In recent years, we have become far too reliant on single-use plastic in our everyday lives, its convenience causing us to forget how toxic it is to the environment. Everywhere we look there is plastic: coffee cups, packaging, straws, bottles…the list could go on forever. However, finding alternatives to all of this plastic is so easy! By following these 7 steps, you can drastically reduce your plastic waste and start doing your part to eliminate single-use plastic.
1. Switch Your Plastic Sandwich Wrapping
When making lunches to take on the go, so many of us are choosing plastic wrapping to pack them in, forgetting the huge amount of waste that this is producing. Instead, try reusable food wraps, like Bee’s Wrap. These reusable, washable and compostable alternatives are made from bee’s wax so are completely plastic-free! You can buy these from Amazon – an easy way to reduce your plastic waste!
2. Try Using Bar Soap
Start making your bathroom plastic-free by using bar soap. Not only does bar soap contain less water (making it longer lasting and more cost-effective), but it isn’t packaged in plastic-like bottled shower gels. Now you can even find shampoo and conditioner bars to work towards a completely plastic-free bathroom!
3. Buy A Reusable Water Bottle
Buying a reusable bottle is an obvious and easy change to make, yet so many of us are still buying single-use plastic water bottles. Around 13 billion plastic water bottles are used in the UK each year, of which only half get recycled. Try buying a metal or glass water bottle that you can always carry with you and refill. You can find water fountains in most public places, so not only is this more environmentally friendly but a lot cheaper! Reusable water bottles are sold almost everywhere – try these cheap ones from Amazon, or if you’re looking for something fancier, Chilly’s is a good place to start.
4. Say No To Plastic Cutlery
When eating out during the day, grabbing a quick lunch to go can have more of an environmental impact than you think. Most take away restaurants supply plastic cutlery, so try to bring your own! Either by taking your metal utensils from home or purchasing a set of wooden cutlery to keep in your bag, this is an easy way to reduce your plastic use.
5. Buy Your Own Coffee Cup
Another one you’ve probably heard a lot, yet approximately 2.5 billion coffee cups are still thrown away in the UK each year. Reusable hot drink cups are sold almost everywhere, from the more expensive Keep Cup to Starbucks’ £1 reusable cup. Not only will this help to reduce your plastic waste, but will save you money, with most coffee shops now charging extra when you use a disposable cups, and many offering a discount when you bring your own!
6. No More Straws
It’s so easy to avoid straws by simply asking yourself, do I really need this? The answer is almost always no! If you’re still desperate to use a straw, buy yourself a reusable metal straw to carry with you. They’re so cheap on Amazon and easy to keep in your bag, so get yourself one ASAP because the UK government has recently launched a plan to ban the sale of plastic straws!
7. Bring Your Own Bag
Whether you’re shopping for groceries or clothes, always carry your own tote bag with you. Since 2015 in the UK, shops have been charging 5p per disposable bag and this may be increased to 10p, so save yourself both money and waste and bring your own!