Approaching Zero Waste

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(  Have you contributed to the Pacific Trash Vortex today?  )
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The best way to be zero waste is taking it one small step at a time. Be mindful of what we put into our lives, be it something we consume or use indefinitely.

There are #DIV/0! steps to get rid of plastic use in your life, and to start your journey, read on for some actionable steps.

Avoid junk food

We already know it’s junk despite its “Nutritional Facts”, and yet we eat them because they’re tasty and just fun to eat.

But not only are they unhealthy—i.e., they increase cardivascular disease risk, elevate insulin levels, and are lacking nutrients— but the packaging is immediately thrown away after.

This also includes most of fast food, so might as well reduce eating those. To add to that, fast food industry is a wasteful industry, with its waxed papers, plastic bags, paper sacks, napkins, plastic cutlery, and plastic-wrapped condiments.

We need also to demand fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG, and/or consumer packaged goods, CPG) manufacturers to come up with better technologies for a more sustainable packaging.

Companies like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé12 must be made accountable for all the junk they continue to make soon!

Try ditching the plastic straw.

If you’re able-bodied, consider ditching the notion of using straws ever. However, if intorting a tube with your lips is something you enjoy aside from sipping that drink, and/or you are actually a person with disability, you may opt for the reusable straws that are now available in a lot of places.

There are real reasons, though, why ditching plastic straws could be difficult, and I think the most affected ones here are people with disability.

Reusable Straws might not yet be for PWDs

Here’s a helpful chart I found why some disabled people don’t use reusable straws34:

Choking Hazard Injury Risk Not Positionable Costly for Consumer Not High-Temp Safe

The pressure to create bio-degradable straw options that are safe for the environment and for all disabled people shout fall upon the manufacturer, NOT marginalized disabled consumers.

Once we accept the necessity of plastic straws, we can work together on other environment initiatives that are effective, inclusive, and accessible.

Bring your own jug or water bottle.

It’s uncool to buy an overpriced mineral water in PET bottle; even more so to know it’s unsafe to reuse PET bottles. So avoid that and invest in a water bottle. It will save you more in the long run.

We must also start demanding local government units and private institutions to provide us with water refilling stations. Clean and free drinking water is our right, and it must be accessible to as many people as possible.

Before you go out and buy groceries, bring containers with you.

This is especially useful for wet goods like meat, fish, and other products that might otherwise be placed in a plastic bag by the vendor. Unlike the bags, you can wash your containers and reuse them next time. It helps a lot to plan your groceries, so you’ll know how many containers you only need to bring in your run. In supermarkets, just ask the vendors first to take your container and adjust their electronic scale to zero before weighing goods.

Bring your own dining utensils.

This is to avoid single-use plastic utensils. This isn’t an issue if you’re avoiding fast food; and it’s less likely you’ll encounter plastic utensils in restaurants. You’ll never know when you’d be eating out, so it’s still good practice to bring something with you.


These small steps ensure little entry barrier for those wanting to ditch plastic. Going zero waste is hard, because plastic use has been normalized, so much so that when you follow the steps above, many people will find you odd at first.

More importantly, we need to demand accountability from plastic-dependent corporations like Coca-cola, and pressure them to develop more sustainable ways of manufacturing and producing their goods. The complete removal of plastics is a big step towards the right direction!

Fret not, comrade; the seemingly social wite of these deeds you be employin' will free you soon from the plastic errors, and the ornithes acknowledge your flight. When you get the hang of it, convince your friends and family to start doing the same. TNU

  1. COP27 Sponsor The Coca-Cola Company named worst plastic polluter for five years in a row according to 2022 Brand Audit. (2022, November 15). Greenpeace USA. ↩︎

  2. BFFP: Brand Audit Report 2022. (2022, November 14). Brand Audit. ↩︎

  3. Schultz, K. (2019, October 28). Plastic straw bans are not fair to people with disabilities, and here’s what we can do about it. CreakyJoints. ↩︎

  4. Wong, A. (2018, July 19). The Last Straw. Eater. ↩︎