There have been many worrying articles about plastic in the news recently. Plastic fills the oceans and many people are worried about how many single use plastics they get through each year, from bottled water to shampoo. But it is possible to live a life without single use plastic. Here are some tips to get you started.
Buy a non-plastic water bottle
Stop buying water in a plastic bottle and buy yourself a decent water bottle in bamboo, aluminium or recycled materials. Not only will you save a lot of money, you’ll potentially stop hundreds of plastic bottles a year going to landfill. Many businesses now offer free tap water so you can top up your bottle on the go.
Use plastic free beauty products
Personal grooming uses a lot of plastic containers, so look out for:
- Shampoo and conditioner bars
- Shower and bath bars
- Plastic-free makeup in wooden or metal containers – or brands who offer refills, so you don’t have to throw the old packaging away. These brands often offer organic makeup which is also better for your skin
- Products like moisturiser and cleansers that are sold in glass jars
- Old-fashioned safety razors which are made from recyclable metals
- Reusable sanitary protection – tampons and sanitary towels use plastic and often come wrapped in even more plastic. An alternative such as a menstrual cup will mean you produce less waste each month
This ensures that your morning beauty routine won’t have a big impact on the environment.
Cut down on plastic when you shop
We are so used to the convenience of buying pre-packaged food, that many of us don’t think about how much plastic it uses. Invest in some reusable bags for produce, Onya reusable bread bags for bakery visits and reusable shopping bags so that you don’t have to rely on the supermarket to package things for you.
There are many plastic-free stores where you can buy things like pasta and rice by weight. You simply take your own bags to fill up. You could also shop local and support greengrocers by buying loose fruit and vegetables, rather than the plastic wrapped ones from the supermarket.
Clean the house without plastic waste
From bleach to spray bottles, lots of stuff we use around the house comes wrapped in single use plastic, and it’s designed to be thrown out. Some ways you can cut down on waste include:
- Buying refills of sprays and washing up liquid and not throwing away the bottles
- Using reusable cloths and rags rather than plastic scourers
- Avoiding buying dishwasher tablets, washing tablets and other products in plastic boxes
It can be difficult to change to a completely plastic free lifestyle, so you may need to make changes slowly. Aim to have a lighter recycling bin every week, eventually working towards completely getting rid of plastic from your life and replacing it with materials that are easier to recycle. Not only does this help the environment, it can save you money too, as many things that come in plastic packaging are overpriced and unnecessary.