Okay so going completely plastic free isn’t going to happen in a day, or even a month. The main thing is to become aware of where you can reduce. Here is a handy list of very easy swaps you can make which will get you started on the right path:
1) Swap cling film for beeswax or vegan wax wraps. Cling film is single use and is often overused or wasted as it’s so awkward to unroll. A reusable wax wrap is so easy to put around a sandwich or over a bowl and all you need to do is rinse with cold water and wash between uses if needed.
2) Make your next toothbrush a bamboo one. They’re really comfortable to use and even if the bristles are still plastic you’re cutting out 95% by having the bamboo handle. Plus toothbrushes are still useful beyond tooth brushing, they make great cleaning tools for sinks and bathrooms.
3) Shop small and local. Buy loose vegetables from a local greengrocer, take your own tupperware to the butchers or fishmongers, and if you have one available try out a bulk refill store. Try new brands if your regular only supplies in plastic. One of the biggest plastic sources in most people’s lives is from shopping in supermakets. And on that note, always remember your own reusable bags!
4) Make your own stuff. Making things from scratch may seem daunting but with freezers on hand and modern kitchen equipment you can make bulk foods in your home that would otherwise come in plastic. If you are a massive hummus fan like me, this is a must! A good tip here is to make sure you have a broad range of ingredients and always keep a good stock of tinned foods (like chickpeas!).
5) Don’t use recycling as an excuse to buying plastic. We have become too used to the idea that it’s okay to buy something in plastic because it can be recycled. Recycling isn’t a long term solution! Plastic has a limit to how many times it can be recycled… and often it just gets sold off and incinerated. But please do continue to recycle, and make sure you check in with your council with what you can put in your bins because there may be more you can recycle than you currently are.
Bonus tip: try ecobricking, it’s a short term solution for people who currently have a lot of plastic in their lives. Make sure you do it right as the plastic has to be CLEAN and DRY before going into an eco brick and you will need to reach a minimum weight for validation. Again, this isn’t an excuse to keep using plastic. It is a process which helps you reduce by making you more aware of where your plastic sources are. Check out this facebook group for the best tips and advice https://www.facebook.com/groups/ecobricksUK/ .