September 20, 2021
How easy is it to live a plastic-free lifestyle?
Let’s explore just how easy it would be to make a small swap in our lives that will make a huge difference!
How our attitude to plastic-free has changed over the years?
In the modern world, plastic is EVERYWHERE. Due to its low production cost, durability and lightness, it’s almost impossible to escape it. However, now that we can see the impact that this is inflicting upon the natural world, many of us are doing what we can to cut back on our use of single use plastics.
Why go plastic-free?
According to Green Peace (2018), since plastic was invented in the 1950s, about 8.3 billion tonnes of it has been produced and only 9% of it has been recycled, 12% has been burned and the remaining 79% has gone into landfill or the ocean. That means that 79% of the plastic that has ever been made... STILL exists somewhere on the planet.
Did you know that up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enters the oceans every year? Individuals like us going plastic free is a huge step towards being part of the solution to make our oceans cleaner. We should all be thinking about becoming more sustainable in our lives and here are some of the easiest swaps you can make to help stamp out the plastic pollution that is killing our planet.
Going plastic-free at home
When you think about how often you empty your bin at home or have to take out the recycling, think about how much of this waste could be avoided with a few simple swaps.
There are several bathroom items that can very easily be swapped out:
264 million plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every single year in the UK alone, and you can double that amount of waste when you think about the rigid plastic packaging they come in. The most cost effective swap for this is to pick up a bamboo toothbrush or get yourself an electric toothbrush, they last for decades if you take care of them. There’s also natural toothpaste that can be sold in jars or mouth wash tablets to cut out your toothpaste tubes too! Make makeup wipes a thing of the past and invest in some reusable cotton pads for washing your face, it works out to be so much cheaper in the long run. Deodorant is another very simple swap – there is a range of plastic free options available on the market.
Over in the kitchen – there is an abundance of ways to swap out old habits. There is no need to buy cling film anymore because having a good set of Tupperware and some beeswax wraps, your leftovers will be safe! Clingfilm can’t be recycled so it’s best to avoid buying it altogether. It’s also time to invest in some metal straws, they can completely replace plastic straws and they last a lifetime!
Going plastic-free for your weekly shop
When popping out for the weekly shop, we are hoping by now that bringing your bag for life is ingrained in your mind; wallet, keys, phone - bag for life! Even if you can’t keep a big bulky one on you, there are many other options that easily tuck into your pocket ready to be used! When you are shopping in the supermarket, look carefully at the vegetables you choose, quite often there will be a plastic free option nearby, for example, potatoes, carrots, peppers and courgettes are all sold both wrapped in plastic and loose – sounds like a no-brainer right?! Most of the major supermarkets now offer reusable vegetable bags for you to collect them in, so remember to bring those next time too.
There are now many shops fully dedicated to being zero waste and plastic free! But if you don’t have time to visit several shops, the good news is that lots of supermarkets are now offering this service. Keep an eye out for refillable stations for things like laundry detergent and washing up liquid, and over in the food aisle we can now stock up on products like pulses, spices and grains – plastic free!
Going plastic-free at work
Now that we are slowly heading back into our offices there are a few more essentials that you might need to add to your list. The first one being carrying a reusable water bottle! This is an absolute must, especially in the summer. In this day and age, there is no excuse for buying plastic bottles! It’s completely unnecessary. In addition to this, having a Keep cup and Tupperware is such a simple way of cutting down on waste every single day. It might differ from establishment to establishment due to COVID rules, but generally places are happy to accept Keep cups for coffee and Tupperware for lunch, sometimes they even give you a little discount as a thank you.
Everyone knows about the four R’s – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – but now we are adding a fifth – Raise awareness! Be vocal about the environmental problems surrounding plastic in your office and encourage others to pick up new habits too. Speak to the office management about the recycling bins, have a water dispenser installed and provide incentives for employees who choose eco-friendly options.