How to reduce, reuse and recycle? When it comes to protecting the environment, the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse & Recycle are always the three great ways we can reduce plastic waste and protect our planet. The amount of plastic waste generated in the world had been steadily increasing, they are dispersing to waterways, lakes, blocking rivers and polluting the ocean, particularly due to their lightweight. Fortunately, instead of using plastic bags and other disposable bags, we can bring reusable bags when going shopping in a grocery store or packing food. By using the 3Rs you and your kids can live a green life.

impact of plastic waste on environment

Introduction

The best answer for controlling the issue of plastic hazard is boycotting plastic to save the environment. Reusable bags are the bags that are enduring and sturdy for a pretty long time. Such bags or green bags are produced in various size, styles and hues. Reusable and recyclable material bags are the favored option in contrast to plastic bags. These bags are made from various materials like polyester, cotton, polypropylene, nylon, hemp, jute and calico, which is a plain-woven material, produced using unbleached cotton.

We can utilize reusable bags as bioplastics as well. The consistent drive for the protection of the environment and economical undertaking in the course of several decades has brought a developing business sector for reusable bags. With progressions in science and innovation, sustainable natural resources like pea starch, vegetable oil and corn-starch are used for extracting bio-plastics or natural/biodegradable plastics. Degradable plastic, compostable plastic and biodegradable plastic are the three kinds of bioplastics that can be utilized as reusable bags.

These bags are utilized based on the principle of 3Rs and these 3Rs are recycle, reduce and reuse. All these principles help to diminish the amount of waste we discard. These bags are called recycled bags and eco- friendly bags as well. Furthermore, these bags help in conserving energy and natural resources.

Reasons to buy reducible, reusable, and recyclable grocery bags

  • Reusable bags have a great lifespan in terms of usage. On average basis, it’s equal to 700 disposable bags.
  • Recycling bags includes a lot of expense and as of now, an appropriate and powerful framework for reusing does not exist in the vast majority of the countries. That has been demonstrated by the Environmental Protection Authority estimates, which report that solitary 2% of all plastic bags are reused.
  • Plastic bags are not biodegradable. They really experience a procedure called photodegradation, in this process plastic separates into smaller and smaller lethal and toxic particles that defile both water and soil, and wind up entering the food chain when animals inadvertently ingest them.
  • A plastic bag takes around 15 and 1,000 years to decay, depending on the kind of environmental conditions. The plastic bag sits for a considerable length of time and even hundreds of years without separating in a common landfill condition.
  • Green bags comprise of biodegradable materials. Along these lines, they are superior to any kind of plastic bags that are non-renewable resources, which use oil-based goods or petroleum products to make plastic bags.
  • If you are thinking, paper bags are a superior alternative over plastic bags, at that point you are highly mistaken. The US cleaves down around 14 million trees each year to make the mash to fabricate paper bags. Additionally, paper bags produce double environmental waste in comparison to plastic bags.
  • Reusable bags are a better alternative for plastic bags since plastic bags are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, wise variety of marine mammals, dolphins, whales, etc. due to eating disposed plastic bags which they accidentally ingest by mistaking it for food.

Why is it Important to Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse?

The 3 Rs are: recycle, reduce and reuse.

These 3 concepts are really important in the present times for making the Earth a better place.

1. Defining the 3 Rs(Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)

To recycle, reduce and reuse offers and ensures environmentally-friendly methods, tips and steps to minimize harmful effects of enormous amounts of waste on the natural environment.

“Reduce” refers to cutting back on the amount of waste that is produced by us. “Reuse” means to find novel ways of using items multiple times before throwing them away. To “recycle” means to take a used material or trash to remake new goods that can be sold again.

2. The Impact of Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse

  1. A vast reduction in waste.
  2. Less waste means a positive impact on the environment, human health, and the economy
  3. Conservation and optimum use of natural resources so that they do not get exhausted and nothing remains there for our future generations.
  4. Businesses around the globe have started to seek out renewable (non-conventional energy sources), realizing that the virgin resources like copper and iron are depleting quickly. That is why the 3Rs is important so that our resources do not get depleted quickly
  5. If the waste will be thrown away without reducing, reusing, and recycling, major health risks can erupt. Also, waste disposal is associated with greenhouse gas emissions, which is hazardous to our health. Again. The concept of the 3Rs becomes important.

