We all know that we should limit the amount of plastic we use. But aside from taking a reusable shopping bag to the supermarket and using your own coffee cup at cafes, it can be hard to know exactly how to do this. Here are a few suggestions which you may not have considered before.
Buy a safety razor. Collectively, the UK throws away 2 billion disposable plastic razors each year. It’s a great move for the environment but also for your wallet as replacement razor blades are significantly cheaper than plastic razors so, in the long run, you’ll save money.
Buy sustainable clothing. Consider only purchasing clothes made from sustainable and natural fabrics rather than synthetic fabrics like polyester. Microplastics from clothes contribute to 35% of ocean plastic pollution but by only wearing, and washing, clothes made from natural materials such as organic cotton, bamboo and Tencel, we can ensure that only natural fibres enter the ocean. The website goodonyou.eco can help you to find stores which not only use more sustainable fabrics, but which also have a more ethical ethos.
Use shampoo and conditioner bars. The average household throws away 10 shampoo/conditioner bottles each year. Eliminate that plastic waste by using shampoo and conditioner bars. They’re readily available from high street chemists as well as online and most use natural ingredients so they’re less damaging to your hair, skin, and our water system. They’re also easier and less wasteful to use.
Ditch the shop bought cleaning products. Every year, each household in the UK disposes of 9 spray bottles from cleaning products. Avoid this by using one of a growing number of companies which provide a mail order service for your household cleaning products. These refillable products which arrive in non-plastic packaging typically use natural ingredients and are chemical free, making them much less harmful to the planet. Alternatively, have a go at making your own cleaning products – vinegar, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda are incredibly versatile ingredients for household cleaning.
Use a bar of soap. On average, 9 shower gel bottles are thrown away in every household. Eliminate this waste by using a good old-fashioned bar of soap instead.
Get to know your plastic recycling. Whilst this last tip isn’t about eliminating plastic waste, it’s important to dispose of unavoidable plastics in the best way possible. Many of us do our best to recycle plastic but it is estimated that 30% of recyclable plastics end up in landfill anyway because people are unsure about which plastics can and cannot be recycled. Get to know which plastics can be recycled, and where to dispose of them, to avoid unnecessarily throwing away recyclable items. One good example is the plastic bags that bread comes packaged in. Most supermarkets nowadays collect this type of plastic, but many of us simply throw them into our general rubbish bins.