In this article, Sarah from Spruce Up shares her top tips for go plastic free this July!
Plastic use is an undeniable problem and there’s no doubt we all need to cut our demand, reuse, and recycle it.
This is because plastic is made from fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas and it takes hundreds of years to break down.
If nothing changes, we’ll soon be swimming in plastic but aside from recycling what can you practically do to reduce your household’s plastic use?
Plastic-free July is the best time to make a change so here are 7 ways to free yourself from not so fantastic plastic.
1. Buy A Drink Container
A reusable water bottle is a quick and easy switch and it’ll make a huge difference because millions of plastic bottles end up in our landfill sites and oceans each year.
Buy a funky water bottle you can reuse each day. You can find ones that keep your water icy cool and some have integral compartments for a lemon slice.
If you’re planning on buying a cozy hot drink with a pastry take a mug and a reusable straw – you may even get a discount on your order.
2. Say No To Bags
Here’s another simple fix.
Don’t buy plastic grocery bags. Invest in reusable tote bags-for-life and keep them in your car plus rolled up in your handbag so they are always to hand.
Freezer bags are another plastic bag problem. Try to freeze your leftovers in a container and transport your work bagel in a reusable beeswax wrap.
3. Purge The Bathroom
Many of us don’t recycle the bathroom bin contents but there’s a lot of plastic in there such as shampoo and shower gel bottles, old toothbrushes, and toothpaste tubes.
Switch out them out for solid shampoo and soap, buy bamboo toothbrushes, and toothpaste or floss packaged in a glass jar.
4. Find A Zero Waste Refill Shop
Going zero-waste is a great goal to have. Look for a zero-waste store or even the zero-waste aisle. These are places that allow you to fill a container with goods such as rice, pasta, oats, cereal, even shampoo. The bulk buy could save you cash too.
You will have noticed that prepacked meat and cheese are often sealed on a black polystyrene tray. In the majority of cases, these trays cannot be recycled so they end up in landfills. Find a local deli, butcher, and fishmonger that’ll be happy if you take a container to fill.
5. Tackle Your Bin Monster
Bin liners are hygienic and they make putting out the trash easy, but they end up in landfill and contribute to the plastic problem. So, think like your ancestors. They didn’t have bin liners so what did they use instead?
They lined the bin with newspaper, wrapped wet foods in a newspaper, and composted. You can do this too, just wash out your bin regularly.
If the thought of a naked bin horrifies you, choose a certified compostable bin liner that’ll rot down.
6. Fruit and Veggies Have Their Own Wrapping
Why do apples and bananas need additional plastic wrapping when they have their own natural version?
When you’re in the supermarket pick up loose fruits and use your tote bag or the supermarket’s paper bags to stash them. No-one needs the amount of plastic it takes to transport five pears to a car.
7. Beware Special Occasions
Christmas, Halloween, and birthday parties all come with a lot of plastic accessories such as balloons, plastic skeletons, and so much wrapping paper that are destined for landfill.
Cut out plastic by making decorations from fabric, scrap paper, flowers, and food items. By all means, keep using what plastics you already have though, it’s better they’re reused than dumped in landfill.
When it comes to wrapping paper use fabric to wrap your gifts instead.
Cut Out Plastics One Step At A Time
Keep up the good work after Plastic-free July by teaching your children why you’re making changes, maybe join a beach clean-up or a litter pick, and lobby your politicians and workplaces for better plastic policies.
Cutting out plastics can feel like an overwhelming task, but following the above tips will set you on the right path for life.