3. Making a Change

Reducing, reusing, and recycling the amount of natural resources that are getting depleted at a very rapid rate due to over-exploitation is very important. This will help conserve our resources.

The Benefits of the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)

1. Reduces energy consumption

Recycling renders the entire process of production and manufacturing less pricey, which is a great victory for manufacturers. Extraction and processing of raw materials (oil, wood, ore) to make usable items (plastic, paper, metal) needs a lot of energy. Recycling process often reduces energy consumption, since the products being recycled require much less processing and refining to convert them into usable products.

2. RRR reduces pollution

In the present-day world, all pollution forms

All forms of pollution in the modern world emanate from industrial waste. The 3 Rs ensure recycling and reducing waste products like used cans, plastics, and chemicals This helps in making a considerable reduction in levels of pollution because these waste products are reused rather than just being thrown away recklessly.

3. RRR Safeguards the environment by reducing deforestation

RRR plays a big part in safeguarding Mother Nature in an optimum and balanced way. Recycled paper processed and manufactured from specific trees is continually used to alleviate deforestation. This classic example signifies that other natural resources can be recycled and made useful this way to conserve the deteriorating environment.

4. RRR converts waste into reusable products

Reducing, reusing and recycling practice involves minimal combustion and transformation of waste into reusable items with minimal or zero negative effect on our planet and its environment. The entire process of reusing, processing and manufacturing products from waste items releases lesser GHG gases because the very waste recycling plants burn lesser conventional (fossil) fuels.

5. RRR helps in conservation of natural resources and restoration of the environment

The 3Rs help our planet and its environment by saving energy, money, and natural resources. Reusing and recycling strategies alleviate the manufacturing and creation of new products by extracting fresh raw materials beneath the earth through the process of extraction and mining. RRR practices are helpful in conserving existing raw materials and safeguarding them for future use. Embracing initiatives to conserve natural resources like, trees, natural gas, water, minerals, and wood ensures optimal and sustainable use.

6. RRR practice reduces global warming Greenhouse Gas emissions

Waste disposal and combustion results in the emission of harmful greenhouse gases such as Carbon dioxide (CO2), Nitrogen (N), and Sulphur (S), which contribute to climate change and global warming. Buying stuff that has less packaging or packaging that can be recycled, reduces waste. Using reusable and biodegradable bags when you go shopping also reduces waste. Recycling materials like bottles, cans, and paper, and converting them into new items minimizes global warming.

7. RRR is helpful in cutting down of waste that ends in the landfill sites

The three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle – are helpful to incapacitate the quantity of waste we throw away.  This helps in reducing all kinds of pollution (water, air, and land pollution) since landfills produce greenhouse gases like Methane and carbon dioxide leading to global warming and are a major cause of environmental deterioration. Recycling used and old materials into reusable items significantly cut down the possibility of choking of landfill sites.

8. RRR ensures sustainable use of our resources

The 3Rs warrants sustainable and sensible use of our natural resources. The process of reusing, reducing, and recycling cuts down the likelihood of discriminate utilization of raw materials when they are achievable in colossal supply. Institutions and governments across the globe, these days have stepped in to encourage the most efficient use of resources and to minimize environmental harm in accordance with the principles of ecologically sustainable development.

9. RRR contributes to the creation of jobs

Among the 3Rs, recycling creates livelihood opportunities, apart from being beneficial to environmental conservation. Recycling and reuse processes lead to the creation of at least nine times more job opportunities than landfills and incinerators. Recycling means many recycling plants and since it is a labor-intensive process, it creates a long chain of collection, segregation, delivery and remanufacturing. All these activities are performed manually by human hands, thereby triggering an explosion of job opportunities.

