- Christina Dymiotis
- 1st July 2022
Plastic Free July is a global initiative, to reduce plastic waste. It is the time of the year when we all work together to tackle single-use plastic and demand real action from governments and businesses. The good news is that we can all make small changes to our everyday lives, which will add up to a big difference for the planet, starting today!
Plastic is not biodegradable — it is either downcycled into new plastic (but only 9 per cent of plastic actually gets recycled), it sits in a landfill emitting methane, or the sun breaks it down into microplastics. The plastic cycle never ends!
However, there are many things we can all do to live without so much plastic, and most of them are very easy to do and require practically no effort. To get you started on your journey to plastic freedom, here are our top tips for how you can take action this Plastic Free July.
Plastic-Free kitchen - Food Switches
The first plastic-free kitchen tip is to be conscious about your grocery shopping. Most food products are packaged in plastic, but there are several alternatives. This includes cardboard, metal, and glass, which are all more easily recyclable than plastic. Moreover, you can also choose to buy package-free items when they are available, such as fruit and vegetables. In addition, keep an eye out for biodegradable and compostable food packaging. It’s also a good idea to start shopping in your local zero-waste or farm shops that strive to minimise waste. This is a great way to support small businesses and boost the local economy.
It is also prudent to move towards reusable cutlery and non-plastic containers where possible. When it comes to packaging up food and leftovers around your house, there’s never a need to use single-use plastic. On the contrary, you can now rely on reusable jars and containers, as well as reusable container lids such as wax food wraps, and reusable Ziploc-style bags, which are perfect for freezing food. Furthermore, a good way to reduce waste is to compost by having a compost garden or bin in your garden.
One of the biggest sources of plastic waste comes from the bathroom. What a lot of people do not know is that many products commonly found in bathrooms contain unsafe chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and respiratory issues. Hence, now more than ever it is time to move to the eco-side! One easy switch is to get rid of all the plastic bottles in your bathroom and purchase soap and shampoo bars. Correspondingly, most of these soap and shampoo bars are plant-based, vegan and cruelty-free. However, if you are not ready to move to the zero-waste bathroom life just yet, then we do suggest you buy refillable body wash and shampoo. When it comes to personal care, this is one of the easiest areas to avoid plastic, thanks to many innovative, zero-waste products.
Zero-waste on the go
If you have difficulty packing food in advance, always keep a zero-waste food kit in your car or bag. This means that no matter where you are, you've always got a container, a reusable straw, utensils, a coffee cup, a water bottle, a napkin, and whatever else you may need to reduce waste. Similarly, you can pack your lunch in glass containers or mason jars, stainless steel, cloth sandwich bags, a wooden box, etc. For your trips to the supermarket, don’t forget to take reusable bags so you can weigh your fruit and vegetables. Lastly and most importantly, make it part of your daily routine to pack a tote bag with you, as they are the most practical and eco-friendly accessory. View our wide range of personalised tote bags here. [ https://www.bidbi.co.uk/products/filter-bag_type/1/uk-printed-bags/filter-collection/1/classics-collection]. These changes are all much easier than you think. It is just a matter of replacing your existing habits with new habits
Download the Refill app
Refill is a new app developed by City to Sea to help people live with less plastic. City to Sea is an award-winning campaigning organisation on a mission to stop plastic pollution, especially the use of single-use plastic. Anyone can download the free app, which includes a map with locations where people can reduce, reuse and refill. From a coffee on your commute to drinking water on the go, or even shopping with less plastic. To be more specific, the app includes places where people can find their nearest free water refills, zero waste shops, and public water foundations. Likewise, it includes places offering discounts and rewards for bringing your own cup, and places where you can take your own lunchboxes to get your food to go. This is a very useful app that helps tackle the global issue of plastic pollution by reducing waste. Download the app here
Once you've mastered these suggested plastic-free tips, you'll be more than ready to reduce waste in other areas of your life. The key is not to get hung up on perfection when striving to reduce household waste, but rather to do what you can with what you have access to. Zero waste living requires some work and planning to execute, but it pays back in money saved and waste eliminated. It is deeply satisfying to see your trash bin shrinking and to know that you're doing your part to keep the Earth clean and healthy.
Happy Plastic-Free July!