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July Editions

Reducing Plastic Waste: What To Do

by Ajibola Ameerah


Over 600,000 tons of plastic waste is generated yearly in Lagos State alone with a minute amount properly collected. One major problem of plastic, it is not degradable, at least not for so many years. A common sight is to see plastic waste laying virtually everywhere.

The dangers of plastic waste pollution are numerous ranging from environmental hazards transcending not only on land but also finding its way to the oceans affecting marine life to personal health hazards with the slums as the worst hit areas.

What do we do? How do we reduce the amount of plastic waste generated to the barest minimum considering most consumables are protected or packaged by one form of plastic or the other?


Below are some easy tips to follow

  1. Use a reusable produce bag. A single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Purchase or make your own reusable produce bag and be sure to wash them often!
  2. Bring your own garment bag to the dry cleaner
  3. Repurpose the plastic that you already have. Cups and yogurt tubs make great planters, and bags can be woven into baskets and mats. The tops of water bottles can be sliced off to make awesome seals for bags of food.
  4. Buy detergent that comes in cardboard boxes instead of plastic containers.
  5. Line your garbage bins with paper bags or biodegradable trash bags instead of buying plastic trash bags.
  6. For parties or at work, avoid using disposable cups and plastic utensils. Use real silverware and cups and wash them later or purchase compostable ones.
  7. For the popular pure water, why not make your own drinking water?
  8. Buy cloth diapers instead of disposable ones. They might be messier, but they create much less waste compared with disposables, which don’t decompose and amount to a huge amount of landfill waste per year.
  9. Sell products without packaging.
  10. Buy in bulk
  11. Say no to straws
  12. Have your personal refillable bottle and travel mug handy so you do not have to buy bottled water all the time.

And always remember- It’s Reduce, Reuse, Wecycle!

Culled from:

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