The Government of India has called for freedom from single use plastics, but it remains a distant dream for the eco-conscious individuals in our country. In the beginning, there was strict imposition of the single use plastic bag ban, which helped a lot of people give them up and start using cloth bags. However, as with implementation of any regulation in India, things are back to square one and single-use plastics are rampantly used everywhere.
As an individual, we may have no control over policy matters of the country, but we can take steps to limit plastic usage in our houses and specifically in our kitchens. Please note that our intention is to reduce further consumption of single use plastics. Do not guilt trip yourself to discard all the existing reusable plastic items in your kitchen! You can use it as storage solutions or for DIY crafts.
How to Reduce Plastic Waste In Kitchen
So, here are five easy and practical steps you could take up to reduce plastic waste in kitchen:
1. Purchase grocery locally and in bulk
In your local supermarket, you find pulses, rice and other groceries sold in plastic packages. But adjacent to it, you will also find them sold loose. They are packed to order in paper bags in the quantity of your choice. As product packages make up the majority of plastic waste produced by a household, opting to buy loose and in bulk can have a huge impact on reducing the plastic waste you produce.
2. Use cloth bags
If you are someone who often drops by the supermarket enroute to other chores, then it would be a good idea to keep a stash of cloth bags in your car. This way, you are not tempted to opt for single-use plastic carry bags or spend on new cloth bags every time you go shopping.
3. Avoid refrigerator bags
Refrigerator bags are useful for keeping farm produce fresh and crisper for days. As per Smart Home Guide, it is better to store them in paper bags or directly in the refrigerator’s vegetable section as they have humidity control features that help maintain optimal moisture levels. This helps keep fruits and vegetables crisp and fresh for longer.
4. Start composting
Confused how composting can reduce plastic waste in kitchen? Well, obviously you can’t compost plastic. But when you start composting all your food waste, you would stop depending on garbage bags for wet waste disposal and reduce your waste disposed of through municipal channels as well. This can have a huge impact on the environment, because garbage bags, even biodegradable ones smeared with food residue, are difficult to recycle.
5. Avoid cleaning products
Keeping a kitchen clean is a big issue for a home maker, so they end up buying a lot of chemical cleaners such as dishwashing soaps, sink cleaners, etc. These products usually come packaged in plastics that are thrown away and end up in landfills, and they also contain toxins that you don’t want to breathe in the home. You can make your own cleaning solutions from your kitchen ingredients. Here are some ideas for DIY cleaning solutions that won’t harm you or your home with unhealthy chemicals.
6. Use reusable containers
If you plan to upgrade your kitchen, opt for glass storage containers for storing leftovers in the refrigerator. As per Epicurious, they are airtight, durable and have minimal impact on the environment. Further, as you can see the food item stored in them, you are less likely to waste them.
Similarly, you can avoid cling films that are used as a replacement for lids, which is the biggest source for plastic waste in kitchen. Using a proper steel lid is often enough or if you want to seal it airtight, you could opt for reusable silicone lid covers that can be used on bowls of different sizes.
7. Reuse baby stuff
Most parents splurge on baby products unnecessarily buying bottles, sippy cups, snack boxes and so on a lot of junk. Often, they are used for just a few months. Sometimes, they are simply not used at all. So rather than buying a lot of baby stuff, your baby could use stainless steel cups, glasses and plates which can be used beyond their baby days.