When it comes to tackling single use plastic consumption, I like to think about the saying "Eat the elephant one bite at a time." Actually, I hate to think about that because I love elephants and the thought of eating one is against my inclinations HOWEVER the phrase does communicate the idea quite thoroughly: Anything can be accomplished one baby step at a time. Even reducing single use plastic. This week I've been reading up on some of the most common culprits in our eco systems and I thought it might be interesting to share with you! Some of these we've heard a million times and if you're ahead of the game that's wonderful!! And if you haven't tackled avoiding these products yet, hopefully this will give you some inspiration to find a swap that works for you and your unique routine! 

1. Single-Use Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are one of the most common plastic waste items found in landfills and oceans. These bags take hundreds of years to decompose and are often used for only a few minutes. To avoid contributing to this waste, opt for reusable bags when shopping or running errands. In some states these bags are outlawed in large chains but I still run into them when ordering take out etc. A great way to avoid the bag is to simply opt out when ordering. I know it sounds simple but sometimes it takes a little courage. If you're someone who actually has a need for a grocery sized plastic bag, check out our compostable cat litter bags! They are the exact same size and will break down safely in any setting! 

2. Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles are another major contributor to plastic waste. In the United States alone, over 60 million plastic bottles are thrown away every day. To reduce this waste, invest in a reusable water bottle and fill it up with tap water instead of purchasing single-use plastic bottles. We are constantly on the hunt for a great water bottle so let us know your favorites. I tend to go for glass or metal! 

3. Food Wrappers and Containers

During the 2022 ocean cleanup, 998,661 food wrappers and containers were collected (Which is awful but also AWESOME that those wrappers are no longer in the water!). Most of these wrappers can take up to 500 years to break down and sink to the sea floors posing significant risk to marine life. A big stinker in this arena is plastic bottle caps. Many recycling facilities don't accept these check with your local recycling company before tossing them in the bin or opt for metal caps and bring them to scrap yard! 

4. Plastic Packaging

Excessive plastic packaging is a major source of plastic waste. Of course it can be necessary on occasion but often times it's to make things, cuter and more enticing to the consumer. When shopping, challenge yourself to look for glass, metal, or UNCOATED paper packaging. Uncoated paper packaging can be easily composted but coated paper (like broth cartons, milk cartons, etc.) have plastic on the inside and cannot be tossed in the compost so don't be fooled! This type of packaging can SEEM more eco friendly than plastic but it can't even be recycled so I try to avoid it!

5. Plastic Utensils

Disposable plastic utensils are often used for a single meal and then thrown away, contributing to plastic waste. To avoid this, carry reusable utensils with you when you're out and about. You don't have to get fancy with it, bring silverware from home or grab a roll of bamboo cutlery from Marilla's! 



By being mindful of the most common plastic waste items and taking steps to avoid them, we can all play a part in reducing our impact on the environment one plastic fork at a time!!  It may not seem like much in the moment but over time these tiny mindful acts add up to great things. In these past five years of Marilla's Mindful Supplies it's been SO encouraging to see folks eliminating plastic waste in their routines and watching so many of our customers raising children (A WHOLE NEW GENERATION) to be mindful and active in reducing waste. Good things are happening for the planet every day. We've got this, gang. We really do!!!






July 09, 2024 — Marilla Gonzalez


Susan Martin said:

A note about plastic bottle caps- Milly’s Pantry in Penn Yan collects all sorts of plastic tops-6” and less and has a place to bring them who recycles them, “melts” them into park benches. They are trying to get enough for a bench in front of their store. Need a lot! You can check them out on Facebook.

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