29 Jul Why I don’t ask for plastic straws at restaurants anymore
Plastic, we use it to cover our food in like cling wrap, to carry our food in like plastic bags, we even use it to drink from, plastic straws. Have you ever thought about where this plastic lands up once we are done with it? A whole bunch of it lands up in our oceans, that’s where. Recently, the world has come realise just how dire the plastic situation has become. Not so long ago a pilot whale washed up on the shores of Thailand with over 27 kgs of plastic found in its belly. That is not OK!
We’ve seen stores popping up in Cape Town like Nude foods, where you bring your own packaging. You select your fresh produce, weigh it and then put it in your own packaging to take home and enjoy. There’s also a no plastic challenge, where moms are challenging each other to live completely plastic free for a whole month. It’s a lot more difficult than you would think. Could you live plastic free for one month?
I’m sure you’ve also noticed the big ban on straws, with popular restaurants like your local Tasha’s now offering paper straws instead of plastic straws in an effort to reduce our plastic consumption. On a recent holiday to Croatia there were red submarines in the port, promising viewers to see sights such as colourful coral and fish. We let a couple go first and wanted to ask if it was worth it when they returned. We excitedly came to see them in 30 mins once their trip was done and excitedly asked them, ‘So, what did you see?’ to our shock and horror, the couple replied….. plastic bags, a lot of plastic bags. No coral, no fish, just plastic. I was shook, in-fact my tummy did a somersault.
Loads of responsible restaurant owners are announcing that they are giving up plastic straws and offering paper straws, or going completely straw free.
Big retailers like Pick ‘n Pay and Woolworths are also rising to the challenge and committing to reducing plastic packaging in the coming years. PnP recently announced that they will be launching biodegradable bags in the near future. Woolworths is also investigating migrating towards a Nude foods approach when it comes to how they offer their fresh produce to customers.
Here are 5 easy ways that you can be part of the solution:
1. Use reusable shopping bags. They can usually hold more than a plastic bag can anyway.
2. Take your own travel mug to a restaurant for your take-away cappuccino. Some restaurants will even give you a discount for bringing in your own mug.
3. Stop using soap/washes with exfoliating beads in it as these plastic beads land up in our oceans and in the bellies of our aquatic wildlife.
4. Opt for paper straws instead of plastic ones
5. Create eco bricks with your left over plastic instead of throwing it away. Eco bricks are when you take an empty 2l bottle and fill it up with loose plastic, this plastic can be chip packets or packaging that your veggies came in. You fill up the bottle so that it is so tight, you cannot fit another thing in. The eco brick website says the average eco brick should weigh about 8 kgs. You can then drop these bricks off at a drop off center, as found on the eco brick website and these bricks are used to build houses! You’ll be amazed to see how quickly you can fill these bricks up.
Let’s not forget that we get 70% of Earth’s oxygen from the Ocean. So it is in our interests to look after it.
Photo by Cédric Frixon on Unsplash
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