much more resistant, they can store liquids and solids without spilling in your refrigerator or freezer. These bags also withstand high and low temperatures and are ideal for storing food scraps.
  • Shop in stores that have bulk products. Zero waste markets and stores are an excellent option. In bulk stores, you can find fruits, vegetables, seeds, and even products such as cleaning and degreasing liquids. There are even personal care and hygiene products, such as shampoos and body creams, which you can also buy in bulk.
  • When you order food from home, tell them that you do not need the plastic cutlery or bags. If you know you are going to order food to go, always bring your containers.
  • Use a reusable bottle to drink water when you are away from home. Using the same PET bottle can cause it to release a toxic substance that is characteristic of PET, so it is best to avoid it as much as possible.
  • The most important thing is to start slowly, don’t get overwhelmed. Start with small actions in your day-to-day life. The most important thing is to consider alternative materials for plastic.
  • Glass containers have helped me to organise the pantry and know what I have. I like to buy nuts and almonds in bulk, as I can spend less and get better quality.

Do you think you could apply some of these daily actions?

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