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Plastic is still one of the top polluters of our oceans, waterways and sensitive ecosystems. This has led to some alarming statistics about single-use plastics in our environment:
- 500 billion plastic bottles are produced every year worldwide
- There are already more than 150 million tonnes of plastic waste in the ocean
- Each year about 8 million tonnes more plastic ends up in our seas and oceans
- By 2050 the oceans could contain more plastic than fish
Ways to reduce plastic use in the home
As individuals there is still a lot people can do to reduce the amount of plastic they put into the world.
1 | Buy loose fresh produce
Instead of packaged fruit and veg, buy the loose items and use a reusable bag to weigh them. Places like Food Lover’s Market also have nuts and dried fruit in dispensers.
2 | Go to the butcher with a Tupperware container
Instead of the meat packaged in Styrofoam and clingfilm, head to the butchers’ counter and ask them to put your cuts of meat in your own reusable containers.
3 | Find on-tap milk, honey and olive oil
It’s becoming more common to find milk, honey, fruit juice, olive oil and similar food items on tap where you can take your own bottle and refill it as needed.
4 | Reduce everyday single-use items
Even big supermarkets and restaurants are on board with getting rid of plastic bags and single-use straws, so avoiding these items has never been easier. For example:
- Bring your own reusable straw
- Use fabric shopping bags
- Use your own travel mug for coffee
- Invest in a reusable water bottle
- Eat at places that use compostable takeout containers
5 | Avoid synthetic fabrics wherever possible
Synthetic fabrics like polyester shed microplastics when washed that can end up in waterways. Clothing is also not widely recycled, so most plastic-based clothes end up in landfills.
6 | Use natural scrubbing brushes
Try to find wooden or bamboo scrubbing brushes with natural fibre bristles. There are also natural cleaning sponges and cloths available.
7 | Make your own detergents
8 | Use brown bags as bin liners
Instead of plastic bin liners, head to your nearest packaging supplier and buy thick brown paper bags that fit into your kitchen bin. Change the bag regularly if you dispose of food waste in it.
9 | Use newspaper for scooping poop
Plastic barrier bags are common for poop scooping but newspaper or those supermarket flyers you get in the post box work just as well.
10 | Switch to a menstrual cup
Sanitary towels have a high plastic content, unfortunately. Menstrual cups are reusable for many years and they save you money in the long term.
11 | Use a metal razor
Switch from the disposable or plastic razors to a metal razor with a replaceable blade.
12 | Use a bamboo or wood toothbrush and comb
Toothbrushes, combs and even hairbrushes are now available in plastic-free versions.
13 | Avoid wet wipes
Most wet wipes contain microplastics in the fibres. Either avoid wet wipes or try to find natural fibre wet wipes that are biodegradable.
14 | Use shampoo bars
Shampoo bars are a great way to eliminate plastic shampoo bottles from your home.
15 | Switch to silk dental floss
Silk and biodegradable dental floss options are now available taking the place of the traditional nylon floss.
16 | Avoid cleansers with plastic beads
Some face cleansers contain microplastic beads for exfoliation. If you see Polypropylene or Polyethylene in the ingredients, the face wash probably contains plastic.
17 | Don’t buy wine with plastic corks
Avoid wine bottles that use plastic corks, opting instead for screw tops or traditional corks.
18 | Use natural food covers
Reusable food covers like beeswax wraps or fabric bowl covers will help you avoid using clingfilm.
19 | Opt for paper or cardboard packaging where possible
Look out for alternative packaging in the shops that avoids plastic use. For example, Jack Black beer comes in a cardboard carrier and isn’t wrapped in plastic like most beer.
20 | Switch to cloth nappies
Disposable nappies contain a lot of plastic that ends up in landfills or the oceans. Switch to cloth nappies with a biodegradable liner.
21 | Avoid plastic toys
Cheap plastic toys that a child will quickly outgrow are prime candidates for unnecessary landfill plastic. Try to find wooden toys instead.
22 | Buy less
One of the simplest ways to reduce plastic use is to simply not buy anything. Our disposable lifestyles tend to make us buy wantonly, so opt for a more mindful approach to shopping.
Plastic reduction with Ecobox
Ecobox offers reusable moving crates to rent for moving to a new home or office. Even though Ecoboxes are plastic, they are incredibly durable and can be used hundreds of times before being recycled.
You can rent our Ecoboxes for however many days you need them to reduce plastic use during your move. When you are done with them, we will collect and sanitise them, ready for the next use.
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