Even if you have eliminated the use of many plastic items in your daily life, there is one thing you have probably missed—the plastic you use to buy things. We’ve all stood behind someone in a checkout lane whose open wallet reveals a plethora of credit cards. This use of plastic may seem minimal, but more than 6 billion of these cards, most made of polyvinylchloride, are produced each year worldwide. There are many reasons to reduce the number of credit or debit cards you use, sparing your budget being among them, but this is also an action you can take to lower the production of plastic. Remember how we used to pay with cash, before convenience and a higher-than-we-should-go credit limit enticed us to accept those frequent offers in the mail? Switching from credit or debit cards back to cash is one way we can stop creating a market for plastic cards, which are reissued with new expiration dates every couple years. In the meanwhile, the financial industry is catching up with alternative options for making purchases, such as mobile payment software apps.

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