24 Mar 10 quick tips for how to reduce your plastic footprint
As a planet and as a generation, we have a serious plastic problem. Half of all plastics ever made have been created in the last 15 years alone, with 8 million tonnes each year ending up in our oceans. They don’t break down easily, lasting for hundreds of years, meaning that every piece of plastic created still exists on our planet. It’s scary stuff, and as individuals we can feel helpless against the scale of the problem. But in reality, individuals are consumers who have enormous strength in numbers.
These are 10 simple tips for how to reduce your plastic footprint.
How to reduce your plastic footprint
1. Get your own water bottle
If just European populations used reusable water bottles instead of reaching for disposable ones, 6741 tonnes of plastic waste would be prevented each year. Given that plastic, a huge chunk of which is plastic bottles, is the most prevalent waste on UK beaches, this is a simple change that could have a huge impact. As a planet, we also do a pretty poor job of recycling plastic bottles, so reusable really is the best way.
Grab your reusable water bottle and make a difference.
2. Drink differently
In fact, it’s not just bottles. Every time you buy a coffee on-the-go, it’s handed to you in a cup which is likely plastic lined or made, and almost certainly has a plastic lid. These end up littering our communities and also add to the overall plastic waste on the planet.
4 billion Starbucks cups are chucked out each year and they aren’t recyclable. It’s another easy switch to make; have your own refillable lidded cup for take-out drinks. We promise you it feels more luxurious and indulgent too.
Choose from our range of beautiful and functional reusable cups.
3. Don’t reach for plastic cutlery
Plastic cutlery makes us mad, as it’s really not necessary! It’s used for mere moments and then goes straight in the bin. And don’t get us started on single-use drink stirrers!
If you need disposable cutlery, then opt for biodegradable bamboo cutlery. Alternatively, take your own cutlery from home in a gorgeous cutlery pouch. What’s more, we’re sure food tastes nicer when eaten with decent cutlery!
4. Bags of difference
A staggering 1 trillion single-use plastic bags are used every year and very few, relatively speaking, ever get recycled. They end up inside marine animals, or tangled up with wildlife and flora.
Even though the UK, along with other nations, has been taking huge strides to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags in recent years, we’ve still got a long way to go.
5. Wrap it up
Using cling film isn’t just like wrestling an oil covered octopus into a string bag, it’s a plastic nasty. Switch it out by using reusable food wraps and reusable food containers. We love the Tabitha Eve vegan wax wraps. Bowl covers are a versatile option too.
6. Suck it up
If you’re an Apple Cider Vinegar drinker with sensitive teeth, like many of us, you’ll know that simply ditching straws isn’t always an option. What is an option is not using disposable plastic straws without any thought.
7. Bye-bye to plastic cotton buds
Every day we reach for plastic cotton buds to apply lotions and potions, and have a good old clean of the ears. They really aren’t good news for the planet and we’re increasingly seeing sustainable cotton bud alternatives. In fact, plastic cotton buds really are a no-no. The plastic stick breaks down into micro-plastics which marine animals end up ingesting.
8. Overhaul your bathroom
In fact, in the bathroom there are multiple opportunities to reduce your plastic footprint. From ditching plastic toothbrushes for bamboo ones to using a shampoo bar instead of squeezing out from a plastic bottle, there are so many ways you can make a difference.
Take a sneak peek at the Battle Green Zero-Waste Bathroom Kit to get some ideas.
9. Your morning cuppa
We don’t want to wage battle on your drinks, but there are better ways to partake in your favourites. We were shocked to discover that loads of mainstream brand tea bags are made using plastic, either in entirety or as the glue to stop them bursting.
10. Give up glitter
Any parent knows that 3 to 8 year olds come with added glitter. Glitter makes life happier. But standard glitter is a micro-plastic and as such we want to cut it out. That doesn’t mean we need to cut out our glitter habit, or that of the magic-loving crafters in our lives. Biodegradable glitter is the solution.
The trick with learning how to reduce your carbon footprint is to make small changes and then make regular habits of them. Think about each area of your life and home where you perhaps currently automatically reach for a disposable plastic item. Then consider – can this be changed? Almost certainly there will be an alternative which is reusable, recyclable or biodegradable. Gradually, by changing one habit after another, you can drastically reduce the place of plastic in your life.
And when enough people reduce their plastic footprint, big manufacturers will be forced to change the way they make things too.