12 Different Ways To Reduce Plastic And Help The Damn Whales

It’s #PlasticFreeJuly, which means that people around the world are trying to avoid single use plastic for an entire month. Hopefully, once in their daily routine, this will mean that more people will be using much less plastic. Don’t worry, there are several ways to reduce plastic!

Why are they doing this you may ask? Can’t we just recycle? Well, no, that no longer is enough. Our planet is suffering, and the oceans are struggling to survive with all the plastic that ends up in them. It’s time to change things! Here are 12 different but simple ways to reduce your plastic use this month…and hopefully forever!

1. Bring your own shopping bag with you to the supermarket

Now that most supermarkets are required to charge a small fee for plastic bags, most people have got into the habit of bringing their own bag. However, it’s still easy to forget especially if you’re popping to the shops straight from work. Remember to fold up a reusable bag and keep it in your bag so you’re never left without one – it might even be a good idea to bring more than one in case you buy more groceries than normal. This is one of the really helpful ways to reduce plastic.

2. Buy a reusable coffee cup and keep it in your handbag

Reusable coffee cups can be purchased online or are now sold at places like Pret or Starbucks. Most coffee places offer free drinks or discounts if you do bring your own cup, so it will not only help the planet but might save you some money in the long run too!

3. Say no to plastic straws!

Plastic straws are the absolute worst for marine line as they can so easily get trapped and stop an animal being able to breathe. If you’re worried about ruining your teeth and prefer to drink through a straw, either opt for a paper one or invent in a metal, reusable straw and keep it in your handbag.

4. Don’t buy bottled water and buy a reusable water bottle instead

Like coffee cups, bottled water is unnecessary plastic waste. A nice reusable water bottle is better for the environment and will probably encourage you to drink more water throughout the day so, better for you as well!

5. Support supermarkets that don’t use a lot of food packaging (i.e. for fruit and veg!)

More and more supermarkets are realizing how much unnecessary packaging is involved but they still have a long way to do. When it comes to buying your fruit and vegetables, see if you can buy them loose, without any plastic packaging.

6. Bring your own cutlery instead of disposable!

If you are bringing in your own lunch to work or are eating out at somewhere like Pret, try and reduce your plastic use by bringing your own cutlery from home with you. They can be kept in your handbag and washed when you’re finished so you never have to forget them again! This one of the really good ways to reduce plastic.

7. Buy a non-disposable razor

A cheap, plastic razor is no longer the way to go. Instead, opt for a metal one and wash it in between use and replace the head if necessary. Although they are slightly more expensive, you won’t have to buy them again so you will save money (and a lot of plastic) in the long run.

8. Make your period waste-free

Having your period each month is tough and there is a lot of plastic packaging involved. Although it isn’t for everyone (and there are a lot of biodegradable tampons and pads out there), try out a Moon or Diva cup to reduce your plastic use during that time of the month.

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9. Bring Tupperware with you to the supermarket to put your meat in

Reducing your plastic waste as someone that eats meat can be more difficult in comparison to vegetarians. However, now, there are a lot of places that give you the option to bring your own Tupperware to a Deli counter and they will put your meat directly into your reusable container!

10. Choose cardboard over plastic

If there is a cardboard or paper option, in whatever scenario, choose that instead of plastic. It will most likely be a lot better for the planet than plastic will.

11. Don’t use a plastic toothbrush

Like a disposable razor, buy an electric toothbrush that can be used again and again instead of one that has to be thrown away after just a short while.

12. Stop and think…is this unnecessary?

There are thousands of ways to reduce plastic that might be slightly different for everyone. Basically, before you buy or use something that is plastic, stop and think: can I do something differently? Most of these plastic swaps are fairly obvious but require just a little more preparation and thought beforehand. Avoiding all plastic is still nearly impossible but if you can make even a few small changes, it will make the world of difference! This is one of the most important ways to reduce plastic.

What other ways to reduce plastic are there? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image Source:
Lili Melvin

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