Living without plastic bags or plastic wrap

Every single piece of plastic that has ever been created since the 19th century is still somewhere on our planet.  So recycling the plastic you use is good, right?  Yes.  But recycling is the third choice in the standard mantra … REDUCE, REUSE, then recycle.  But we believe in going a couple of steps further: REFUSE, REJECT, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Adding to this, starting on January 1, Seattle residents can no longer recycle plastic bags or wrap in their home recycling.  But instead of finding alternative recycling options, let’s instead learn how to live without plastic bags or wrap.

Mindful Momma has some ideas for plastic wrap alternatives, as does the blog Treading My Own Path.

Organic Authority can help you with ideas for living without plastic bags.  And here are more ideas from The Zero Shop.

Beyond bags and wrap, here are links to websites with tips for reducing your plastic consumption, and reusing the plastics you already have.

Did you know that of the 33 million tons of plastic waste generated in the US in 2013, only 9 percent was recovered for recycling? Here are 17 ways to reduce your plastic waste.

While most plastics are touted as recyclable, the reality is that they’re “downcycled.”  A plastic milk carton can never be recycled into another carton — it can be made into a lower-quality item like plastic lumber, which can’t be recycled.  Here are 16 ways to reduce your plastic waste.

Think of the Pacific garbage patch whenever you feel tempted to buy water, get a to-go cup or buy liquid laundry detergent, and read these 51 ways to reduce plastic use.

No one is expected or encouraged to give up plastic cold turkey. Ease into it. Decide to make a couple personal lifestyle adjustments and other plastic free alternatives will seep into your routine naturally, you’ll see.  And here are even more tips to help you along!

There are concerns about reusing plastics for food purposes.   Not all plastics are the same and there are some plastics that are better (less bad) for food applications.

Take a deep breath, then take baby steps.  You can do it!