A practice that ensures everything reaches right destination
Sort and save
In the present day world, unfortunately, zero waste product choices are very limited. In fact most of the products labelled as zero waste are more of a marketing gimmick than a planet concern. So when you refill the grocery for the month, it often comes with a lot of discarded packaging for an average household. You can check if there is a good bulk store around you, where you can buy you pantry items totally free of plastic guilt. Most shops and even major supermarket sell grains and pulses in bulk supply. You can spot such quality sellers around your locality and get you grocery in your own cloth bag.
Save all the Recyclable trash
This is an easy exercise once incorporated in our lives. Once we have understood the symbol, it is easy to save the recyclable trash. Just look for the symbol on the packaging and is it is recyclable, save it. The trash that is non recyclable such as thin films, plastic foam etc, can be discarded. We have a guilt bin(call what you want) where we store such non recyclables. Storing it works as an indicator of the landfill trash that you are producing. For instance, We must tell that we stopped this exercise for a month or two and trust us you trash levels soared like anything. Saving the packs makes us realize how much plastic is actually getting inside and how and where can we cut in.
Sort according to category
A rough sorting method requires glass and metal in one category, plastic bottles, tubes, other products in the second category and a bag for all the plastic films, packaging, pulses packets etc. This is one very easy way one can sort recyclables. It also lets you know the category of waste you are producing more.
A more exhaustive and particular method is to categorize waste according to the polymer. For this you can refer the recycle symbol on the product and categorize it accordingly i.e. PETE(1) together, HDPE(2) together and so on. This is just a way to asses your plastic produce and cut down on it.
Thin films are mostly non recyclable
No matter how loud some claims are, thin film plastics such as single use plastic bags are not worthy of saving. They clog drains and poison the oceans. Yes, that is all about a bag of plastic that you used for a few minutes while shopping before throwing them away into the bin. Such cheap thin film bags that are often sold by weight and not by number are difficult to be kicked out of shelves for the convenience they provide. But the fact that 96% of them are not accepted by the recycle centers might waken us up from the slumber.
The myth of long life and the throw away culture
Plastic has its hold on market for its durability but how true is that? The myth develops from the fact that we often compare durability against price so when a cheap plastic bottle serves us for a year, we often undermine that sturdy steel bottle that might last for another 5 years.
Besides, in the present day throwaway culture, things are not meant to last longer, we often throw them away because we are bored of them so we are looking for cheap and not for durable. Further we continue using plastics even if they have been heavily scratched due to continuous use, neglecting their health impacts. The bottom line is that if you closely analyse how long a plastic/glass/metal/wooden product lasted you might understand the pseudo durability image plastics have developed.
Lets dig into our hearts, has a health hazard as toxic as plastic paralyzed us to an extent that we are not able to appreciate the goodness of natural and infinitely recyclable materials such as wood, glass and metal?
As I write this I hold in my hand a plastic mouse and a keyboard that I am hopelessly not able to replace but there is a lot more stuff in our lives that has been saturating our lives with plastic. Suggest your day to day observations on can we replace plastic with natural or at least recyclable substances, in the comment box below.