Try supporting local, independent grocers, butchers, fishmongers and delis. Smaller suppliers tend to use a lot less plastic than supermarkets, and will often allow you to give them reusable containers to put your food in, as well as using paper bags instead of plastic ones. Another good idea is to shop at your local farmers’ market. Not only can you buy lots of loose, fresh produce, without the plastic packaging, but there’s more of a direct route from the grower or producer to your shopping bag.
Use a hankie
Bring back this old tradition and invest in a few good quality handkerchiefs. In doing so you will use a lot fewer tissues, saving trees and avoiding plastic wrapping.
Say no to plastic straws
Plastic straws are one of the biggest polluters of beaches and oceans. Fortunately, they are going to be banned in Britain next year (alongside plastic stirrers and cotton buds) but until then you’re going to have to learn to say no. If you really want a straw, pick up a reusable titanium one and pop it in your handbag, so when your thirst strikes, you’re 100% prepared.
Use a bar of soap
According to research people are pretty good at recycling in their kitchens but aren’t good when it comes to their bathrooms. Save yourself the hassle and instead of purchasing a plastic bottle of body wash or soap, switch to paper-wrapped soap. There is plenty of delicious soap on the market that will make your hands and body feel just as great.
Always opt for glass or paper
Choosing a glass bottle instead of a plastic one is a huge win for the environment. This is because glass bottles can be recycled indefinitely, whereas only about 1% of plastic bottles get recycled. In the same way, choose paper over plastic. Doing so will do wonders for reducing your plastic waste, and, as a result, for the planet.
Trade plastic wrap for beeswax wraps
Instead of wrapping your sandwiches or leftovers in plastic wrap, opt for a pretty beeswax dipped fabric, which can be washed and reused. They’re excellent at clinging to surfaces so you won’t even miss the plastic wrap.
Find a local store that provides refills for washing up liquid and detergents. This way you can avoid purchasing plastic every time you run out of supplies. It also means you can select your own bottle, opting for glass over plastic.
Carry a reusable water bottle
Plastic water bottles have a very limited lifespan, and if they’re your go-to, you’re going to end up creating a lot of plastic waste. Invest in a reusable drink bottle that you can pop in your handbag and you’ll never have to spend another cent on plastic water bottles.
Keep bags everywhere
Plant reusable bags all over your life and never be forced to use a plastic bag again. Put them in your car, keep them at work, and position them at your front door so you’re always reminded to take one. If you do happen to use a plastic bag, remember to take it to the soft plastic recycling station at your supermarket so they can upcycle it for you.
Takeaways are convenient, but when you consider how much plastic you’re given (and therefore waste) each time you take away, it seems rather excessive. A better option is to eat in, reducing your plastic waste to zero. Or, if you do want to take away, find local eateries that will let you take reusable containers for them to fill.