- Choose which type of single-use plastic you're ready to give up.
- Take a selfie (photo or video) showing yourself with the reusable alternative that you're ready to embrace.
- Share your selfie on social media and "tag" three friends, businesses or high-profile people to challenge them to do the same within 24 hours. Be sure to use the #BeatPlasticPollution hashtag and mention @UNEnvironment.
Check out https://thelastplasticstraw.org/ to learn more about the impacts of single use plastic straws on the environment, particularly on wildlife. See also thisWaste 360 article on National Skip the Straw Day. If you can opt to drink straight from your glass or take-out cup, that’s great, but if circumstances (e.g. drinking in the car, dental equipment such as braces or expanders, offering a drink to child that hasn’t learned how to handle a cup, etc.) mean the use of a straw would still be preferred, consider reusable stainless steel or glass straws, which can be washed using special brushes typically available from the same vendors as the reusable straws. Encourage party planners, restaurants, and other large food service operations to consider sturdy paper straws rather than plastic. Paper straws will at least degrade faster than plastic, and the resulting materials won’t be harmful. Where composting facilities exist, paper straws could be put into the compost bin along with food scraps. There are even edible options like the LOLISTRAW or the simple switch to using hollow pasta to sip your drink, as is done in a restaurant in Bristol in the UK. For even more alternatives, see https://thelastplasticstraw.org/resources/.
Reusable tote bags for groceries are pretty common these days, with many retailers selling their own branded bags near check outs. If you struggle to remember to bring in your reusable bags from your car to the grocery store, consider options that can fold into a pouch when not in use. There are some small enough to clip onto your keys, like those made by Chico bags, so if you’ve remembered your car keys, you’ll have at least one reusable bag with you (if you’ve locked your keys in the car, you have more immediate problems than waste reduction!). I’ve gone a step further and purchased a few cloth produce bags to replace the plastic options offered by stores; just a few examples include Chico’s produce bags and those made by Ecobags. Also, are you faithfully taking reusable bags into your grocery store, but not using them at other retailers like the book store, clothing store, etc.? Start using them whenever you know you’ll need a bag, or if you’re only making a small purchase, tell the retailer you don’t need a bag at all.