Let's give you the bad news first: Food packaging makes up almost two thirds of total packaging waste in the world today. That means a whole lot of especially plastic and carton waste ends up in landfills, which means more methane released into the air.
If you go to an event that will be using throwaway cups and glasses, then take your own. With all the events that occurs across Portugal, it’s no surprise that thousands of disposable cups and glasses per year land up in landfills.
One big bag of rice uses less plastic than five smaller ones, so consider purchasing bulk quantities of foods that last a long time (think pasta, cereal, and nuts). Just be sure to store them properly so they don’t go bad before you can use them.
If you love baking, using a new disposable aluminium tin every time you make a cake is hardly the way to reduce food-packaging waste. Instead, consider investing in some metal, glass or ceramic baking pans that you can re-use.
Eliminate an easy-to-overlook source of food packaging waste by buying loose tea and coffee instead of individual bags, and invest instead in a tea infuser or a coffee percolator.
Stay away from Nestle’s coffee capsules, as they are a real no-no and an environmental nightmare.
When shopping, look for products with minimal to no packaging, or at least packaging made from recycled items. That means buying loose fruit and veggies instead of tomatoes wrapped in plastic and cereal that’s housed in just a bag (not a bag and a box). If you do choose packaged products, check the label to see if the packaging was made from recycled materials. And be sure to recycle or reuse any cardboard, paper, or plastic packaging when you’re done with it.
It may be tempting to toss those takeout containers and peanut butter jars, but that plastic and glass can easily be saved and reused for other purposes, like storing all those bulk goods that you stocked up on. Just be sure to check the number on the bottom of the container to make sure it’s safe for reuse with food products, since some plastics can leach toxins when they’re used for too long. (Numbers 2, 4, and 5 are generally safe; numbers 3, 6, and 7 aren't.)