6 Easy Ways to Use Less Plastic in your Day-to-Day Life

17 Sep 2019

Plastic is handy, we admit it. It’s durable, versatile, and cheap to produce.

But there’s no two ways about it; we simply can’t keep on using plastic like we do, burning fossil fuels in the manufacturing process and allowing the single-use waste to fill up the oceans.

Yes, it’s practically impossible to live in a totally green way, but it doesn’t take much to get into a few good habits and reduce the strain our modern lifestyles have on the planet.

Here are six easy ways you can start using less plastic in your day-to-day life…

Say No to Plastic Straws

Source: Pixabay

We’ll start with the biggest talking point in recent times – straws. While straws are a small part of a massive problem, it’s still a great starting point if you’re looking for easy ways to cut plastic out of your life.

It’s estimated that we use around 8.5 billion plastic straws
every day in the UK alone, and most of them will end up in the ocean.

There’s laws in the pipeline that will ban them from general
sale, but in the meantime, you can help make a difference by quitting them

If there’s certain drinks you simply can’t have without a straw, there’s a growing niche for alternative, reusable straws you may want to explore. Glass, steel, and bamboo are just a few of the materials that are taking off as people become more aware of the damage caused by plastic straws. Yves Saint Laurent has even jumped on the trend!

Bring your Own Bag

We all want to avoid the mandatory charges on plastic shopping bags. Unfortunately, it can be easy to forget to take one from that giant mound of bags in the kitchen every time you run to the shops.

If you never seem to have a carrier bag when you need one,
it might help to remind yourself why the plastic bag charge was introduced in
the first place. In 2014, just before the charge came into place, it’s
estimated that there were 7.6 billion plastic bags given out to supermarket
shoppers in England alone.

It’s easy to imagine the kind of long-term devastation this
has caused to our local wildlife, and the planet as a whole.

If you prefer something a little more rugged and chic than the plastic bags from supermarkets, why not get yourself one of our lovely cotton tote bags?

Start Buying Loose Fruit and Veg

Source: Wikimedia

An extension of the last point, by going to your local market to buy fruit and veg, or simply sticking to the loose produce in supermarkets, you’ll avoid the more popular option of plastic-packaged fruit and veg. Just remember to bring those re-usable bags so you’re not pushing the vendor to order even more plastic!

Ditch Synthetic Fibres, or Keep Microplastics Under Control

Source: Pexels

We all know about microplastics polluting the ocean thanks to synthetic clothes shedding their fibres in the wash.

In an ideal world, everyone would give synthetics the heave
ho and keep their wardrobes 100% natural. Still, we understand that this isn’t
always practical, and you may have items of synthetic clothing you simply don’t
want to throw away.

Luckily, there are now a number of ways you can minimise
microplastic pollution when washing synthetics, including…

  • Using
    a cooler wash temperature:
    If you don’t have any stubborn stains to get
    out, making a point to wash synthetics on a cooler setting is one easy way of
    reducing the microplastics shed by a washing cycle.

  • Switch from powder to liquid soap: The
    coarse texture of powdered detergent causes it to scrub at the fabric and
    loosen even more microplastics.

  • Fill up your washing machine drum: When
    you make a point of washing a full load, there’ll be less friction between the clothes,
    and less fibres will be released.

  • Wash Synthetics Less Often: If you’re in
    the habit of washing after every use, try to make a point to wash your
    synthetics only when necessary.

  • Consider
    investing in a microplastic-filtering wash bag,
    like the ones sold by Guppy Friend.

  • Spread the word about microplastics! Help us get closer to a world where this kind of pollution is a thing of the past!

Switch to Loose-Leaf Tea

Source: Pexels

Not everyone is aware of this, but a lot of popular teabags are sealed with a plastic-based glue, or have plastic in the actual fibre of the skin.

The solution? Cut the bag out completely. Start buying
loose-leaf tea instead, and make your cuppa with a strainer instead.

If you’re as tea addicted as the average brit, it won’t take
long to stop a huge amount of plastic from reaching the ocean.

Loose-leaf also skips a lot of processing that normal bagged tea goes through before it reaches your cup, and many people say that it makes for a richer, fuller taste. Who knows, you may discover a love for loose-leaf tea you never knew you had before!

Ditch Clingfilm for Natural Wax Wraps

Source: The Beeswax Wraps Co.

Clingfilm is another big offender when it comes to single-use plastic.

A lot of people think clingfilm is just one of those
necessary evils, but there’s a natural, greener alternative that’s quickly
gaining popularity: beeswax food wraps.

Made with ingredients like cotton, pine resin, and beeswax, companies
like The Beeswax Wraps Co. are pioneering
a way to keep food fresh and be kind to the earth at the same time. These handy
wraps are breathable, biodegradable, and reusable, meaning you’ll get much more
out of making this switch than the great feeling of helping the environment.

There you have six easy changes you can make to bring
yourself that much closer to a plastic-free lifestyle. If you feel like we’ve
missed anything, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below, or join the
conversation on social media.

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