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Top Tips to reduce your plastic use at home

by Laurent O.

July 27, 2022


As Brits we like to complain when it’s cold but then also complain when it’s hot. Those two days where it reached a record 40 degrees is something to shout about. This is a clear example of global warming.

And clearly most of us couldn’t hack it anyway. I certainly couldn’t!

July has been all about Plastic Free July. It’s something we all know we need to do more of, but may find it harder to do in certain areas.

Remember plastic isn’t all bad. It gets a bad rep, but If you can recycle and reuse it, it can be beneficial. It is the single use plastic that we drastically need to reduce in our homes.

8 million tonnes of the world’s plastics end up in our oceans each year. This creates a garbage patch three times the size of France.

Anyway enough of my ramble. Here are some top tips of how we can reduce our plastic at home from Ellen Tout who specialises in sustainability. She has a new book out: How to reduce your carbon footprint. Definitely worth a read!

💡1 million plastic bottles are used by the world’s population every minute. Keep your refillable water bottle on you at all times. There is a great app called the Refill app which helps you find businesses which are happy for you to refill your bottle for free. It also includes spots for coffee cup refills, bring your own takeaway meals and zero-waste shopping.

💡Avoid cleaning materials made of plastic (those classic green and yellow scrubbers), which shed harmful micro plastics as you clean. Choose reusables made of bamboo, organic cotton or coconut fibres.

💡Refill reusable bottles for liquids such as shower gel or toilet cleaner.

💡Switch to shampoo bars to never have a bottle again! (Easier to travel with as well ;))

💡Try natural deodorant in a reusable container. Our favourite is Wild

💡Buy recycled or bamboo toilet paper (just as good!)

💡Why not try plastic-free oral care such as natural floss and toothpaste tablets.

💡Replace throwaway wet wipes with reusable facial rounds or a flannel.

💡Having a party? Events are when typically a lot of single use plastic is used. Balloons, plates, cups, cutlery. Try to use crockery from home, or compostable alternatives to plastic and make sure you dispose of these correctly.

💡Kids: try to buy second hand toys or FCS accredited wooden toys.

💡Nappies: switch to reusable ones. Disposable nappies take up to 500 years to decompose, and it takes a cup of crude oil to product the plastic for just one nappy. Babies typically get through more than 5,000 nappies before they are toilet trained.

💡Have a look at what Teracycle schemes there are in your area- this is a way to recycle the ‘unrecyclable’ such as crisp packets, contact lenses and electric toothbrush heads.

💡Avoid packaging with mixed materials- Tetra Pak cartons which contain plastic and foil are harder to recycle.

💡This one you will be familiar with. Using your own tote or canvas bag. Let’s get rid of plastic bags for good. Using your own bag instead of just 4 disposable plastic bags a week will cut your annual carbon footprint by about 8kg.

💡Buy loose fruit and veg that are not in plastic packaging. (This can be the same for any products!). Packaging adds to the price so you will be saving money as well!

That’s A LOT of information and hopefully we haven’t scared you but as we move on from Covid, now is the time to start making small changes which can really make an impact.

Only 14% of plastic ever produced has been collected for recycling. This is why it is so important to reduce our single use plastic consumption and recycle plastic!