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Plastic To-Go Containers Are Bad, but Are the Alternatives Any Better? | Civil Eats

Country Wide Bans On Plastic

  • Many towns, states are countries are banning everything from plastic bags, plastic straws, checkout bags, and food plastic containers. A lot of food and beverage companies have made a switch to non-plastic items.
  • Plastic that is single-use/disposable is being banned across the world, and many restaurants and cafes have compostable alternatives and are also adding a small charge to the customers' bill. 

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Plastic To-Go Containers Are Bad, but Are the Alternatives Any Better? | Civil Eats

Plastic To-Go Containers Are Bad, but Are the Alternatives Any Better? | Civil Eats

https://civileats.com/2020/01/14/plastic-to-go-containers-are-bad-but-are-the-alternatives-any-better/

civileats.com

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Key Ideas

Country Wide Bans On Plastic

  • Many towns, states are countries are banning everything from plastic bags, plastic straws, checkout bags, and food plastic containers. A lot of food and beverage companies have made a switch to non-plastic items.
  • Plastic that is single-use/disposable is being banned across the world, and many restaurants and cafes have compostable alternatives and are also adding a small charge to the customers' bill. 

The Problem With The Alternatives

Compostable Tableware, bags and packaging isn't really a solution and is being unadvisedly chosen as the best alternative.

The environmental benefits of compostables are not what they are touted as, because an increase of compostables in the rivers from the waste streams could have unpredictable consequences, and will create more and more trash.

Recycling Plastic

Recyclable Plastic and the effort towards it isn't problem-free.

There are trash contamination issues with plastic and 79% of it isn't even recycled, but landfilled, or burned.

Compostable isn't Perfect

While compostable products are termed better than plastic, there are certain issues like toxic chemicals contaminating the food.

The sustainability of compostable products is in question as the environmental impact isn't entirely clear.

Back To Durable Reusable Refillable

Certain restaurants and cafes are starting to promote the old, long-forgotten culture of using durable, reusable, refillable containers, reducing the consumption-based 'disposable' usage everyone is now accustomed to.

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Think About Your Why

It’s important to nail down why you want to go plastic-free. Having a strong, defined sense of purpose will help you stay the course when things inevitably get tough and inconvenient.

...

Understand What’s Possible

It’s a matter of reducing where you can and reusing the plastic you can’t avoid. Because absolute zero-waste is actually not possible.

You have to think of how exactly do you stop using it. So you first have to understand what’s truly feasible.

Start with Your Beverages

Perhaps the best place for people to start cutting out plastic is in your drinking habits:

  • Carry along a travel mug for your coffee
  • Invest in a reusable water bottle
  • Buy a few metal or glass ones to carry in your bag.

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Single-Cup Brewing

It is more efficient to brew one cup at a time and you can choose from a great variety. However, it can be very costly. The excess packaging also causes environmental problems.

Microwave Popcorn

Popcorn is a great, healthy snack.

Instead of buying popcorn in microwave bags, one can also pop corn at home for much less than the bagged kind.

Bottled Water

Bottled water drinkers give 3 main reasons for their choice: 

  • Taste: Many claim their tap water tastes bad, but a simple pitcher filter can probably fix it.
  • Safety: Bottled water is not necessarily safer than public water sources. A high-end filter can remove impurities from tap water.
  • Convenience. A decent filter and a reusable bottle or stainless-steel flask can replace bottled water.

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Buying endless stuff

Before the internet, we had to set time aside to walk and browse a physical store, which was only open for a certain number of hours.

Now, it has become effortless to buy things online from a...

Dopamine and online shopping

According to research, we get a dopamine surge from buying stuff that causes us to want more and more.

Delayed gratification when the order arrives a few days later also makes is more physiologically rewarding than shopping in stores.

Online shopping 

Some online shops have made it especially easy to shop with a one-click buying process. Most major retailers offer free shipping, and only one in ten consumers return stuff they've bought online.

Americans are also taking up more space with all the stuff they are amassing. Self-storage units are rapidly increasing too.

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