Plastic is so prevalent in our daily lives it would be difficult, if not impossible, to completely eliminate it. But there are some things we can do to cut down on microplastic consumption.
IN THE KITCHEN
First, recycle plastic food storage, drinkware, and utensils. Replace them with glass, natural wood, and silicone items.
Instead of plastic wrap, opt for reusable tin foil or wax paper. For sandwiches, try reusable silicone or natural fiber sandwich bags. Utilize re-useable grocery bags instead of single use plastic, and avoid microwaving food in plastic and drinking from plastic bottles.
Cut out takeaway styrofoam containers and cups. Take your own non-plastic containers to restaurants for “doggy bag” use. Avoid buying food wrapped in plastics especially extra-harmful plastics 3,6 & 7.
When it comes to water, water filtration pitchers can reduce some of the microplastics, but not all of them. A more effective option, while more costly, is a reverse osmosis water filter.
Next, we turn to our clothes, a major contributor to microplastic in dust and in wastewater.
When possible, go with natural fiber clothing. Buy non-synthetic eco-friendly fabrics and textiles.
And when doing laundry, consider a microplastics filter for your washer, toss in a microplastics catcher or use clothing bags to grab fibers so you can dispose of them properly. Avoid washing rough clothing like jeans with synthetic clothing.
Use laundry strips or detergent in a cardboard box. Also, try air drying clothes on a clothes line instead of using the dryer.
When it comes to cleaning products:
Consider eco-friendly items that can be refilled with less waste.
Use natural or wood-fiber biodegradable sponges to clean.
Avoid wet wipes and disposable dusters, they are a mix of different kinds of plastic.
As far as those micro plastic dust bunnies: Vacuum often using a HEPA filter and dust with a damp cloth to keep microplastics from launching into the air.
Want to find out if microplastics are in your beauty and cleaning products?
Download Beat the Microbead App: It allows you to scan ingredients and barcodes of an item to see if it contains microplastics and add your product information to a database.
It will give you great tips like:
Use plastic-free cosmetics and microbead-free beauty products.
Switch to shampoo bars. Plastic shampoo bottles are often overlooked as a recyclable item.
Go with metal razors.
Rethink your deodorant. Opt for deodorant in cardboard or glass containers or use a deodorant bar.
Choose wooden combs and brushes with natural fibers.
Swap out your plastic toothbrush.
Switch to silk dental floss.
Use dry toothpaste and chewable mouthwash.
Another great tool for tips is the My Little Plastic Footprint app: It has a handy checklist to help you rid your home of as much plastic as possible.
Right now, microplastics are an emerging concern, so not everyone is aware of them. But scientists say in the coming years, because of the possible impact on our health, that will likely change. But by following some of these steps you can be ahead of the curve.
MORE HELPFUL LINKS
My Green Closet, tips for reducing Microplastics in babies:
Zero Waste Man, how to avoid eating microplastics: