Taking steps to become plastic free
Taking steps to become plastic free doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach. Instead of trying to dive in at the deep end, try making small, easy changes in your life. It’s a far more gentle approach, and it can gain momentum as you add more changes.
The scary thing is that as a society we rely so heavily on plastic. In fact, we often don’t even stop to think about the packages and products we use every single day. Plastic is so interconnected with modern living we often don’t even realise how much we’re really using.
The first step is to be mindful of how much plastic you’re using every day. Once you have a good idea of how much plastic you’re currently using, you’re in a better position to spot where you can begin reducing.
If there’s one thing you should take away from this article it’s this: reduce, re-use, recycle.
So, wherever possible, reduce (or stop using completely) in the first instance, and if it’s an unavoidable use or something you can’t cut down on at the moment, then try to re-use it where possible. The last step is to make sure you’re responsibly recycling any plastic that you do use.
If we all made a conscious effort to reduce, re-use and recycle we could live greener and more sustainable lives. Here are our top tips to get started:
Out and about
Battle of the bottles
There’s a whole host of reasons to switch from plastic water bottles to a re-usable stainless steel bottle. Fill it up before you head out and enjoy water that stays refreshingly cool, and all without the plastic footprint. We’ve recently tried the POP water bottle and we couldn’t be happier with the switch! It keeps water (or any drink of your choice) cold for 24 hours, or it can be used for hot drinks to keep them warm for up to 12 hours. It’s pretty life-proof too, because it’s made of stainless steel it will last you years (rather than a single use plastic bottle).
Bagging a bargain
Sometimes you can’t help but make that surprise purchase (it was a bargain after all!). You may not have gone out with the intention of buying something, but always be prepared and carry a reusable shopping bag with you. You save yourself 5p (or more if you’ve really gone to town on your shopping), and you can go about your day knowing you’ve made a simple yet powerful change. There’s plenty of nice reusable canvas bags out there, or sling it in your handbag or backpack. If you’ve got a car make sure you keep some reusable bags or bags for life in your boot for when you need to do your supermarket shop too.
The doorstop milk comeback
Most of us think of glass milk bottles delivered to your doorstep as a fond memory – but it’s actually making quite the comeback. It’s hardly surprising as many of us want to cut down on our plastic waste. But not only this, it also supports your local dairy producers.
www.milkandmore.co.uk offer an excellent service.
Fruit and veg - as nature intended
When you head out for your next trip to the supermarket try to pick up as many loose fruit and veg as possible. Nature has already taken care of the packaging most of the time by giving fruit and veg skins and peels – we don’t need the plastic packing on top! For a double plastic free effort, pack them away into your reusable produce bags.
Dentists recommend that we change our toothbrush every three months. That’s four toothbrushes every year, per person. That’s a lot of plastic waste building up, for something that we all have to do every day. So why not try a bamboo toothbrush? This simple switch means your toothbrush will be biodegradable and far more planet-friendly. The packaging is also zero plastic too!
It’s estimated that about 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds are used in England each year. What’s more, about 10% of these are flushed down toilets and end up in our waterways and oceans, wreaking havoc on our marine life. Making a change to bamboo cotton wool buds can make all the difference – they’re biodegradable and have zero plastic packaging as well. Think of your marine buddies and give these a try.