Tips to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (3Rs)

EPA or Environmental Protection Agency – A U.S Agency describes the process of reusing items more productively and sustainably over the course of their life cycle.  The U.S agency encourages to conserve natural resources and help keep the environment green. Some tips to “RRR” include;

  1. Use reusable and biodegradable bags when you go for buying groceries. Buy a bag from the store only if you forgot to carry your own.
  2. Use reusable containers instead of disposable ones. Disposable containers build up unwanted waste. Buy durable, sturdy and reusable containers. It will reduce the administrative work of purchasing and reduce disposal costs.
  3. Use resealable containers instead of plastic wraps. Plastic wraps can be used only once and then there is a need to acquire new ones over and over again. However, resalable containers can be reused. This cuts on costs a lot.
  4. Don’t throw out clothes, toys, furniture, and other items that you do not want anymore. Somebody else can probably use them. Donate them to a collection center, give them to people who need them, or even have a yard sale.
  5. Always buy refillable ink cartridges in office and at home (if you have a printer at home). It is more environment-friendly and cheaper.
  6. Make use of paper from both sides. Print on both sides. Paper has the advantage of being reversible. Print on reverse sides. This reduces paper waste.
  7. Reuse your home delivered newspaper – Use the old printed newspapers as packing paper for fragile china, cleaning aid, or as a wrapping paper for gifts. Clean your windows and doors instantly, using crumpled newspaper dipped in water mixed with a splash of white vinegar, without harmful chemicals.
  8. Donate durable goods to a good cause – Non-profit organizations, schools, and charitable organizations can reuse electrical appliances and old furniture. They can find our charities who take used items. This also helps in reducing waste.
  9. Convert old sheets, towels and clothing into wash rags. Turn old sheets, cotton shirts, and used towels into wash rags using a good pair of scissors. Wash and clean the used and old textile items into your next load of laundry. They should be clean enough to take on to a new life. Then simply cut them up into rectangles with a sharp pair of scissors. Store them with your cleaning supplies and they’ll be ready for your next spring cleaning.
  10. Reduce Toxicity – Use non-hazardous or less hazardous items at home and work. Donate or share leftovers of these items with your friends, neighbours or businesses and charities that need them. Ensure proper disposal of hazardous items such as motor oil, if you have it at home. 
  11. Always purchase bigger economy-sized items instead of individually packaged or wrapped products. Laundry soap, clothes detergent, shampoo, dry pet food, dish-washing detergent, and other non-perishable items are great instances. In case of edible items, always buy the biggest size you can use before spoiling.
  12. Say NO to Junk mail – Put an end to the stacks of junk mail and you could save an average of 69 pounds of paper each year. That’s the equivalent of saving a 10-year-old from the trash in each household every year.
  13. Truly Reusable steel Razors – Disposable razors are expensive and dull quickly. Always buy reusable steel razors. Safety razors are created from stainless steel so if breaks, nothing to worry since it’s fully recyclable. 
  14. Consume less to begin with – Waste does not begin when you throw a product away. Each step involved in the production process, like the raw materials extraction, transportation, processing and manufacturing, generates trash. Consumer demand creates products. Less demand means less production.
  15. Buy products made from postconsumer recycled content for completion of the recycling loop. Postconsumer recycled products are the ones that are used by consumers and then recycled. An item made from recycled content may have come from a damaged or an excess product produced during the manufacturing process and not from a local recycling program.
  16. Compost yard and food waste constituted 28 percent of America’s municipal waste in 2009. Composting food and yard waste instead of just throwing them away reduces landfill load and converts it into a useful product from would-be garbage.

Stop plastic nuisance created by plastic bags at the source

Reduce, reuse, recycle, are some steps are generally good for the environment. If you want to make a sincere effort to minimize the use of plastic and the pollution and nuisance caused by it, follow the steps and tips associated with the 3Rs below.

  • Single-use plastic bags are only used for an average of 12 minutes before being thrown away. Once these items are disposed of in the landfills or washed into the ocean, they pollute the environment and pose as a serious risk to our aquatic life.
  • Do not let plastic bags accumulate in your kitchen cabinets and home. Try reusing them as many times as possible such as bin liners and for collecting garden waste.
  • You can also take plastic bags to your nearest recycling centers, grocery stores or drop-off sites for recycling. Plastic bags are 100% recyclable and will go a long way of saving energy, reducing oil consumption as well as waste.
  • Reduce the number of plastic bags you use by shopping at stores and supermarkets that offer discounts, incentives and a cash credit for bringing your own reusable bags.
  • Keep a track of the number of plastic bags that are brought into your household. Make it a practice to refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle your plastic stuff as much as possible. When you monitor the count, you are able to follow the 3Rs and this makes you feel good about the positive impact you are making towards reducing your waste.
  • One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Reuse your thick plastic bags by offering them to your acquaintances, when they are borrowing something from you. This helps in the reuse of plastic bags. Practice the same habit when delivering gifts or food to other people.
  • The easiest way to reuse your plastic bags is to convert them into bin liners. Use them in your bathrooms, office, laundry (to separate the pocket trash found in clothes), garden (for collecting garden waste) and bedrooms.
  • Freezer Ziploc bags are thicker and sturdier, which makes them suitable for multiple uses than a regular plastic bag. Ensure the bags are clean for reuse.
  • Store or place your food items in reusable bags and containers. Also, buy in bulk – fresh fruits and veggies instead of buying stuff that comes in single-serving cups.
reduce reuse and recycle tips for kids

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Tips for Kids

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle tips for kids have been discussed below;

1. Reduce

  • While shopping for certain goods, avoid things that come in too much of packaging. Also, when you’re buying food, take your own containers to say NO to that new carrier bag.
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth – you’ll reduce the amount of clean water being wasted.
  • Make it a practice to walk instead of using a car, where you can, and when safe. This will minimize the use of petrol.
  • Switch off electrical items like, music system, games console, or T.V, when you are not using them. These actions reduce energy usage.

2. Reuse

  • Take your own reusable carrier bag when you go out for shopping to the shops.  This way, you will be reusing your old bag and saving money to buy a new one.
  • Donate things which you do not need or are unwanted, to charity.
  • Try to fix and mend things like, toys, electronics etc, when they are broken, instead of throwing it away. And if these items cannot be fixed, see if these can find a new use.
  • Make it a habit to re-use scrap paper.

3. Recycle

  • Did you know that shoelaces and fleeces can be made using old plastic bottles?
  • You can recycle your old computers, electronics, toy batteries, mobiles, ink cartridges and you can even recycle the dirty baby nappies.
  • Do not throw away your leftover food. Instead convert it into really useful compost
  • Sort all your rubbish so that the glass, tin cans, plastic and paper can be recycled
  • Use kitchen waste as compost in the garden.
  • Recycling helps save energy.

Some everyday objects you can recycle include:

  • Glass – including jam jars and bottles jars (always wash them and make them clean)
  • Cardboard – packing boxes and cereal boxes
  • Plastic – not all plastics can be recycled like plastic wrapping cannot be recycled currently.  Check with your local council what they recycle!
  • Paper – including newspapers, Christmas and birthday cards, drawing paper, and envelopes.

Conclusion

Environmental conservation and restoration of our deteriorating natural resources is the need of the hour. Reducing, reusing and recycling are the three pathways that help to minimize the amount of waste we throw away. The 3Rs are found to be very effective in minimizing the stress on our resources. More and more people need to embrace the practices associated with the 3Rs to make our planet a green and better place. If we reduce, reuse and recycle, we can save money as well as our resources. 70 percent less energy is needed to recycle paper in comparison to making it from raw materials. Any vehicle machinery can be recycled up to 80 percent. Recycling also reduces pollution. For instance, if we recycle old bottles, the pollution can be minimized by a fifth and halve the demand for water.

Reduce, Reuse & recycle, save the resources, save the planet, think green!

FURTHER READING

Where Are Plastic Bags Banned Or Taxed Around The World?

How to Choose Custom Reusable Bags? (Definitive Purchase Guide)

Pro Tips For Marketing with Custom Personalized Reusable Bags

Reasons To Go Green With Reusable Bags

Ideas About How To Design Reusable Bag’s Artwork

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