7 summer plastic traps to avoid

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plastic cutlery

credit: USDA

Avoiding plastic is a year-round endeavor, but it seems particularly challenging during summer, thanks to the profusion of cheap, summer-themed plastic crap that clogs the entrance of every store. Many of these items are short-lived, breaking easily or simply becoming redundant by the end of the season. If you haven’t invested much in it, what’s the point in storing it all year long? Into the trash it goes.

But it doesn’t have to be like that! You can break the plastic addiction cycle by refusing to buy these items, seeking out alternatives, or investing in higher-quality, longer-lasting items that you’ll use for many seasons. Here are some easy ways to start.

Picnic utensils

If you’re heading out on a picnic or hosting a backyard barbecue, please forego the disposables. Plastic cutlery, straws, plates, and cups are not necessary. All have perfectly functional (arguably, better functioning) reusable alternatives. Ask your guests to bring their own dishes and cutlery, or set up a quick-wash station outdoors for people to do their own cleanup. If you must have disposables, opt for paper plates and cups (never plastic or Styrofoam) and wooden cutlery. (See here for ideas.) Same goes for straws and those awful disposable plastic tablecloths and clips.

Read: 9 tips for Zero Waste entertaining this summer

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