The order in which the terms reduce, reuse and recycle are placed reflects their importance. First of all we must reduce our use of plastic wherever this is possible. What must be bought should be used for as long as possible, and when this is no longer possible it should be sent off to be recycled.

But how, precisely, can we apply these approaches in everyday life? Here are a few suggestions:

Reduce:

Always have a cloth bag with you and dispense with plastic bags.

Look for quality and buy products with a long life and made from sustainable resources: wood and cloth rather than plastic.

Say no to products with superfluous packaging material and instead choose a more ecological option.

Shop at a market and grow herbs and tomatoes on your own balcony.

Take meals with you from home and in this way avoid take-away food in plastic containers.

Reuse:

Fill PET bottles with water and use them several times.

Find upcycling methods of reusing old products

Recycle:

When shopping buy products in recyclable packaging wherever possible.

Always bring recyclable waste to the collection points provided. Find out about local recycling possibilities.Support recycling by buying products made from re-used plastic.At the political level call for an increase in plastic recycling.

Producers and designers are urged to Rethink and Redesign -this means that the products manufactured should result in less waste. At the end of the life cycle the options for those products that cannot be Recycled are to Recover and use for energy or Dispose responsibly.


How Safe Is Plastic?

Tips to minimize exposure to BPA and Phthalates:

Use refillable glass, porcelain and stainless-steel containers for food and beverages, particularly for hot foods and liquids.

When you have something plastic, look at the little triangle on the bottom of the container. Avoiding plastic containers marked with a 1 or a 7 pc and instead choosing those marked with a 2, 4, or 5 will reduce the likelihood of exposure to BPA and phthalates.

Glass baby bottles are recommended for babies who don't yet feed themselves.

For bottle feeding, since latex rubber nipples may contain phthalates, use of silicone nipples may reduce phthalate exposure.

Do not use plastic containers in microwaves. 

To minimize exposure to phthalates, avoid vinyl toys, perfumed shampoo and lotion. Choose fragrance-free products whenever possible.

Companies are now making baby bottles, food containers, teethers, shampoo, lotions, and other children’s items that are "BPA-free" and/or "phthalate-free.” Always read the package label or check with the manufacturer to know what you are bringing into your home.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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