Why does waste reduction matter?
Our landfills are full and even our oceans already polluted with our litter. According to the Guardian, we will have more tons of plastic than fish in our ocean already by 2050, because only 5% of our plastics get recycled, 40% end up in a landfill and 33% end up directly in the natural ecosystems. And so far we do not know yet what the final effects of pollution with plastics and microplastics will be. We only know, it will be very difficult to clean up our natural ecosystems from all the litter.
So the question is how do I reduce my waste then?
First of all, we have to remark: “Recycling is good, reusing is better”. When we recycle we usually lose the quality of the materials and require energy. When we produce to reuse, we create more durable products and change our way of thinking.
Our personal top 5 things to reduce our waste at home are:
1. Stop using disposable packaging
If you are like us, you love to get your coffee in the morning, get some food for takeaway to eat at the office and order food from a delivery service in the evening. But as we now know this produces a lot of waste, 280.000 tons last year in Germany. Therefore, we taking care to only buy our to-go cafés that offer reusable coffee cups and restaurants that use reusable packaging by Pfand-System, to not produce any waste.
KLICK HERE to see a map of Pfand-System Partners (Call-to-Action I)
2. Use reusable bags
In Germany people still, use 48 plastic bags per capita per year*. That is nearly one plastic bag per week and even though paper bags are on the rise, this is only another disposable alternative. It saves by far more energy and resources if you bring your own reusable bag.
KLICK HERE to sign up for Pfand-System and receive your free reusable shopping bag (Call-to-Action II)
3. Start utilizing reusable containers
Invest some money in quality reusable food containers for products like baking ingredients, cereals, noodles, etc. You can buy those products often directly from farmer’s markets, bulk bins, whole foods stores or in the new non-package supermarkets that are on the rise.
KLICK HERE to see which non-package supermarkets are part of the Pfand-System Network (CTA III)
4. Stop buying bottled water
There is another very simple way to cut your waste and that is using a durable water bottle. When you live in Germany, you can drink tap water without a doubt and in other places, where tab water is not doubtfully drinkable or does not taste as well, you can get yourself a water filter to self-clean your water.
5. Learn to recycle
Sometimes reusing is just not possible or you could not find a Pfand-System restaurant for your delivery and therefore your delivery service brought disposable packaging. Then you have no chance but to do the best you can and that is recycling.
KLICK HERE to see how you can become a partner of the Pfand-System or to convince your favourite café to become a partner (CTA IV)
And the most important thing to keep in mind: No one becomes a hero overnight. Do not expect yourself to become waste-free immediately. It is a process that you can start and gradually implement in your life. As our goal is a doubtless to-go culture we help making a waste-free life possible with our Pfand-System Network.
KLICK HERE sign up for free today and start reducing waste. CTA V)
You want to read more, check our sources:
German NABU on waste produced by to go-trend:
The Guardian on plastic in the ocean:
German Handelsblatt on disposal of plastic bags:
Huffington Post on how to recycle:
*per capita that corrected by the number that does assumably not go shopping due to factors of age, health or others.
What is Pfand-System?
Pfand-System is a circular economy system for packaging material. The goal is to reduce all waste of packaging for any to-go drinks or meals by establishing a full network of partner restaurants, delivery services, bakeries and coffee stores that use Pfand-Systems reusable cups, dishes, cutlery and food-boxes. The end customer has a huge benefit. He will not have to bring his own material, that he has to clean and tends to not have with him if it is a spontaneous purchase. Instead, the customer will take a reusable material from the Pfand-System, pay a small deposit whilst picking it up and he can give it back with every partner of Pfand-System. If he has an account he will get credited the full deposit amount, if he does not have an account, he will get 90% back of the deposit.