I love my coffee fix as much as the next person, but what I don’t love is the amount of waste grabbing coffee on a daily basis creates. Sure, I try to remember to bring my reusable travel mugs, however, sometimes I forget and I’m burdened with the guilt that I’m contributing to the large trash problem. Why not encourage places like Starbucks to use biodegradable cups and straws (as well as traditional mugs for those staying in to enjoy their caffeinated beverages)? The petition is available via MoveOn Petitions – Starbucks: Change from Plastic to Biodegradable.
Plastic trash accounted for 32 million tons of waste in 2011, or 12.7% of the total collected waste. Only 8% of the total plastic waste generated was collected for recycling. With numbers like these, it’s important to be aware that an alternative is necessary.(Statistics courtesy of the EPA).
In addition to signing the above petition, there are ways one can act to help reduce the levels of plastic waste put into our system. First, giving up the use of straws can help reduce plastic waste. If a straw is necessary, look into purchasing a reusable straw.
You probably are already using reusable shopping bags, but if not, now is a good time to start. Not only are plastic bags a problem in our landfills, but they are also a problem for our sea life, since many of them get swept out to the giant garbage pile in the ocean.
When buying bulk, you can bring a reusable container rather than using the plastic bags provided. When not possible, opt for paper products over the plastic products.
Mother Nature Network lists 13 other ways you can help reduce your plastic impact on the world. Do you have other tips to share?