What to do With Your Plastic Once You’ve Become Waste-Free

You’ve finally made the commitment to a zero-waste lifestyle but you’re facing a few dilemmas. Your house is filled with plastic bins for your kid’s off-season clothing, containers for your cereal, and plastic soap pumps in every bathroom. What do you do with all the plastic you previously put to use? While you may think you have to immediately recycle all your plastic products and replace them with their non-plastic, reusable, Earth-friendly counterpart, you don’t.

If you were to throw away the plastic in your household you would be acting against your new lifestyle protocol. So instead of gathering up the non-eco-friendly products in your household, use them. Get the absolute most you can get out of those plastic bins, your old razors, that toothbrush, and the kid’s lunchboxes. Once they can no longer be used because they’re either falling apart or becoming a danger to your health, dispose of them properly whether it be recycling or by means your rare trip to the garbage bin. Now that you’ve exhausted it’s useful life, you can go out and buy the eco-friendly counterpart of the products you need.

If your favorite hairbrush in the world is made of plastic and you already own it, don’t sweat it. However, make sure you use it until it no longer does the job. If your 10-year old mop bucket and 15-year old plastic folding table can still work their magic, hang onto them. There is no sense of being wasteful when the item is already in your home. Once you’ve made the zero-waste lifestyle choice, whatever you buy from then on should be purchased with sustainability practices in mind. The whole point of your new way of living is to refrain from using things you don’t absolutely need and making mindful choices by considering your actions impacts on the Earth. So, would throwing out a ton of household products and then spending a fortune to replace them be following your new beliefs? No. The goal is to consume as little as possible even if it means using plastic for the time being. Moving forward, consider your sustainability practices with every choice you make, but for now those plastic bins are nothing to lose sleep over.


Weldon, Megean. “What to Do With Plastic Once You’ve Started Zero Waste.” Zero Waste Nerd. N.p., 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 07 June 2017.

One Comment

  1. What a sensible article. Too often these plastic-free crusaders encourage us to be rid of all plastics, whereas it is indeed counter-productive and actually more wasteful to do so.
    And when those plastic containers/bins/lunchboxes are no longer suitable for their purpose, why not reuse them in the shed, or the garden shed?

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