5 ways to beat plastic pollution every single day

If you’re bugged about the oceans being filled with plastic, do not despair. You can surely find ways to beat plastic pollution.

If you really believe in walking the talk and making a real difference, you have a choice – make every day environment day.

I believe positive change happens in drips and drops. With some daily action, you can refuse a lot of plastic and reduce your contribution to the global waste epidemic.

The other day I met Vanshika, a 20 year old dancer who believes that there is only one home for us all – the earth. She also believes that we need to respect it by taking responsibility for our own waste.

She showed me how she has managed to reduce her and her family’s consumption of plastic. I followed her around a bazaar as we did a photo shoot to prepare for the upcoming Plastic Free July challenge (if you’re curious, keep reading until the end).

Like Vanshika, you can also use 5 amazingly simple ways to beat plastic pollution:

1. Use a reusable bag when shopping


Refuse plastic bags that are given out by small shops and supermarkets. They are meant for one time use. Although many people in India reuse them, these still end up in landfills and water bodies. They are often burnt by the roadside where they release toxic fumes. Use a cloth or jute bag whenever you need to buy and carry stuff.

2. Choose fruits & veggies that are not packaged in plastic


Have you ever spotted coconuts, apples and salads wrapped in cling film or plastic bags? This excessive use of plastic is unnecessary and a waste of resources. Choose local and small businesses who don’t over package their products. Fruits & veggies already come in nature’s own wonderful packaging.

3. Use reusable produce bags


How often do you bring back plastic bags home? Each time something is given to us in single use plastic, we unconsciously support the demand for the production of single use plastic bags. Plastic is made from crude oil, the extraction and processing of which takes up massive resources.

Tip – Take a sturdy old piece of fabric and stitch reusable produce bags. These are pretty handy for buying as well as storing stuff in the fridge.

4. Buy your groceries in bulk


Many edible items come in single use plastic packaging such as colourful plastic packets, metalised film packets and tetra packs. You can ditch these disposables taking your reusable cloth bags or containers to your local kirana store, organic store or even a supermarket that offers the option of buying in bulk.

Tip – Make sure to get your jars and bags weighed before you put stuff in them.

5. Refuse plastic straws


Plastic straws are not only non-recyclable but they also end up in oceans posing a huge threat to marine life. Use your lips, refuse the straw and if you really need a replacement, only then use a reusable straw.

Refusing single use plastics is easy. All you need is to prepare your alternatives – you can choose from cloth bags, baskets, repurposed produce bags, old jars and steel dabbas (boxes) – and you’re ready to beat plastic pollution.

Next month, thousands of people around the world will be taking the Plastic Free July challenge. I took it last year and that’s why I live a zero waste lifestyle today. If you’d like to know more, read the lessons I learnt from doing Plastic Free July.

P.S. This article is dedicated to Vanshika who is featured in all the photos above. I’m truly grateful to her for sharing her time with me. You can follow her journey to zero waste on Instagram @onehomeearth.


About the author


Hi there, this blog is my attempt to make plastic-free & zero waste living fun, practical and livable for you by using desi ways from the good old days.

View all posts


  • I find one of the most common uses i have for plastic bags are disposable garbage bags and I go through a lot. I guess one way would be to separate garbage – compost goes in metal container then maybe paper bag, and dry goods go a paper bag again, but what about the in-between icky stuff – soiled tissue paper etc. that needs to be canned.
    What alternative to garbage bags?

    • You can make a newspaper bin liner for your dustbin (there are several videos on YouTube. For compost, you can use a container without a liner and rinse it after every use. Disposable tissues, paper napkins and paper towels can be replaced with hankies, cloth napkins and cloth towels which you can wash after using them. If you’re using toilet paper, you can switch to a bidet, water jet and use cloth wipes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *