Plastic pollution is a serious problem! We have all seen the documentaries that show its devastating effects on the environment, as well as marine life and other wildlife. Single-use plastic from household and commercial trash ends up on shorelines and plastic waste clogs drainage systems in our cities. Some link plastic to extreme weather cycles.
A study by the World Economic Forum, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and McKinsey, estimates that millions of tons of plastic packaging flow into the ocean at a rate of one garbage truck every minute, if we continue on this same tangent, that alarming statistic could increase to four truckloads per minute by 2050.
But how do we find a large-scale solution to a problem of this magnitude? The answer lies in bringing about change at an individual level. National Geographic featured the Baltimore Harbor cleanup, which used a contraption named Mr. Trash Wheels, a floating device that sucks up plastic from polluted harbours. John Kellett, its creator aims to “get the trash before it gets to the ocean.”
Take the plastic free pledge
Experts believe we can make a significant impact at a global level with small changes to our buying and using habits. Wondering where to start? Swap plastic for eco-friendly alternatives. Consider taking the “plastic or planet” pledge to reduce single-use plastic.
Go eco-friendly in your kitchen
Family life revolves around the kitchen, a space that everyone shares. Starting your eco-friendly drive here means everyone in the family does their plastic-free part. An informal audit of your kitchen is likely to reveal a collection of plastic storage containers, plastic bags, wraps, cleaning products in plastic packaging.
Take notice of your groceries. Clear plastic produce bags are mounted on rollers at the end of each row in grocery stores but rather than relying on these single use products, opt to use your own produce bags instead! Do you also need to purchase small-portioned and pre-cut produce which is unnecessarily wrapped in plastic packaging? Go whole or go home. Bring your own reusable grocery bags and consider shopping at your local farmer’s market to take advantage of produce plucked fresh from the ground without plastic wrap.
Here’s a compact guide to cut plastic from your kitchen:
Eco friendly kitchen storage containers
Swap plastic containers with eco-friendly options like stainless steel containers or glass mason jars and containers. Find ways to upcycle your plastic containers (for arts and crafts or in the garage). Bamboo or wooden storage jars can also be a good storage option. They can be recycled and do not leech dangerous chemicals. They also look great! Organic bamboo, pretty ceramics and earthy clay containers give your kitchen a warm, rustic charm!
Eco-friendly storage options for your fridge
Ziplock plastic bags are convenient and habitually used to store food in your fridge but they are one of the worst single-use plastic offenders. Have you tried beeswax bags as an eco-friendly alternative? They’re great for storing fruits and vegetables in the fridge or for sandwiches and snacks when on the go. Beeswax bags keep food fresh longer as the material is breathable and has antibacterial properties. Also, since they are made from all-natural ingredients, you won’t have to worry about plastic chemicals or toxins leaching into food, and you can reuse them for up to a year so they are a sustainable alternative to plastic bags.
Beeswax wraps are also versatile and can be used as a replacement for Saran wrap to cover bowls of leftovers in the fridge.
Use plastic-free cookware
Replace your non-stick cookware and microwave-friendly plastic with eco-friendly options like cast iron pans, high quality metal pots and stoneware that won’t leech toxins into your food. Organic cutting boards made from sustainable bamboo can be used in place of synthetic cutting boards that release plastic micro-fragments as you chop. Opt for wooden spatulas to go plastic-free all the way.
Is your dinner table plastic-free?
Get plastics off the dining table! Make sure dinner plates are glass or ceramic. Wooden serving bowls and platters work well for salads and starters. Use reusable cloth napkins instead of paper napkins. For kids, opt for stainless steel straws. If you must use disposable plates and cutlery, consider biodegradable bamboo options.
Choose eco-friendly kitchen cleaners
Most commercial cleaning products for the kitchen are laden with chemicals. Residue from these products can remain on surfaces or utensils and find its way into your food. Harsh cleaning agents generate mildly toxic fumes that can cause allergies or aggravate respiratory problems. Look for biodegradable kitchen cleaning liquids or soap bars made from natural ingredients. Sodium bicarbonate and vinegar are very effective for cleaning surfaces and greasy utensils. You can also add your favourite essential oil for a wonderful scent! Home-made or commercially available bio enzymes are also good options to consider. Using bamboo brushes and scrubs made from natural fibres like coconut coir will go a long way in your plastic -free journey!
