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How do I stop using single-use plastic?

Plastic - it’s an incredibly popular material that we use in almost every product we touch due to how cheap and versatile it is. Single-use plastics are especially common – these are items that are made for temporary use before they are disposed of. They include plastic straws, bags, bottles, cutlery and food containers, most (if not all) of which we are quite familiar with in our busy day-to-day lives!

Despite their convenience, our extensive use of plastic comes with harsh consequences. Did you know that less than 10% of plastics are recycled? 12% is incinerated and 79% of plastics go straight to landfill! Plastic waste takes thousands of years to decompose, which leads to devastating impacts on the environment, affecting the future of the planet for our young ones. Furthermore, plastic that pollutes our soil and water has been proven to disrupt our endocrine system, which is incredibly harmful to human health – particularly during the vital, early developmental stages of a child.

It is essential we change our habits now for the good of our future generations. There are many affordable, plastic-free options that you can explore to reduce wastage from single-use plastics for the benefit of yourself, your baby and the planet. This was the vision Haakaa was founded on, so we’d like to share our tips and eco-friendly product solutions to help you move towards a sustainable future.  

What Are Some Alternatives to Plastic Straws?

Plastic straws are one of the biggest culprits in creating plastic waste that pollutes our beaches and oceans, with more than half a billion being used every day around the world. Many businesses are taking action to counter this, with big names such as Starbucks, McDonald’s and Hyatt looking to phase out their use of plastic straws over the coming years.

If you want to cut down on single-use plastic straws, Stainless Steel Straws offer a fantastic alternative that can be used by both adults and kids alike, time and time again. Because they are incredibly durable, they are also super safe! To clean, simply use the brush that comes with the product and put the straw into the dishwasher. Our Stainless Steel Straws also come with an easy-carry bag, making them portable and convenient for when you’re on the go.

Silicone Straws are another convenient, eco-friendly option to replace plastic straws. Their fun, bright colours and soft bendy silicone make them perfect for children’s mouths! You can take apart our detachable Silicone Straws to get a short, straight straw or put them together to get a long, curved straw.

Which Food Containers and Lunchboxes Are Safe to Use?

Scientific studies have shown that chemicals are still able to enter food stored in plastic containers or bags, especially when they are heated. This is particularly worrying combined with the knowledge there is a lack of regulation concerning the chemicals used in plastic food containers, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

To protect our young ones and reduce our impact on the planet, we suggest using alternative reusable materials to store your food such as silicone, glass or stainless steel. At Haakaa, we have created the 100% food grade Silicone Breast Milk and Food Containers, which are a fantastic eco-friendly product for storing food and freezing breast milk. You can also safely reheat these in the microwave without any harmful chemicals leaching into the nutritious food you’ll be feeding your child.

We also have the Silicone Collapsible Food Storage Container which not only safely stores food and leftovers but also collapses down flat for convenient storage and packing! When making lunches for kids on the go, you can use the Silicone Food Container – 2 Compartment Lunchbox. These silicone food containers are heat and freeze-resistant, dishwasher and microwave safe and keep your food contamination-free.

How Can I Stop Using Plastic Cups?

The world uses 500 billion plastic cups a year. A single plastic cup takes 50-80 years to decompose. Like plastic drink bottles, plastic cups can also leach chemicals into what we drink when reused. These alarming facts all show that we must find a reusable alternative to plastic cups – however, it can be challenging to find an option that is not only safe and eco-friendly but easy for toddlers to use as well!

This is where Haakaa’s Stainless Steel Cups come in. Our stainless steel is durable and virtually drop-proof, but is still light enough for your toddler to hold. These are a great way to start teaching your child how to drink from a cup! They also come with a neoprene sleeve that makes them easy to grip and a drawstring & toggle for convenient packing.

Top Tip: Multi-purpose this product by using our Silicone Sippy Top and Stainless Steel Straws to turn it into an environmentally-friendly sippy cup - perfect for younger kids transitioning from bottle to cup!

Are Reusable Plastic Bottles Safe?

As a busy mama, it’s vitally important to stay hydrated whether you’re at work, on the go or at home taking care of your little ones. Choosing the right reusable bottle for yourself can be a tough decision. Which material is best? How much should I spend? How long will it last?

Plastic bottles are often popular because they are affordable and light to carry. However, many reusable plastic bottles contain toxic chemicals that over time can leach into the water you drink! Other options like glass can be heavy to carry and easily break. What else is left?

Metal bottles like the Thermal Stainless Steel Drink Bottle are a fantastic choice for environmentally conscious shoppers. These bottles are 100% non-toxic, durable yet lightweight, leak-proof and great for both your health and the planet! The wide neck for drinking makes it easy to stay hydrated, and they keep liquids hot or cold for up to 6 hours. They are perfect for when you’re on the move and need to keep things at a particular temperature.

Fortunately, in recent years we have been seeing a growing trend of people shifting towards the use of environmentally-friendly alternatives to plastic. The amount of plastic waste we produce during our lifetime is tremendous, so it is incredibly vital that we try to reduce our usage as much as we can. By taking action now and moving towards an eco-friendly lifestyle, we can help preserve the planet for the futures of our little ones!

Haakaa New Zealand