Simple Ways to Reduce Plastic Use

Plastic is manufactured to be strong, flexible, and durable. While this may be great for storing and keeping food fresh, it’s not good news for the planet. Single-use plastic is often a huge part of our daily lives, whether we realise it or not, and so it can be difficult to imagine life without it. But with 10 million tonnes of plastic ending up in our oceans every year we must take action where we can. If you’re not sure how to reduce plastic use around your home, we’ve put together some simple steps to do so.

Reusable Bags

A lot of our plastic habits happen when we are buying food. Supermarkets are one of the biggest culprits of plastic usage, particularly single-use plastics, so this is a great place to start reducing your plastic use. Remembering to take a reusable bag or a cloth bag with you to buy your groceries can be a huge help, as statistics prove that around 1% of plastic bags around the world are recycled. Reusing plastic bags as much as possible can help to ensure they are not thrown away to sit in our planet’s oceans. Smaller plastic bags to package loose vegetables can be replaced by net bags, which are stronger and will last a lot longer.

Packed Lunches

If you stand in a supermarket and look around, it won’t take long to spot something that is wrapped in plastic. This is particularly evident when looking at fresh food and the meal deal section. Everything from sandwiches to drinks is wrapped in single-use plastic. While convenient, buying lunch from supermarkets can be bad for the environment as well as expensive.

One way to combat this is to switch to packed lunches. This can be a fun change to your daily routine, creating delicious food and transporting it in reusable Tupperware to reduce your daily plastic waste. No more worrying about what the supermarket has in stock!

Reusable Bottle or Travel Mug

Ensuring that you are using a reusable water bottle or coffee cup for your drinks everyday can be a great way to reduce plastic use. It’s a great idea to reuse any plastic bottles you have recently purchased before recycling them, but a reusable metal bottle has many benefits to daily life. With a bigger water bottle, you will find that you stay more hydrated at work or at home. Furthermore, many bottles and travel mugs are insulated, keeping cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot, meaning that beverages stay enjoyable for longer. 

This can also save you money. You won’t have to buy any bottles of water when you’re thirsty, simply find somewhere to fill up your own bottle. Additionally, many coffee shops and cafes offer discounts for those that bring their own reusable cups, so this will soon add up.

Upcycling

Around 9% of the world’s plastic is recycled. While sorting your plastic waste into the correct recycling bins is vital to combatting this statistic, you should also consider how to upcycle your plastic. Whether this goes to storing food or a crafted item to decorate the house, there are plenty of ways to ensure your plastic is not wasted. For inspiration, check out our blog with some Cardboard Box Craft Ideas.

Plastic-free Alternatives

Knowing how to reduce plastic use doesn’t always start with a plastic product. There are now more and more alternatives to plastic products, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom in your home. This will involve some attention to detail and some research, but alternatives can actually be easier to use and healthier for you and your family.

  • Plastic free Makeup: Have a thorough read of labels on your makeup and cosmetic items - many will contain microplastics that will wash down drains to the ocean and harm ocean life. 
  • Beeswax Wraps: These are adorable alternatives to cling film in your kitchen. Reusable and washable, these just need a little elbow grease before wrapping and keeping food fresher for longer.
  • Refillable Products: This is a great way to reduce plastic waste when buying cleaning products. There are plenty of places that offer refills on washing up liquid, washing detergent and more. In addition, some food products are sold in the same way, such as oats and nuts at some grocery shops. Check out what’s in your area to do your bit for the environment today.

If you want to work on recycling the plastic in your home, check out our Recycling Tips For Your Home

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