Not only does it take a lot of energy to produce plastic bags, they also cause the death of millions of marine animals every year! In addition to that a single-use plastic bottle uses up twice as much water in its production process than it contains when you buy it. Even though it is really difficult in a consumer society to avoid plastic, you can start with yourself and be mindful about the packaging material during your regular shopping tour.
Single use of plastic bags: Meanwhile it has become more common in several countries to charge for plastic bags and some have even completely banned them. In the end the easiest way to avoid single-use bags is to bring your own reusable ones.
Preferring glass over plastic: As glass is one of the materials that can be recycled most easily, you should choose it over plastic packages if possible. Moreover, you can still use it to store loose groceries or something else and freeze leftovers in it after the glass is empty. If there is no further use for it, you can recycle it.
Plastic straws: If you have ever seen a video of a turtle getting a plastic straw removed from its nose, you will probably think differently about the next straw you will automatically be served with your drink. When thinking about this automatism and how many drinks a night will be served like this as well as how many straws this makes in a week, a month or even a year, it does not surprise that many of these pieces of single-use end up in the ocean instead of the landfill they were supposed to go. By simply asking your waiter to serve your drink without a straw and maybe also explaining the reasoning to those who are interested or starting your own petition, you can contribute to sparing some animals the same ordeal as those poor turtles in comparable videos. Alternatives are e.g. glass or titanium straws that are completely reusable and available online.