Let's Talk Trash: Plastic-free snack attack

When blood sugar is low or the throat dry, it is easy to reach for salvation in form of an excessively packaged snack.

Gas stations, ferry cafeterias and vending machines have a tempting menu of options for the hungry belly. And, when we’re thinking with our stomach, concerns about global warming or plastic choking our oceans do not always factor in.

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What’s the problem with all the packaging in the first place? Most snack foods these days are wrapped in laminate or layered plastics that are not recyclable. After their one use to house our candybar, they head to the landfill or ocean to biodegrade, but never disappear.

In fact, every piece of plastic ever made still exists, barring plastic that has been incinerated and toxified the air we breathe. Thicker, rigid plastics our juice and soft drinks come in are resource heavy and rarely recycled back into themselves. Instead, they are usually downcycled into a less marketable plastic. Because of this, most of the plastic used to make our drink packaging in the first place is virgin plastic, rather than made from recycled materials.

The good news is we can plan ahead and avoid snack attacks that end in a mountain of packaging. All it takes is a little planning ahead for those hunger pains and parched throats.

  • Single-use disposable water bottles are wasteful, if convenient. Get in the habit of bringing a full, reusable bottle of water wherever you go. You never know if your errands are going to take longer than expected, and being well-hydrated is always a good thing.

  • Keep satisfying snacks in your bag, around the house and in your car. Mixed nuts, a boiled egg and fruit are easy go-tos.

  • Buy snacks in the bulk-food section to reduce packaging, or even better, shop at a bulk-food store where you bring your own containers.

  • Make trail mix, granola, or sweet treats at home with your own quality ingredients.

  • Wrap snacks in wax cotton sheets rather than cling wrap. You can learn how to make your own online or buy Abeego beeswax wraps locally.

With a little forethought, you and your household can avoid getting “hangry”and trashing the planet.

Let’s Talk Trash is Powell River Regional District’s waste-management education program.

Copyright © 2018 Powell River Peak

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