Menu Close

Plastic | Opinion

Despite what myriad headlines might have you believe, plastic is not the root cause of all evil. In fact, our lives would not be the same without it. Plastic is used in the creation of nearly every modern amenity — from our iPhones to our sneakers — and responsible for many of the products that have enabled us to live happier, safer, and even healthier lives. If you don’t believe me, just consider a few of the valuable contributions plastic has made to the field of medicine. For instance, plastic is used to cover and protect sterile medical instruments, greatly reducing the likelihood of infection. Plastic has enabled artificial knees, hips, and limbs to be more flexible, durable, and lightweight. The use of plastic even reduces the cost of medical procedures! In short, modern medicine would not be the same without plastic.

That said, it has become increasingly apparent that we must seriously reconsider how we put this material to use. While useful in many ways, plastic can also be detrimental to our health (many contain endocrine disrupting chemicals), and causes serious harm to our planet. For example, fo every modern convenience and medical marvel it has facilitated, plastic has been used to create countless single-use items; Happy Meal toys, shopping bags, sandwich wrappers, coffee cups — all things that pass fleetingly through our hands, straight into a landfill. Our reckless use of plastic has resulted in serious and long-lasting negative effects for both our environment and for our own health. The time has come to make a change! If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve compiled a list of five single-use plastic items you can stop using today.

Plastic Utensils

Have you ever gotten a takeaway dinner and found a nice little package containing a fork, knife, spoon, napkin and maybe even a little packet of salt & pepper inside? While this might make your meal-on-the-go just that much more convenient, the next time you order takeout, opt out of the plasticware.

Instead of using plastic utensils, try out one of these super cool reusable ‘Sporks’ (a reusable, easily transportable fork/spoon/knife combo)!

Bottled Water

If you haven’t made the switch already, it’s officially time — ditch the plastic and start carrying your own, reusable water bottle. It might seem inconvenient at first, but once you work it into your routine you’ll find that carrying a water bottle with you is no hassle at all! Not to mention all the money you’ll save!

Don’t forget to make it your own! Decorate your bottle with cool stickers from your favorite local shops, vacation destinations, or companies.

Takeaway Coffee Containers

If carrying around both a water bottle and a reusable coffee cups seems like just too much to ask, consider buying a container that can be used to carry any liquid, hot or cold, such as this bottle from Hydro Flask.

Straws

Straws are one of the most frivolous examples of single-use plastics, and one of the biggest offenders when it comes to Ocean pollution.

If you REALLY need a straw in order to be able to fully enjoy your beverage, start carrying your own! There are metal straws, glass straws, straws that are collapsible, straws that are made of wood, straws that are multi-colored and make fun loop-de-loops — in short, there are endless options available to you. Enjoy your iced-coffee with the heart-warming knowledge that you’re helping the environment. Table Lifestyle carries a variety of reusable straws for only ONE DOLLAR!

Toothbrushes

Fun fact: the American Dental Association recommends switching your toothbrush once every three months, or after recovering from a cold. That means that the average person goes through at least four toothbrushes a year. Ready for another fun fact? The average toothbrush takes approximately 400 years to decompose.

One of the biggest challenges people face when it comes to kicking their Plastic habit to the curb is overcoming the idea that they are losing out on simple conveniences. But when it comes to your toothbrush, there’s really no excuse. Instead of buying the plastic toothbrushes you’d find at any old convenience store, make the effort to stock up on environmentally friendly toothbrushes once a year. That’s it — once a year, make the choice to help out your planet and purchase a more sustainable toothbrush, such as this bamboo Panda Brush we carry at Table Lifestyle.

Shopping Bags

Whether you prefer to carry a tote from you favorite bookstore or acompact bag like this, carrying your own shopping bag is a quick and easy fix that will prevent your grocery bag from becoming the next 21st-century tumbleweed!