7 Items to ditch for a plastic-free kitchen
In today’s society, plastic seems ubiquitous, seeping into every corner of our lives. The kitchen is no exception. In fact, with a bulk of these products being manufactured for food packaging purposes, our kitchen becomes a major crime scene for the plastic pollution problem - with us, sometimes unknowingly and unintentionally, playing the role of the culprit as a result. Shifting away from these polluters and looking for more eco-friendly alternatives, however, might not be as difficult as we think. Let’s take a look at some items in the kitchen that contain plastic, and what you could potentially replace them with.
Ziploc Bags (Plastic Sandwich Bags)
Globally, we use 5 trillion bags every year. This number includes the sandwich bags we use to pack our lunches. Most of these are tossed after one use, but take up to 1,000 years to breakdown. Until fully broken down, they remain in our waterways, poisoning our fish.
Replace with: Paper bag, reusable silicone sandwich bag
Coffee pods have skyrocketed in popularity in the past decade, providing consumers with high quality coffee from the comfort of their own homes - but there’s a catch to all of this.The pods, made from plastic and aluminum, are impossible to recycle by just throwing them in your neighborhood’s recycle bins. As a result, billions of these end up in landfills every single year.
Replace with: Loose Coffee (Try grinding it yourself!)
Single-Use Tea Bags
For those of us who get our caffeine fix from tea instead of coffee, we’re also not quite off the hook. While tea bags look biodegradable, looks can deceive. Tea bags contain polypropylene, a plastic sealant used to hold them together so they don’t fall apart in boiling water.
Replace with: Loose leaf tea and a strainer
Single-use foodware is a major source of our plastic problem. In the US, for example, it is estimated that 100 million plastic utensils are used every single day. The thing is, though, we probably all already own the sustainable alternatives these disposable dinnerware - we call them regular dinnerware.
Replace with: Good old regular, reusable cutlery and cups
Who has a drawer in their kitchen dedicated to storing extra condiment packs collected from all those fast food/takeaway runs? Why buy ketchup when we can just use these free packets, right? Takeaway restaurants seem to liberally give away these condiments to all their willing customers, with trillions being produced each year. Letting this subconsciously habit of ours continue, however, is more dangerous than you think. These packets, are made from plastic and impossible to recycle - not a combination we want in something that is produced to such a large scale. Next time you buy takeout, trying making a conscious effort to refuse these “freebies.”
Replace with: make your own, it’ll be fun!
Unlike other items on this list that sneakily try to hide the fact that they contain plastic, with cling wrap, it’s all out in the open for you to see. Yet, we don’t seem to be put off. In 2017, close to 200 million consumers admitted to using at least one roll of cling wrap in a 6 month period in the US alone. Let’s change the way we think about cling wrap. It should not be taken for granted.
Replace with: Beeswax wrap