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#LiveGreenSG Home Tips: Plastic Use

1 Nov, 2018 2:48:29 PM / by Quek Leng Chuang

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Plastic bags take 400 years to degrade and are made from petroleum products. Harmful to the environment, they are especially lethal to marine species.

The average Singaporean uses 13 plastic bags a day. We live in a plastic world; it’s fairly unavoidable. So if you forget to refuse those two straws in your Saturday afternoon smoothie, don’t panic. Just learn from your experience, and start again. Choosing to be plastic-free means you’ll often be choosing the least convenient choice. But over time, these decisions will become a habit.

Check out these easy ways you can start reducing your plastic waste, and fight plastic pollution in your everyday life.

 

Tote Bag Is The New Black.

Plastic bags represent a fifth of the total plastic waste stream in Singapore. They pollute the water, the soil and harm our health. Having a reusable bag permanently with you makes it possible to conveniently refuse the plastic bags in the stores. When going to the supermarket, don’t forget to bring your tote bag, basket, or roulette cart. Being a fashion victim can sometimes match with being a pollution assailant!

 

Don’t Sink The Drink.

Pollution related to beach waste - packaging, plastic bags, empty cans, plastic bottles, cigarette butts - often end up in the sea, with major harm on marine life. At the end of your afternoon at the beach, don’t forget to pack all your waste and take it with you when you leave! The beach must be a zero waste place. And every small action makes a difference.

 

Choose Unity In Diversity.

Overpackaging is often about small portions or individual portions. These packages are generally not recyclable, mostly because of their size. It’s better to avoid products packaged in individual portions and focus on larger formats, which will produce less plastic waste.

Don’t kid yourself! You know you will not eat this bag of crisps in several goes.

 

Think Globally, Act Locally.

Packaging is a large proportion of household waste. Some are recyclable, such as glass, hard plastic, cardboard, paper, aluminum... Others are not, and thus are more polluting since they will be incinerated or stored in landfills. When shopping, try to choose recyclable packaging, to enable waste sorting.

 

Reduce.

Drink tap water, rather than mineral water from plastic bottles. If the taste of tap water is not so nice, you can fix a filter on the tap or pour the water into a carafe to help remove the chlorine.The transportation of plastic bottles emits greenhouse gas emissions and consumes millions of tons of fuel. And only 6% of plastic waste was recycled last year in Singapore.

Water comes out of the tap for free, so why on Earth would you pay for it?!

 

Numbers Never Lie.

Look at the recycling code on the bottom of plastic products. Avoid plastics with recycling codes 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene) and 7 (bisphenols). Plastic not only negatively impacts the environment, but also human health with carcinogens & endocrine disruptors, which are particularly dangerous for children.

 

Don’t Heat or Eat Plastic.

Plastic shouldn’t be heated in microwaves or placed in dishwashers, since it can cause harmful chemicals to leach into your food. Be particularly careful with certain types of plastic such as restaurant takeout containers, water bottles, and plastic tubes and jars.



Wish to go a step further to make your home sustainable and eco-friendly? Live Green with ES Power, and switch your house electricity retailer to enjoy clean energy and savings.

 

Get in touch with us via email at gogreen@espower.com.sg or call 1800 888 1010 for more information.

If you have tips to share, don’t forget to share your pictures with us by using #LiveGreenSG on instagram and tag @ESPowerSG.

 

 

Topics: Residential

Quek Leng Chuang

Written by Quek Leng Chuang

LengChuang is a chemical engineer and an expert in carbonomics. He is the co-founder and owner of Environmental Solutions (Asia) Pte Ltd and ES Power.