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Reducing Your Plastic Footprint – How to Do It and Why It’s Important

Do you find yourself asking “why should we reduce the use of plastic?" Or maybe you’re looking for ideas to reduce plastic waste in your home and every-day life. Either way, this article is for you.

It may seem daunting or even impossible to reduce your plastic footprint, but the truth is that with a little bit of effort and a whole lot of love for the environment, you can make a massive impact!

It’s no secret that every one of us at Mirror Moon is passionate about the environment and the aim of our game is to keep it clean by making better choices and encouraging everyone else to do the same.

We can make better choices with everything that we do and even the smallest choice can make an enormous difference in the lives of many.

For example, simply by supporting local, small business owners who allow sustainability to be the driving force behind their products, you will in turn help an entrepreneur achieve their dreams.

These businesses are doing their part to keep plastic out of our landfills and oceans. So, by supporting them, you are automatically saying no to plastic while slowly disempowering bigger corporations who only care about profit.

Reduce Reuse Recycle

Eco Glitter Cape Town - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Is recycling enough?

Although it’s surely better than taking new resources from the environment, recycling is no longer the answer we are looking for.

Maybe it was effective a few decades ago, but with the current rate of production and consumption of plastic, it hardly makes a dent anymore. Sad, but true.

In addition, the actual process of recycling uses an unthinkable amount of energy and in turn adds to the emission of carbon-based pollutants into our precious atmosphere. Let’s not even mention the water consumption required for the process.

The unfortunate reality that we, and many other countries face, is that there is no real infrastructure in place to facilitate the full process of recycling. Therefore we have to question how much of what we recycle is actually recycled?

What is Recyclable?

We are no experts when it comes to the chemical make-up of the different forms of plastic. But, we do know that not all plastics are recyclable.

The scary part about this is that there are few people who take the time to know the difference between what can and cannot be recycled. The result? Everything ends up in the recycling bin in the hope that it will all be accepted by recycling facilities.

This results in more energy and resources being used to sort through and separate the items - only for them to end up in landfills anyway!

From the landfills, all the plastic that was “hopefully recycled/recyclable”, will almost always end up in our oceans, where the damage done is heart wrenching.

The Importance of Reduce – Why should we reduce the use of plastic?

While plastic does eventually break down over time (although some types take centuries!), there is a limit as to how far they break down. In fact, it’s safe to say that plastic will never completely break down.

What happens is that it disintegrates into tiny pieces that are called micro-plastics. These micro-plastics eventually seep into our soil, the water supply and oceans.

Ultimately, through an inevitable chain of events, we will end up consuming these microplastics in some way or another. The link between micro-plastics and cancer is currently being researched.

The worst part is that it takes many years for plastics to become microplastics. So, while we wait for this to happen, our ocean is literally choking.

An estimated one million sea birds and at least 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die every year because of plastic.

In March this year, a juvenile whale was found dead in the Philippines with 40kg of plastic in its stomach and in April, a pregnant sperm whale and her unborn calf were found dead along the coast of Italy with 23kg of plastic in the mother’s stomach.

Yes, we find it hard to read these statistics too. But knowing the truth about plastic is the only way we can see why we should reduce the use of plastic in every way we can.

Think Before you Throw - Rather Reuse

There are hundreds of DIY clips and ideas on how to turn everyday plastic items into something cute or even useful. Who knows, you might even be inspired to start a side hustle by turning redundant plastic items into something profitable.

How to Eliminate Plastic from Your Life?

There are so many ways to say no to plastic. Here are 10 easy ways:

  • Choose cardboard packaging over plastic bags whenever you can. Who can say no to pasta? Almost nobody. Who can say no to pasta in a plastic bag? Everyone!
  • Stop sucking on straws! Buy your own reusable one or just say no
  • Plastic is not pretty. Especially not microplastics. Choose natural exfoliators – there are brands that use walnuts, apricot shells and cocoa beans instead of plastic beads
  • Coffee addict? Buy a reusable cup. They are literally everywhere and even come with really cute patterns
  • Stop buying bottled water. Buy a refillable bottle and keep it with you. There are loads of stores that refill water bottles for next to nothing, so you’ll be saving money at the same time
  • Two words, ladies - moon cup. That’s all we are going to say. Your body and the planet will thank you
  • No more disposables. There are amazing razors out there that allow you to simply replace the blade. Pair that with a handcrafted shaving soap and you’re officially cooler and smoother than the rest
  • Support waste free stores. Luckily for us, there are a few around the Mother City that we can choose from. Shop Zero in Woodstock is one of the awesome plastic free shops in Cape Town and even stocks Mirror Moon Eco Glitter!

Yes, there will be times that avoiding plastic packaging is downright impossible and no, that’s not your fault. We blame the industry and until they stop putting everything in plastic, we must do everything we possibly can.

Cue Eco Bricks. Use your clean and dry 1.5 or 2 litre bottles to stuff your plastic into. We did an experiment, and one 2 litre bottle was able to hold 3 weeks’ worth of unavoidable plastic.

Drop your Bricks off at one of the drop off points and let them continue using them to build facilities in underdeveloped and underprivileged areas.

If that’s not paying it forward, then we don’t know what is!

Mirror Moon Eco Glitter – Biodegradable Glitter

Why should we reduce the use of plastic? To save our oceans, to save our planet, to save our future. These are the reasons we have made it our goal to provide gorgeous glitter without the litter.

Mirror Moon Eco Glitter is plant based, biodegradable, ocean friendly and 100% vegan – because we care!

We are also proud to announce that we are in the process of moving towards aluminium packaging which is not only reusable but also easily recycled.

Repurpose these little tins at home or enquire about having them refilled with your next Mirror Moon purchase.

At Mirror Moon HQ, every effort is made to recycle and reduce our waste throughout the entire production process.

Do you love the environment as much as we do? By choosing us, you choose a better life for our planet and all its precious inhabitants without compromising any amount of glam!

For more information about us and our eco-friendly products, contact us.