Plastic pollution is a hot topic. The conversation has gone far beyond that of just the eco warrior. You only have to open Instagram to see that even home, beauty, lifestyle and fashion accounts are all making sure they tout their sustainable and plastic free credentials. It’s a topic for everyone. The level of plastic pollution in our lives has sky rocketed. We can no longer ignore it as someone else’s problem. We now know that we are literally eating plastic – because the tiny micro particles that break down when we wash clothes or discard bottles and bags, make their way back into our food chain via rivers, drinking water and yes, even vegetables.
But with plastic being so omni present in our lives, some changes take deep thought and a lot of time to both research and implement. So what can you do about plastic pollution right now, today? Reducing your dependency on single use plastic will make a big difference. Here we give you 10 easy tips that you can implement now and feel good about making changes that have a positive impact.
In the Kitchen:
1. Say no to cling film
And baking paper. And tin foil. Instead use a plate to cover your foods, an existing container, or if you need to transport your food, consider some wax wraps. These cotton sheets coated with beeswax resin (or pine resin for the vegans) are reusable, washable and will last for up to a year or more and do not take up any room in your picnic bag when finished! Read more about how to use them here.
If a plate or a wax wrap doesn’t provide a tight enough seal for you, consider silicone lids which stretch to fit and form a hygienic air tight seal. These are also great for sealing pots and pans that have food stored for the next day, and fruit that you haven’t quite eaten up.
2. Say no to plastic bottles
Replace single use plastic water bottles with a bottle refilled from your tap. Stainless steel or glass is best to avoid any leaching of harmful materials into your drink. If you don’t like drinking directly from the tap and buy bottled water for your home invest in a water filter. There are many eco friendly water filters on the market but even a plastic jug with a filter that can be used for years will reduce the number of plastic bottles being produced. The filters are collected at supermarkets for recycling by the manufacturer making it even better.
3. Avoid single use ziplock bags and sandwich bags
Use existing containers or silicone pouches such as these from Green Island which can even take hot liquid and provide a leakproof, airtight seal for prolonged freshness.
In the Bathroom:
4. Switch to a shampoo bar
Did you know that the average woman will go through more than 1000 bottles of shampoo and conditioner in her lifetime? Switching to a shampoo bar is a really easy place to start. There are now a wide range of shampoo bars to cover everything from dandruff to oily hair to coloured hair and greys. Unsure how to implement it? Check out this guide which shows you how to switch to a shampoo soap without any hassle or change in your luscious locks.
5. Use soap and water instead of shower gel
Team it up with a lovely cotton pouf (the regular shower puffs are nylon, aka plastic) and this one is a no brainer
6. Reusable make up rounds
All that cotton wool we use comes in plastic packaging and is very wasteful with each piece of cotton wool being used only once. Opt for a face cloth or some make up rounds. These ones from Tabitha Eve wash up well in your regular weekly towel wash.
Have you considered all those plastic tubes of toothpaste? An easy switch is to use paste in a jar or toothpaste tablets which offer a fresh mint taste, easy to use and offer all the cleaning and protection and ‘foamy’ feel of toothpaste without the nasty plastic tube.
Dental floss comes in plastic packaging and is often made from nylon. Opt for nylon free corn straw floss like this one in a glass jar from The White Teeth Box (Don’t choose the silk floss – that comes from silk worms and its not animal friendly. And avoid bamboo floss as that is usually not totally plastic free)
If you adhere to the rule of swapping your toothbrush every 3 months that means the average human uses 300 toothbrushes between the age of 2 and 77. Switching to a bamboo toothbrush is easy. The bristles will still be synthetic nylon so snap the head off before you through the body of the brush in the compost.
And one you may not have thought of…
10. Ditch the chewing gum
Yip! Hands up if you knew that chewing gums were made from a polymer? A similar type of plastic to the one they use in car tyres. If you really cant give up the chewy stuff, switch to a chicle gum – tha’ts one made from tree sap, and what humans have been chewing on for years. Apparently Iceland are now selling a version of it.
So there you have it – 10 really easy ways to eliminate single use plastic from your life forever. Want more sustainable tips you can easily integrate into your life? Read our guide on 5 Easy Ways to Implement Sustainable Beauty
Thanks for reading!