7 tips on how to reduce plastics while you travel
Due to our wasteful behavior, we have polluted our planet with plastic. Plastics are found not only in rivers and seas, but because they disintegrate into smaller and smaller particles (microplastics), also in aquatic animals, which we then consume.
According to a study by the University of Newcastle, each person eats or drinks about 5 grams of plastic per week, equivalent to one credit card. The study further states that 5 grams of plastic correspond to about 2,000 microplastic particles and there are pieces smaller than 5 millimeters. People can get another 1700 microparticles a week into their body through drinking water.
What is the biggest problem of plastics? It is mainly their long decomposition time. Most plastics take even 1000 years to discompose. So, if we want to avoid the impact of climate change and the large amount of plastic garbage all around us, we need to act now. Have you been wondering what you can do, as an individual? You can do a lot - just reject straws in a restaurant or disposable plastic cutlery at a stall. Even such small steps can contribute to a better environment.
How can we reduce plastics while traveling?
Responsible travelers who choose not to use disposable bottles while traveling can reduce the number of plastic bottles (e.g. disposable bottles in hotels, small plastic PET bottles on an airplane) by up to a dozen. That is a nice number of plastics that you can eliminate as a person by not using them, don't you think? Another way to contribute to a better environment is to purchase environmentally friendly travel products, or just not buy so many disposable plastic items while traveling.
Now let's see what you, as a traveler, can do in order to reduce the amount of plastics you normally use when you travel.
7 tips on how to reduce using plastics while you travel
Travel with your own bottle of water
Carrying your own bottle is a great way to eliminate the daily purchase of plastic water bottles. We often receive bottles with only a few sips of water in them on the airplane, and in this case a simple solution can be offered - just take your own bottle on the plane and ask the flight attendant to refill it.
Carry a reusable shopping bag
Always carry a bag that you can use more than once (e.g. Solubag bags😊). Thanks to this, you can avoid buying new plastic bags when you go shopping. Typical examples of chronic overuse of plastic bags are market vendors who put fruit or vegetables in microtene bags. Again, just take your own bag, or use the backpack you travel with.
Use filter bottles
In many developing countries, people from the Western world can't drink tap water, because in most cases it could cause digestive problems and several hours of suffering in the toilet. Therefore, one of the options is drinking water from plastic bottles (but we want to reduce plastic consumption) or taking a filter bottle with you on holiday. You can also use a filter bottle on the plane, and ask the flight attendant to refill it, thus killing two birds with one stone.
Do not eat Airline Food in airplanes
Airline companies pack their food in large quantities of plastic. They pack not only food, but also cutlery, plastic cups and plastic straws. Plastic waste is huge. It is obvious that you don't want to starve on the plane, so the ideal solution is to prepare your own food. Prepare your food at home and take it with you or buy it without plastic packaging before traveling to the airport.
Carry your own cutlery
Easy and simple solution. Carry your own cutlery. This eliminates the use of disposable plastic cutlery.
Avoid plastic packaging when shopping on the street
Street food retailers love plastics, a lot of plastics. For them, plastic food containers are the most practical container to offer to hungry customers. Solution? Travel with your own bowl or food box. Your own bowl will help you to eliminate large amounts of waste, especially common in Asian countries.
Do not use shampoo bottles for single use in hotels / Airbnb
We all know it, we enter the hotel room, where several small plastic bottles such as shampoos, conditioners and shower gels await us in the bathroom. Although it looks very hospitable at first sight, be sure that this kind of plastic bottles is one of the most common types of plastic waste in the sea. The easiest solution is to bring your own shampoo and conditioner.
You can also contribute to a cleaner environment without plastics that contaminate the Planet Earth. Take these small steps and your planet will be grateful. 💙