The pandemic has increased plastic consumption: How you can help

(BPT) – The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the consumption of single-use plastic as disposable mask and glove usage has skyrocketed. Additionally, many businesses have eliminated the option to use reusable shopping bags at a store or to bring your own mug to a coffee shop.

These measures are important to help stop the spread of the virus but there are simple steps to take to help reduce your single-use plastic consumption and achieve a more sustainable way of living, even during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are six ideas:

1) Buy local

If possible, get out to your local farmers market or butcher for your grocery shopping. Farmers market vendors often use less packaging and you can ask your butcher to wrap your meat in wax paper instead of plastic. Shopping local is also a great way to support your community.

2) Swap your cleaning tools

The leading spray mop uses single-use plastic pads. One greener choice, the O-Cedar ProMist MAX Microfiber Spray Mop features a reusable, machine washable microfiber pad and a refillable bottle to cut down on plastic waste while removing over 99%of E. coli and Staph. aureus from pre-finished hardwood flooring and ceramic tile using tap water, as tested at an independent accredited lab.

3) Plate over bowl, bowl over plate

If you’re doing more cooking at home, you’re likely finding yourself with leftovers. Ditch the plastic wrap and use your dishes as an easy, inexpensive food storage solution. To do this, place a plate or saucer over a bowl to cover its contents or, alternatively, flip any size bowl over leftovers on a plate. It’s a simple solution using what you already have. You’ll be protecting your food from drying out in the fridge while eliminating your plastic waste.

4) DIY cleaning solutions

With all the extra cleaning you’re doing around the house, buying cleaning solutions in disposable bottles for your home can be expensive and result in additional plastic waste. The average household goes through 18 bottles a year of cleaning solution when using the leading disposable spray mop. (Calculated using consumer consumption data found in Linkage Research Report: Spray Mop Habits & Practices Study (March 10, 2020).) Instead use a refillable bottle and make your own cleaning solution using water and your choice of vinegar or castile soap.

5) Wear a cloth mask

Safety guidelines make it difficult to go anywhere without wearing a face covering. But the popularity of disposable face masks has impacted the amount of plastic in the waste stream, according to a report by the LA Times. Do your part by opting to wear reusable, cloth masks – you can find them just about anywhere these days.

6) Avoid plastic where you can

When you’re ordering takeout, be sure to ask the restaurant to leave out any extra disposable materials. For example, let them know you don’t need disposable silverware. And although most coffee shops and cafes aren’t accepting reusable drink containers, you can still bring your own reusable straw.

These tips make it easier to do your part in reducing plastic waste. For more information, visit