When it comes to plastic, we are wasteful. Millions of tons are dumped a day and much of it is used only once before being thrown. It takes thousands of years to biodegrade, so stays in the environment and causes havoc for wildlife and our environment generally. The good news though, is that we have the ability to change and choose to cut down our plastic waste and here's 10 tips to get you started.
Use bags for life
Plastic bags have a limited lifespan and end up littering our environment and harming our wildlife. One of the easiest ways to cut down your plastic waste is to carry bags for life and use them instead.
Avoid bottled water
Why spend money on something you can get for free from the tap? Save money and the environment by carrying a water bottle with you and refilling it rather than buying bottled drinks from the shops. It’s a simple change, but one that will make a big difference.
Say no to straws
Used once and then thrown away, straws are the perfect example of unnecessary single-use plastics. Whether at home or out and about, cut out some pointless plastic and say no to straws.
Carry a reusable coffee cup
While they may look recyclable, disposable coffee cups are not, they contribute to the masses of waste we produce every day. If you are partial to a takeaway coffee or tea, reduce your waste by carrying a reusable travel mug with you.
Buy loose fruit and vegetables
It can be hard to avoid plastic when shopping; we are packaging mad. But, a lot of our food doesn’t need all the plastic protection, nature does OK its own. Shop smart and choose to buy loose fruit and vegetables, either putting them straight in your bag for life or in a paper bag – you can always wash them when you get home.
Opt for refillable cleaning products
For some things, avoiding plastic is difficult; we need to store liquid detergents and cleaning products in something. But, you can easily reduce your waste by opting to use products that have the option to refill rather than buy new every time or by choosing powder detergents in boxes; making your own is also a possibility!
Buy milk in glass bottles
It may seem old-fashioned, but the milkman is making a come back. Avoid buying your milk from the supermarket in plastic bottles and instead get it delivered in glass bottles that are collected and reused. You save plastic and don’t have to worry about going out to get milk; it just appears on your doorstep!
Use shampoo bars
From shampoo and conditioner to shower gel, soap and moisturisers, our bathrooms are full of plastic. But, they don’t have to be; there are plenty of alternative options. Solid soap and shampoo and conditioner bars are great but if you prefer the liquid versions, opt for refillable brands or companies that take your containers back to reuse them.
Rethink your food storage
Our fridge is another place plastic sneaks in, whether it is sauce bottles, convenience food containers or cling film covering last nights leftovers. Keep plastic containers to reuse as storage to avoid clingfilm and cut down on plastic in the first place by buying less packaged convenience food and cooking more; it’s healthier and better for the environment.
Ditch the wipes
Wet wipes, while you may not think of them as plastic, are and they are a huge source of waste. And, they are not just bad for the environment, they block our drainage systems too. Save waste and switch out your disposable wipes for reusable cloths.