Say no to single-use plastics
Do you regularly buy ready-to-eat-meals, milk or juice cartons, and bottled water? All of these are packed in single-use, non-biodegradable material. Avoid buying these if you can. Buy milk packaged in glass bottles instead of plastic cartons. Avoid kitchen cleaners in one-time use dispensers. Buy our own sturdy, durable dispensers and use eco-friendly refill packs to reduce plastic waste.
It’s a wrap!
Every piece of plastic you use and discard chokes the planet. According to an article published by ourworldindata.org, packaging as a sector is the dominant generator of plastic waste, responsible for almost half of the total global plastic waste. Every step you take toward a plastic-free kitchen contributes to a greener planet and a healthier home environment. A little care on your behalf will go a long way for the planet. Once your kitchen is plastic-free, go a step further and see if you can reduce your carbon footprint - go local, go seasonal, and try traditional. A step back, in some cases, creates a positive forward motion. Encourage your friends to create momentum!
Many businesses create products made from natural, organic materials that are safe for the environment and convenient to use.
Just as we benefit from having a purpose greater than ourselves in our personal lives, these companies exist for a definitive purpose. They believe in creating something more valuable than a product that drives revenue. They want to make a difference and take us toward a better future.
Each year, we make and use 300 million tons of plastic worldwide. About half of it is created for single use. To make matters worse, 91% of that plastic does not get recycled.
What is single-use plastic? Think grocery bags, produce wrappers, and the sandwich or snack bags we use in our to-go lunches. All of these plastic products are designed for one-time quick convenience rather than sustainable use.
Want to cut down on your contribution to the single-use plastic industry? Consider replacing your plastic products with the beeswax wrap food bag.
What are beeswax wrap food bags, how do they work, and what’s the real benefit of using them? Read on, friend!
What Is a Beeswax Wrap Food Bag?
Beeswax wrap food bags like the ones we sell here at BeeBAGZ are part of the zero-waste movement. Their purpose is simple: to replace single-use sandwich and snack bags in lunches. But reusable bags made of beeswax go an extra (special) step beyond replacing plastic baggies: they keep fruits and veggies fresher for longer in the fridge. That’s right—they extend the life of your produce, keeping healthy snacks crisp and fresh.
BeeBAGZ are designed with natural materials and can be used over and over again. At the end of their life cycle (about a year) you can feel good about tossing them out because they will naturally biodegrade.
BeeBAGZ are made of cotton, jojoba oil, resin, and beeswax. We are proud to say that our hive created the first 100% plastic-free beeswax wrap food bag.
How to Use and Take Care of Your Beeswax Wrap Food Bags
To use your BeeBAGZ, place food items in the bag and pinch the edges together. Your fingers will warm the beeswax, creating a natural seal. Once the bags are sealed, they're suitable for lunch boxes, purses, backpacks, camp coolers, and the fridge.
Beeswax has natural antibacterial properties that protect against germs. BeeBAGZ baggies work hard for you, your produce, and the health of your kitchen. Cleaning your beeswax bag is as simple as using it: rinse it with cool water and wipe it down with a soft cloth or use a mild detergent and rinse if required. Then, set it on your dish drying rack to air dry. Why no heavy scrubbing? Beeswax is a naturally antibacterial material as well as an odor repellent and keeps your bags germ- and smell-free!
Why Ditch the Plastic?
While sandwich and snack bags may not seem like they would make a huge impact, the truth is that every piece of single-use plastic makes a negative difference. That means that every reusable replacement contributes positively to the planet.
What's so bad about single-use plastic? Let's take a look.
Plastic Clogs Our Oceans
There is no way to pinpoint the exact amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans. Scientists predict that it's about 8 million metric tons per year. Single-use plastic food wrappers make the list of top ten pollutants found in the earth’s water bodies.
