How Refilling and Reusing Helps the Environment

How Refilling and Reusing Helps the Environment

What is the problem?

The problem of human waste is monumental. The manufacture of new products from raw materials drains natural resources and requires a huge amount of energy, and then disposing of unwanted materials pollutes the environment. [4] All of this, just for us to throw things away?

Plastic specifically has become an environmental hazard due to the amount of single-use plastic products that pollute landfill sites and oceans [1]. It’s been estimated that the production of plastic and the incineration of plastic waste creates approximately 400 million tonnes of CO2 globally each year. As well as the implications on our climate via greenhouse gas emissions, the damage to the natural world is huge too. The impact of plastic on wildlife is catastrophic. It is estimated that 1 million seabirds as well as 100,000 marine mammals and turtles are killed by plastic pollution every year [2]. If you want to learn more about plastic waste specifically, check out our blog on “How Plastics Get from Cities to Oceans”.

How does Refilling and Reusing help?

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle are the three environmental R’s and we say them in that order for a reason. It is best for the planet to reduce our demand for new products. After we have reduced demand, it’s important to reuse those products that we do need – refilling helps with this. Then if we really can’t find another use for something, it is important to dispose of it responsibly via recycling [3].

Reusing is one of the more effective methods in reducing our impact on the planet [1]. Refilling and reusing products helps to prevent plastic pollution at source [2]. Plus, it’s simple and easy for individuals to get involved in! [1] Reusing products, particularly plastic products, means that it reduces the demand for new products to be manufactured as well as preventing plastic from taking up landfill space and from ending up in the ocean [1].

Reuse requires fewer natural resources, less electricity, and less labor, compared to recycling, disposal, and the manufacture of new products. Reuse also reduces air, water, and land pollution, and limits the need for acquiring new natural resources. The US Environmental Protection Agency recently identified reducing waste as an important method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  [4]

Choosing to reuse instead of opting for single-use products means you’re making the right choice for the planet and taking the opportunity to live more sustainably and join the less waste movement [2][1]. A great place to start is with cleaning products like our Multi-Surface Cleaner and Dish Washing Soap, or personal product like this Dental Floss Refill.

Author: Bethany Newark

References

[1]  Burchell, "Refill! Reuse!! Recycle!!! Our Solution to the Single-Use Plastic Dilemma," 2019. [Online]. Available: https://www.thecleaningcabinet.co.uk/blogs/news/refill-reuse-recycle.

[2] Refill, "Why Refill?," 2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.refill.org.uk/about/why-refill/.

[3] T. Szaky, "The problem with the popularity of pouches," 2015. [Online]. Available: https://www.packagingdigest.com/packaging-design/problem-popularity-pouches.

[4] ReDO, "Benefits of Reuse," 2020. [Online]. Available: https://loadingdock.org/redo/Benefits_of_Reuse/body_benefits_of_reuse.html.