It seems like the garbage crisis in Lebanon has only gotten worse over the years, with sustainable solutions to the crisis nowhere to be found and carcinogenic and environmentally deadly solutions being proposed by the Lebanese government who refuses to incorporate recycling and composting as part of a comprehensive plan to manage our country’s solid waste.

This inability of official bodies to act responsibly, makes personal initiatives and bold steps taken by various businesses even more crucial. One way we can dramatically lessen the damage caused by our solid waste, is cutting back and completely ditching all single-use plastics. That includes water bottles, plastic cutlery, packaging, straws and other items you use once and simply throw away after, only for it to end up in our seas, valleys and mountains.

Greenpeace’s #Plastacna campaign is encouraging businesses to ditch single use plastic, and so far, places like The Grand Factory, Vyvyan’s, Kissproof and Roadster have taken steps to use less single-use plastics in their establishments. Whether it’s ditching plastic straws like a The Grand Factory, or giving water for free in glass pitchers instead of plastic water bottles like at Kissproof, the impact has been massive and met with a lot of excitement and praise from the restaurants’ and clubs’ patrons.

I hope, and challenge even, more and more places to follow suit and ditch their use of single-use plastic and replace them with reusable items. If everyone pitches in, we can drastically make the garbage crisis less severe, in hopes a sustainable solution is finally agreed upon by the Lebanese government.

Next time you’re out having a drink or a bite to eat, suggest it to the staff and management of the place you’re at. Explain to them why they should ditch plastic straws, plastic water bottles and other single-use plastic products that can be easily replaced with reusable, non-polluting alternatives. Try it at your schools and universities and offices, encourage your friends and family to rely less on single-use plastic, and help save what’s left of Lebanon that isn’t drowning in garbage that is mostly single-use plastic.