How can we reduce our daily plastic consumption at schools and food courts?

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Plastic products are an enormous issue, because of the way these products are discarded due to them not being reusable. Single-use plastics include straws, bottles, cups, bags, utensils, cutlery, and more. When in a supermarket, we choose to bag our items in plastic bags, or when buying a drink, we decide to use a single-use plastic straw. These choices, and more all impact the environment, the health of our planet, and even ourselves. 

Single-use plastic products are light-weight enabling them to travel to various places, just by wind leads to a larger size of contamination. The manufacturing process of single-use plastics is also a huge source of pollution to the environment. This involves the usage of a large number of fossil fuels, namely crude oil, for creation and transportation. Animals are also mistaking plastic as food and they are at risk of choking or becoming fatally ill from toxins. If these plastic products are not consumed by animals then these products can ensnare wildlife and end their lives. Lastly, single-use plastic does not biodegrade, easily, however, it breaks down into smaller pieces, never truly deteriorating. 

Plastic is a pressing issue in our environment which is why there needs to be changes being made. There need to be alternatives to the single-use plastics served in environments where plastics are commonly used, such as school cafeterias. 

PLA Bioplastics are a good alternative to the Single-Use Plastic products that are used within cafeterias and food courts. This alternative would be a starting point, a short-term change, due to PLA looking very similar to the plastics that are currently being used, but also the fact that they are also single-use. PLA would not only be a better option for the environment than plastic, but it would also be a smooth transition from the single-use plastics to the PLA Bioplastics, as the only thing changing is the material/s that is being used to manufacture these cups.

Bamboo, Wooden Utensils is one of the best alternatives for the plastic utensils used. This alternative would be a long-term as, if deciding to use the Wooden Utensils instead of the plastics, this will help eliminate the need for single-use plastic items, reducing non-recyclable and non-compostable waste, and will help to protect our planet from plastic pollution. Bamboo, Wooden Utensils are environmentally friendly disposable cutlery, which will reduce the plastic footprint of each individual choosing to use products that are not single-use plastics. Along with that, the Wooden Utensils are disposable, similar to the plastics, allowing the changes for the community to not be as extreme, allowing the transition to be a lot smoother, than changing the plastics to non-disposable products, even if they will make a greater change to the environment than single-use items.
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Reusable Cups can be made from glass, metal, stainless steel, and more. There are a variety of products that are reusable and their manufacturing process is much better as a whole for the environment, but also for the users, as there are no toxins used in the products, meaning they can’t overall harm your body and your health. The biggest benefit with Reusable Cups is the fact that once you have finished with a cup of coffee, you are able to wash it, and then use it again and there are no worries put aside to the cups degrading, unlike the plastics and the other alternatives, due them being single-use products. In addition, without the cups being thrown away in landfills as frequently as the single-use products, because they are reusable, there is a reduction to the amount of waste destroying the oceans, habitats and our world. 

The products that are designed and sold by this start-up will be made with the materials mentioned above. Due to the research I have conducted, I know that customer favour these products and are willing to use these plastic-free items to help protect the environment.

6 Month Plastic-Free Plan for School Cafeterias

Create Plastic Alternative Plans for School Cafeterias

Begin with looking at the cafeterias plastic products and find alternatives for those plastic products, either PLA Bioplastics or Wooden Utensils. To know which alternative is best, understand the community.
1st Month

Start incorporating Reusable Products

After two months, begin incorporating reusable products into the cafeteria. Maybe start with asking students to bring in reusable straws instead of having straws for them.
2nd-3rd Month

Incorporate More Reusable Products

Incorporate reusable plates, and cups, that can be returned to the cafeteria or have certain strategies in place to increase customers convenience when returning.
4th-5th Month

All Reusable Products

The cafeteria is only using reusable products. Utensils and cutlery are all plastic-free and not single-use.
6th Month
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