Preserving the Environment

Americans Throw Out Over 33 Million Tons of Plastic a Year — Let’s Fix That

July 25, 2019
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Americans Throw Out Over 33 Million Tons of Plastic a Year — Let’s Fix That
Joshua O'Connor
Plastic in our oceans and landfills takes hundreds of years to decompose. But there are some simple ways you can reduce what you use and help the planet.

First, ditch the plastic bags. A single-use plastic bag is used on average for a mere 12 minutes. It’ll take that bag more than 500 years to decompose. 

So make an effort to bring reusable totes with you when you shop. If you don’t already have reusable bags, buy some. Just look for bags made from recycled plastic, which have a smaller environmental impact than cotton totes. 

While you’re grabbing your reusable bags, grab a thermos or tumbler for coffee and tea.

Bonus: Many local and national coffee shops give you a discount for bringing your own cup. That’s money in your pocket.

On a similar note, avoid buying bottled water. Every single minute the world uses one million plastic water bottles. Ninety-one percent of those never end up the recycling bin. Use a reusable water bottle, and it’ll save you about $200 a year.

It’s all about creating a habit of thinking before using. But once you do, you’ll feel better about the planet and save some money too. Check out the video for more ways to reduce your plastic consumption.

More: Five Things That Should Never, Ever Be Flushed Down the Toilet