What happens to all that plastic?
One of the biggest problems is that plastic is incredibly disruptive to marine habitats. Plastic doesn't decompose, which means it becomes more and more concentrated in our oceans over time. In turn, it smothers or breaks important elements of natural habitats like coral reefs, displacing and killing thousands of species.
Sadly, fish, turtles, and seabirds ingest it. This can lead to intestinal blockages, starvation, and death. Earth's natural life circle is delicate—losing one species creates a ripple effect that can even harm humans.
Plastic Contributes to Greenhouse Gases
Oceans are the largest natural carbon sink for greenhouse gases. Without pollution, oceans slow the effects of climate change by absorbing greenhouse gases from our atmosphere.
Plastic not only makes the ocean's job harder but it actively contributes to the increase of greenhouse gases in the air. As the sun heats up plastic on the surface of the ocean, powerful greenhouses gases are released. Temperatures become more extreme with warmer cold seasons and hotter warm seasons. The hotter it is, the more greenhouse gases are released from plastic pollution. In other words, it’s a dangerous cycle.
The Oil Problem
We use about 10% of our oil supply to create plastic products every year. This may not sound like much, but the truth is that we're running out of our known oil supply. In fact, if we continue using oil at the rate we do today, we could run out of oil within the next 53 years.
It is imperative that we find more sustainable energy sources. Currently, we rely more on oil than many people realize. It powers our cars but it also powers our heat and electricity and appears in just about every synthetic product we use every day.
Plastic contaminates air, land, and sea at a molecular level
Microplastics affect humans on a smaller level, where we can’t see them. Studies indicated that over half the population is affected at a cellular level (cancer, infertility) because we ingest micro-sized plastic residues in the food we eat, absorb them with the clothes we wear, and inhale them out of the air—scary!
Save the World with BeeBAGZ
Are you ready to ditch single-use plastic and seek out plastic alternatives? BeeBAGZ is here to help, one beeswax wrap food bag at a time!
Do you have questions about our products or methods? Do you want more information about an existing order? Contact us today and we'll get back to you as soon as possible!
Is now the time to go plastic-free? Wondering if you should take your zero-waste goals to the next level? Our answer is a resounding YES!
Here are some of our favourite reasons to give up the plastic habit once and for all!
You can be part of something bigger! Plastic Free July – a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – is just around the corner. Their website is packed with tips and inspiration to make your transition away from plastic simpler. As we say at BeeBAGZ™, every drop counts! Read more about Plastic-Free July on their website, sign the petition, take the quiz, and follow the movement on Instagram and Facebook.
It’s healthier for you. We’re all rightfully concerned about protecting our health at this time. However, health experts are pushing back against plastic industry and just recently declared the safety of reusables during COVID-19. Nearly 130 scientists, academics, and doctors from 19 countries signed onto a statement June 22, reassuring retailers and consumers that reusable systems can be utilized safely during the pandemic by employing basic hygiene. Read the details here.
It’s in line with your values. According to a recent Ipsos poll, "even in the midst of safety concerns fuelled by the pandemic, Canadians have not forgotten about environmental sustainability when it comes to the produce they buy. More than two in three (68%) say that eliminating plastic from their food packaging is important (36% very/32% moderately). Fully half (51%) say they would prefer that their leafy greens and herb packages be made of a non-plastic, compostable, plant-based material. By contrast, just 21% would prefer produce to come packaged in recycled plastic, sometimes referred to as rPET.” Using plastic-free, reusable, antimicrobial BeeBAGZ™ can help you feel good about how you’re storing your food! Read more about the survey here.
It can save you money. Going plastic free and zero waste can help save the planet and your pennies! You’ll quickly make back the money you invest in products like good quality reusable water bottles, stainless steel straws, and BeeBAGZ™. Their plasticcounterparts are cheaper as one-offs, but cost a lot more over time. Moreover, BeeBAGZ™ will keep your produce fresher longer, so you’ll save money by reducing food waste!
We hope that you are well on your way to achieving your zero waste and plastic-free goals. Be sure to follow us on our social media accounts and let us know how you're doing!