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14 Ways to Reduce Your Plastic & Fashion Footprint

Plastic pollution is now understood and accepted by the global community to be a critical and growing planetary problem as plastic production expands from 

396 million tons in 2018 to 550 million tons in 2025 and 681 million tons by 2030, 

according to the United Nations report State of Plastics. 

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now three times the size of France, and has already engulfed a shocking 1.6 million square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean. And yet, even today only 9% of plastic is recycled globally. The rest is thrown into landfills, incinerated, or released directly into our environment

Reduction of single use plastic items from “on-the-go” consumption is crucial to the timely elimination of plastic at the source before it is polluted to land, rivers and oceans.  While schemes for improved waste management and recycling have been proposed, plastic pollution continues to enter the ocean at an estimate of one truck load of trash at every minute of every day of every year. 

Fish, marine mammals and seabirds are being injured and killed by plastic pollution, and it's believed that 700 species could go extinct because of it. Current estimates suggest that at least 267 species worldwide have been affected, including 84% of sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species and 43% of all marine mammal species – but there are probably many more. Deaths are chiefly caused by ingestion of plastics, starvation, suffocation, infection, drowning and entanglement. Also, it's estimated that one in three marine mammals have been found caught up in some type of marine litter - lost fishing gear, nets and plastic bags for example - and that over 90% of seabirds have pieces of plastic in their stomachs. 
Furthermore, microplastics are showing up in more and more places, including the deepest part of the Ocean - the Mariana Trench. How ubiquitous are these microplastics? A study in 2020, found that each person could be ingesting the equivalent weight of a credit card in one week! That’s equivalent to 5 grams of plastic each week — yikes!

 

Be the Change 

There is so much we can do as individuals and businesses to reduce our impact on the environment and live more sustainably and consciously. 

Read along for 14 ways you can decrease your plastic and fashion footprint today.

  1. Say no to single-use plastics: plastic straw, plastic cups, plastic bags and plastic utensils. 
  2. Avoid products that contain microbeads, and don’t buy anything with polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or nylon in the label.
  3. If you are a business choose plastic free packaging such as compostable bags and if you are a consumer, support and buy from brands that use compostable or zerowaste bags 
  4. Ask for a cone rather than a cup at ice cream stores.
  5. Opt for sodas, juices and all other plastic-bottled beverages in glass that can be easily recycled.
  6. Bring your own tupperware to restaurants to avoid taking back single-use (and usually styrofoam) takeaway boxes
  7. Buy upcycled or recycled clothing instead of brand new material. Balaya has used recycled polyester for certain activewear sets 
  8. Support sustainable fashion; buy from brands that use materials that need less resources and less plastic. Balaya has products made from sustainable Rubex material. 
  9. Use powdered dishwasher detergent in a cardboard box or glass jar instead of liquid detergent. This lets you take better care of your clothes and is better for you because there are no toxic chemicals. 
  10. Bring glass jars to the grocery store, and buy from the bulk bins (have your jars weighed at the register first).
  11. Use bar soap instead of liquid soap 
  12. Opt for a refill store where you can reuse the same container and get shampoo, soap, conditioner, lotion etc instead of buying ones with packaging
  13. Buy clothing that is durable and high quality in order to prevent constantly buying new. Longevity is key. Balaya’s clothing is long lasting and high quality
  14. You always want clothing that is more versatile and can be worn for many different occasions and is a timeless design. All of Balaya’s clothing can be mixed and matched and work for lounging around the house, brunch with friends, getting a workout in or even in some instances, a night out on the town. 

         

        

It's up to us!

Every day offers a new opportunity to be kind to the earth. This is our home and we must take care of it. You have a say in how you choose to live your life, and what needs to be changed, so go out there and live by example.

At Balaya, we have taken many strides to move forward as a conscious brand. We only have one supplier for our activewear, which means we aren’t using multiple sources to get our products, thus, causing less air travel to transport the products and lower greenhouse gas emissions and other resources. Additionally, Balaya is looking into environmental organizations to support through the purchases made by our customers so we will keep you updated on our initiatives to reduce our plastic and fashion footprint as a brand!

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