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How to go plastic free

A range of plastic free items such as; cloth produce bags, metal straws, glass jars, bars of soap

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Take really easy steps to reduce the amount of plastic you throw away and protect the environment!

Implementing small manageable changes is the key to success when trying to reduce your waste. Challenge yourself to switch one single-use for reusable item every month… you will soon notice a big reduction in the amount you throw away.

Top 5 easy single-use to reusable switches which can have a big impact:

  1. Get a reusable water bottle

We each use approx. 150 single-use plastic water bottles every year.

It’s now easier than ever to get free water on the go and avoid single-use plastic bottles. Download the Refill app to find free tap water all over Essex, as well as the UK. #RefillEssex.

  1. Carry a reusable coffee cup

We each use approx. 150 single-use coffee cups every year.

Switch single-use coffee cups to a reusable coffee cup.  Most coffee shops will be happy to fill your coffee cup; you may even receive a discount.  Sign the pledge and start using your reusable coffee cup. #LatteLevy.

  1. Say No to plastic straws

We each use approx. 130 single-use straws every year.

Many retailers are now opting for paper straws as a biodegradable alternative… but saying no to a straw is even better. If a straw free life is simply not an option, replace with a reusable metal straw. #StrawBan.

  1. Use a reusable shopping bag

In 2014, we each used 140 single-use carrier bags every year. Following the introduction of the 5p carrier bag tax a year later this number has dropped to 10 carrier bags every year.

Avoid the 5p charge and plastic carrier bags by using your own reusable shopping bags. It’s always useful to have a small fold-away bag to hand for those unexpected purchases too.

  1. Plastic cutlery

It’s unknown how much plastic cutlery we each use in a year, however it’s something we can easily switch.  

Reusable cutlery will take up little space in your bag and is handy when purchasing food on-the-go. It’s an easy way to avoid those unwanted flimsy plastic knives and forks.

If you’ve already made these switches and are looking for more ways to reduce your plastic waste check out the next top tips:

  1. Where to start with plastic food packaging?

Although food packaging is often designed to keep food fresher for longer, plastic film and freezer bags are very tricky to recycle.

Nature has already designed fruit and vegetables with effective protective biodegradable packaging! Opt for loose fruit and veg, and avoid those plastic produce bags. You can either pop them into your basket loose or bring along some reusable cloth bags for a waste free alternative.

  1. Easy alternatives to ditch cling film

Cling film or plastic wrap is not recyclable and at best will end up in the bin.

Luckily there are lots of reusable alternatives to choose from. From sandwich boxes and biscuit tins too beeswax food wrap they can all keep your food covered just as well, if not better than cling film.

  1. Go ‘Au naturel’ by switching to a Shampoo bar

In the UK we get through approx. 13 billion plastic bottles a year.

Shampoo, shower gel and cleaning product bottles from the bathroom can be recycled, but if you’re looking to cut down on the amount of plastic you are using, then opting for bars of soap can dramatically cut this down. From bars of soap for face and body wash to shampoo bars, even conditioner bars are now available and often last longer than bottled products.

Find even more easy ways to reduce the amount you throw away.