Not sure where to start when reducing your plastic usage – here are some useful hints and tips that we’ve gathered together to help you get started.

Change your shopping habits

1.Use a reusable/ refillable coffee cup, or refuse the plastic lid on your takeaway. Use a reusable bottle for cold drinks

2. Buy a water filter. You’ll enjoy freshwater all the time straight from your tap into your reusable bottle. No more horrible plastic water bottles making their way to the ocean from you.

3. If you eat a lot of takeaways, carry and use reusable cutlery instead of the plastic ones that are often given with your takeaway.

4. Aluminium cans or glass bottles are widely recycled – so choose these over plastic bottles (find out if your local stores have a bottle return facility)

5. Never use plastic straws, either opt to not use a straw at all or purchase and carry one of the reusable straws made from bamboo, silicone or metal that are widely available.

6. At supermarkets, don’t bag your fruit and veg, or opt for the new fabric bags or paper bags.

7. Switch to loose leaf tea, or find a brand of teabag that doesn’t contain plastic – you can find more about them in this article from The Telegraph. Did you even know that teabags contained plastic? Most teabags use polypropylene which is not biodegradable or recyclable and ends up as microplastics in our waterways.

8. If you do a lot of online shopping, try to buy in bulk from the same place, this will reduce any plastic packaging. If possible purchase from a webstore that is environmentally conscious, one that uses paper-based packaging rather than plastic.

At home

First, after shopping always reuse any shopping bags you do end up with, either use them as bin bags, wet clothing bags, welly covers or just as shopping bags again.

1. In the bathroom, switch to soap bars instead of hand wash. You can even get shampoo, conditioner, shaving foam and more in bar format now. Usually, bars are wrapped in paper, making this option completely plastic-free.

2. Staying in the bathroom, ditch the disposable plastic toothbrush and either opt for an electric brush (the replacement heads use much less plastic than traditional toothbrushes) or purchase one made from bamboo.

3. Stop using disposable plastic razors. Buy one that only needs the metal blades replacing, or purchase an electric shaver or epilator if it’s for the body.

4. Ladies, your sanitary products all contain plastic. Switch to an environmentally friendly option such as moon cups or period pants. Check out this article where we covered this topic earlier in the year

5. Cotton buds! Revert to cotton buds that don’t have the plastic stick. There’s loads of choice out there for recyclable, biodegradable buds that are made from bamboo or cardboard.

6. Go old school when it comes to nappies. Washable, recyclable nappy towels with a liner are far more eco (not to mention cost-effective) than disposable nappies. There are companies out there that will collect your dirty towel nappies, take them to be industrially cleaned and deliver you a fresh new batch.

These are all just some of the options to help you on your journey to be plastic-free. There are so many other ways too, we’re sure of it. If you have a hint or tip, then let us know and we may include it in our next tips article.

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