Welcome to plastic-free July! A month to abandon plastics in favour of reusable alternatives for the sake of animals and the environment.
If, however, going completely plastic-free is overwhelming and seems impossible, read on for some simple single-use plastic swaps. Remember, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing – a few small changes can make a big difference.
Carry a bag for life
Did you know that plastic bags look like food to some marine animals? Whales are washing up all over the place with stomachs full of plastic bags – they are a huge problem. Luckily though, it’s easy to help. Pop a bag of life in your pocket, handbag or car, and you’ll have it to hand whenever you go shopping.
Fill your own containers
Why wrap a coconut? It, like many other natural foods, has its own protective covering! Avoid pointless packaging by buying as much food as possible plastic-free. Pick loose fruit and vegetables, for example, and put them in reusable bags instead of plastic ones – Veggio bags are great if you’re looking for ideas. Similarly, if you’re buying meat, fish or other items available from plastic-free from counters, take containers with you.
If you want to go one step further, hunt out your nearest environmentally-friendly shop that sells everything lose, including nuts, grains and pulses.
Reuse, reuse, reuse
You may think straws look harmless, after all, they’re just a small plastic tube, but did you see the sea turtle that had one stuck up its nose? They are just as bad for animals as everything else. So, whether it is a cup for your takeaway tea, plastic cutlery for your lunch or a straw for your drink, ditch the single-use plastic variety and buy yourself some reusable alternatives. You may even save yourself some money!
Refill don’t throw away
You only have to look in your bathroom or kitchen to find a whole range of single-use plastics – shampoo and conditioner, soap, cleaning products etc. They all come in plastic bottles that we simply throw away and replace, but they don’t need to. Make a change and buy refillable products from brands such as Splosh, Ecover and Faith in Nature or go one better and avoid plastic altogether with, for example, solid shampoo bars.
I guess this last one isn’t technically single use, we use them over and over before throwing them out, but toothbrushes have a substantial environmental impact – over a billion a year end up in landfill from the US alone. They’re bad for animals too and have been found inside stomachs of albatross. Switching to bamboo toothbrushes is easy, you can even get them on subscription, so new ones arrive at your door.
So that’s our top five plastic reduction tips but you can see more over on our AnimalKind pages, do you have others? We’d love to know how you get on with your plastic reduction this July, why not pop on over to our Facebook page to let us know?