4 Companies That Can Help Reduce Your Plastic Dependence

The beginning of 2020 has brought us a new year, a new decade, and several promises of “new me's" that are likely to fade away before February. Yet, besides the cynical fact that most people abandon their new year’s resolutions before the third week in January, I am always inspired by the hopes and dreams that people establish as we enter a new year. Even if it’s short-lived, the planning, action, and desire to become a better person is something I’ve always found admirable. Last summer, I set out the intention to decrease my use of plastic products and single-use plastic. Given the state of the Earth, I have tried to do whatever is in my power to shrink my carbon footprint and reduce my dependency on plastic. So, as one of my resolutions to attempt to better myself and the world this year, I am aiming to use less plastic and to be more cognizant of how my purchases may impact the earth. In this search to lessen my dependence on plastic, I’ve found a few helpful companies that share a similar mission. Hopefully, you can also utilize this research to adopt more plastic-free alternatives!

  1. 1. Pela

    At a time when most of us spend several hours a day looking at our phones, we are often concerned about the cases we put our phones in so that we can protect them from any damage. Yet, most phone cases are made entirely out of plastic and are non-biodegradable. Pela cases aim to challenge this source of plastic pollution as they provide “flaxstic,” a plastic made from natural fibers and flax seeds, to protect your phone just as well as most other plastic cases. When new phone models come out every year in different sizes, cases are often quickly disposed of as they become obsolete for the current model. So, by switching to a 45% biodegradable option, it is easier to make an environmentally conscious choice—without having to give up protecting your precious device. Personally, I love the Pela case that I have had for the past few years, and with several design and color options, I found it easy to choose a case that worked for me.

  2. 2. Lush

    While Lush might be a more mainstream option on this list, I think it is nonetheless important to take note of this company’s dedication to avoiding plastic use in everyday products. From shampoo bars to skincare, Lush aims to eliminate the need for packaging. With recycled materials, reusable bottles and pots, and fabric wrapping, they utilize next to no single-use plastic items. Additionally, Lush fights animal testing, utilizes ethical buying practices, and carries 100% vegetarian and 80% vegan products—which are all values that I think more businesses should adopt.

  3. 3. Wear Pact

    In their goal to be the world’s first guilt-free fashion brand, Wear Pact delivers high-quality staple items. With Organic Cotton, Fair Trade certification, and versatile clothing and home goods, Pact has all of the ingredients to fight fast fashion. The items they sell are more basic and simple, but aren’t a few staples needed in every closet? And, because of their dedication to quality, their items are meant to be long-lasting—which justifies their slightly elevated price tag for a college budget. They also accept and recycle old clothing items, towels, and linens—providing a place to get rid of old pieces while replacing them at the same time. Wear Pact believes that sustainability and fashion CAN, in fact, go hand in hand.

  4. 4. ChicoBag

    Lastly, I’m including ChicoBag—this brand began by selling reusable shopping bags and has since expanded to various travel bags, snack and lunch bags, and utensils. ChicoBag is dedicated to creating zero waste, and in that mission, they “simply refuse the ‘Big 5’ (single-use plastic bags, single-use water bottles, single-use cups, single-use utensils and polystyrene take-out containers).” Whether you’re shopping for groceries, packing a few snacks, or grabbing lunch from a food truck, these reusable products are extremely useful for the average college student. Although it might be a difficult switch at first (and it may take up a portion of space in your backpack), ChicoBag’s items can help average college students make the change to refuse single-use plastics.

These four companies are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sustainable brands that provide avenues for avoiding single-use plastics. So, as we enter into the new year, and we all (hopefully) do our part to help the planet, I urge you to make the changes and switches that are in your power, price range, and ability to opt for reusable items.


Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5