CALL TO ACTION: Cut Down on your Use of Plastics!

CALL TO ACTION: Cut Down on your Use of Plastics!

Allah has given us a beautiful planet that is filled with resources to support our success. There is nothing more important to our survival than water. The human body is made up of water, from 60-70% dependent upon age, gender, and overall health. A full 97% of our planet’s water is  actually found in the ocean. We rely on it as a source for our water cycle, as a means of regulating climate, as a filter for carbon dioxide, as a source of recreation, as the home of diverse plant and marine life, and as a food source for humans and animals alike. 

There is no better place to take the pulse of our natural world than by starting with our oceans. According to many sources, pollution of all types is wreaking havoc with marine life and causing irreparable damage to our ecosystem. Here are just a few statistics related to one very specific type of pollution from discarded plastics.

  • There are 5.25 trillion macro and micro pieces of plastic in our ocean; that is 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of ocean, weighing up to 269,000 tons.
  • Every day around 8 million pieces of plastic make their way into our oceans.
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is floating between California and Hawaii  is around 1.6 million square kilometers (that’s bigger than the state of Texas!).
  • More than 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals die from plastic pollution every year.
  • 100% of baby sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs.
  • The world produces 381 million tons in plastic waste yearly – and this is set to double by 2034.
  • 50% of this is single-use plastic and only 9% has ever been recycled.
  • Less than 1 in 7 plastic bags are recycled and the US is responsible for around 327 billion bags that end up in the seas.
  • It can take anything between 20-1000 years for a plastic bag to break up.

But what is one person to do?

Taking Personal Responsibility

Each and every one of us must educate ourselves and take action to reduce our footprint in this area. It is important to our global health today and into the future. And we will be held individually accountable for these efforts.

Drawing attention to plastics is an important place to start because it is not biodegradable and, as a petrochemical product, there is a large amount of pollution also associated with the manufacture of it. Some states, counties and municipalities have started their own efforts at reducing plastic waste by setting up recycling programs, charging for the use of plastic bags, establishing refundable deposits for large items. These collective measures can help draw attention to the matter. But much of the progress comes down to individual practices and habits.

Here are 21 ways you can reduce your use of plastic starting from your own home.

  1. Use reusable bags for groceries. A single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Purchase or make your own reusable bags and recycle any plastic bags that you get from retail stores. Give up gum. Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic. 
  2. Buy boxes instead of bottles. Often, products like laundry detergent come in cardboard which is more easily recycled than plastic.
  3. Purchase food, like cereal, pasta, and rice from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. You save money and unnecessary packaging. 
  4. Make fresh squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It's healthier and better for the environment.
  5. Use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages. If you forget, you can ask for a paper rather than a plastic cup in many establishments.
  6. Stop using disposable plastic straws, even in restaurants. Reusable stainless steel or glass straws are available and there use can significantly reduce the numbers of straws in our landfills and waterways.
  7. Bring your own container for take-out or leftovers when you dine out since many restaurants still use styrofoam. 
  8. Reuse containers for storing leftovers or shopping in bulk.
  9. Don't use plastic utensils at home. 
  10. Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters or invest in a refillable metal lighter. 
  11. Return plastic containers (for berries, tomatoes, etc.) back to the place you purchased them. If you shop at a farmers market they can refill it for you.
  12. Use cloth diapers to reduce your baby's carbon footprint and save money. It is estimated that 7.6 billion pounds of disposable diapers are discarded in the U.S. each year. 
  13. Make your own cleaning products that will be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner.
  14. Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. There are a number of reusable products on the market that can help reduce plastic sandwich and snack bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.
  15. Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor.
  16. Reduce your use of plastic wrap at home. Beeswax, waxed paper, or fabric are more favorable options.
  17. Choose natural clothing fibers (cotton) over synthetic. Synthetic fabrics are made of plastic. As they are washed, they shed plastics.
  18. If you’re a woman, choose feminine products only made with paper and cotton or switch to reusable ones. There are lots of options on the market now.
  19. Compost food waste to reduce kitchen trash bags. Composting not only reduces food waste, but it also reduces the number of bags you have to use. 
  20. Do not litter. And pick up litter when you find it. Disposal of trash in the proper receptacles helps to ensure it doesn't wind up littering beautiful natural spaces.
  21. Recycle your own plastic waste. Only about 9% of plastic is currently recycled. While it is best to cut down on your plastic use entirely, it is important to properly dispose of plastics you already have. Make note of the recycling symbols on plastic packaging and consult your local government for details about disposal practices in your area. You can get more details about recycling symbols here:

We can each take a proactive stance and make progress in this area daily. We can also influence family and friends to do the same. While we will all be individually accountable for the manner in which we live and take care of our planet, it is our collective action that will have the most impact now and into the future. Your mindful actions will make a difference and demonstrate gratitude for the many blessings that Allah provides. 


Cutting down on your use of plastics is essential for a more sustainable future, and one area where this can make a significant impact is in diapering. Diaper recycling technology has made great strides in recent years, offering innovative solutions for reducing the environmental impact of disposable diapers. By embracing these technologies and recycling options, we can divert tons of diaper waste from landfills, giving new life to these materials. It's a small yet impactful step toward a greener future for our little ones. Let's all do our part in reducing plastic waste and supporting initiatives like diaper recycling technology to protect the planet for future generations.

Add new comment