How to Reduce Your Plastic Waste in 2021

After what has felt like a marathon, we finally closed the book on 2020, a year with more plot twists than an M. Night Shyamalan film. We’re all ready for 2021 to be a better year, and RIO is already putting that drive into motion as we get ready to kick off the biggest single-day beach cleanup in history.


But for everyone who is staying safely socially distanced and can’t be on the beach in Indonesia with us, what can you do to reduce your plastic waste in 2021? We have a few easy ways to help you reduce your plastic waste, ensuring that less plastic makes its ways into our waterways as we work furiously to clean up what already has.


Say Goodbye to Plastic Wrap


When it was invented, plastic wrap was a revelation. It was a cheap and easy way to keep food and other items fresh and clean during storage, and easy to dispose of when you were finished. Or at least, so people thought.


Unfortunately, that same plastic wrap that your grandmother was using in the 50’s is still on our planet, floating through our oceans and rivers or buried in our landfills.


Instead of using plastic wrap, consider using beeswax food wraps to keep fruits, veggies and leftovers fresh. You can purchase them from many large and small businesses or even make your own.


Upgrade Your Coffee Pods


As we all continue to work from home, the home coffee maker has become the workhorse of the house, keeping us running through an endless marathon of Zoom calls and Slack notifications.

But the single-use coffee pods that power many of our machines are plastic nightmares, and are piling up in our landfills all over the world and sliding their way into our waterways. In 2015, Keurig sold over 10.5 billion K-Cups, most of which would never make their way to the recycling bin. 


Thankfully, there is a reusable coffee pod option for nearly every single-cup coffee maker on the market. By buying your own coffee and using a refillable pod, you can prevent hundreds of single-use plastic pods from making their way into the environment.


Plant a Garden


Suddenly, we all have more time than ever at home. Whether you live in a small apartment or have a sprawling backyard, planting a small kitchen garden can be a very beneficial hobby to keep away the quarantine blues while also helping you reduce your plastic use.


Many fruits, vegetables and herbs at the grocery store are wrapped in plastic wrap or other plastic containers to keep them fresh and make transporting them easier. By even planting a small window herb garden, you can reduce how much of a plastic impact your grocery shopping has. And bonus, you can’t beat fresh herbs to spice up those new quarantine dishes you’re planning to try.


Shop Responsibly


RIO and many other companies are committed to cleaning up our oceans and conserving our environment by producing sustainable products. By choosing to shop for products that use less plastic in their manufacturing, packaging and supply chain, you help play a part in preventing plastic waste before it starts.


Even while you’re staying safe at home and helping the world fight COVID-19, you can join the fight against plastic pollution and help us make 2021 both a virus-free and a plastic-free year.