Plastic Free July: How To Reduce Your Plastic Waste

As consumers become more conscious, we know the need to reduce our plastic waste is essential in creating a healthy planet for all. A great place to start is Plastic Free July! 

From small beginnings in 2011, the Plastic Free July movement is now an annual global event that encourages people across the planet to reduce their plastic consumption. The campaign has created a community of around 326 million people worldwide.

Reducing our plastic pollution couldn’t be more crucial, so let’s be clear on plastic.

Apart from the USA, the UK generates more plastic waste per person than any other country. The UK generated 5.2 million tonnes of plastic in 2018, enough rubbish to fill Wembley Stadium six times over.

And while less than 10% of plastic ever made has been recycled, our plastic problem is clogging up the planet. Plastic that hasn’t been recycled is either dumped or burned, polluting soils, rivers and oceans and harming the animals that live within.

While steps were taking place in reducing the worlds plastic waste, the pandemic halted any further progress. The endless use of disposable PPE and face masks has created another threat to the environment. Three million single-use facemasks are used every minute, which only adds to our ever-growing pile of rubbish.

It can seem a little daunting when beginning the journey of curbing our plastic obsession. So here are some simple steps to help reduce your waste.

In the Kitchen,

We often don’t realise that our kitchens tend to be overrun by plastic. Overflowing bins, excessive food packaging, and the use of single-use products such as Cling-Film, all contribute to our waste crisis.

Here are some easy swaps to help make your kitchen zero-waste friendly.

Reusable Food Covers

Helen Round Reusable covers

Credit – Helen Round

Reusable food covers are an easy alternative to keeping your foods fresh without the need for plastic containers.

Try: Helen Round reusable bowl covers. Handmade in England, these linen covers will keep food fresh and will look beautiful in your kitchen.

Vegan Wax Wrap

vegan wax wraps

Credit – Tabitha Eve

Wax wrap is an alternative to single-use cling-film or aluminium foil. While cling film is a kitchen essential for many, it’s tricky to recycle and can take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills.

Try: Tabitha Eve vegan wax wraps. These are perfect eco-friendly alternatives to single-use cling film.

Choose Plastic-Free Packaging

Supermarkets are beginning to cater for eco shoppers and offering plastic-free alternatives. Choose loose fruit and vegetables, and opt for glass or cardboard options over plastic.

fruit market

Credit – unsplash

Use Refill Stations

From cereals to cleaning products using refill stations will greatly reduce your waste. Usually found in independent stores, refill stations are now cropping up at major supermarkets such as M&S and Sainsburys.

Find refillable products on Wearth here.

refill jars

In your beauty bag,

Your beauty bag is often littered with plastic waste, from mascara wands to shampoo bottles our products come packaged in plastic. Let’s detox from plastic with these alternatives.

Use Reusable Makeup Pads

reusable cotton pads

Credit – Leave No Trace 

Cotton pads come wrapped in single use plastic and use pesticides, vast quantities of water and removes habitats for farming. These zero-waste swaps are a great alternative.

Try: Leave No Trace reusable makeup pads. These eco-friendly makeup remover pads are the perfect replacement for single-use cotton wool.

Use Shampoo Bars

soap bars

Credit – Authentic House

The UK throws away 520 million shampoo bottles every year. Using shampoo bars will help reduce your plastic consumption.

Try: Authentic House shampoo bars. Using organic essential oils these zero-waste shampoo bars are the perfect swap to reduce your plastic waste.

Eco Friendly Glitter

Eco friendly glitter

Credit – Eco Glitter Fun

Glitter is a microplastic that’s damaging the environment. This festival season, try eco-friendly glitter so you can sparkle away while being kind to the planet.

Try: Eco Glitter Fun. Using biodegradable glitter is the eco-friendly alternative we all need for this party season.

Choose A Bamboo Toothbrush

bamboo toothbrush

Credit – Tabitha Eve

An estimated 246 million toothbrushes are thrown away in the UK every year. That’s a lot of plastic waste. Choose toothbrushes made from Bamboo and sustainable materials to reduce your impact – keeping your teeth and the oceans clean.

Try: Tabitha Eve bamboo toothbrush. This biodegradable toothbrush is the perfect zero-waste swap.

Choose Reusable Razors

safety razor

Credit – Shoreline Shaving

Two billion disposable razors end up in landfills every year, so why not choose a razor that will last a lifetime. Using a reusable shaver is an easy way to reduce your plastic waste.

Try: Shoreline Shaving Razor. Choosing metal shavers is a great alternative to single-use plastic razors.

Plastic Free Periods

Period cup

Credits – Grace and Green

In the UK, single-use menstrual products such as tampons and sanitary pads create 200,000 tonnes of waste per year. The average woman uses 11,000 tampons throughout her lifetime, and it can take 500 years for these plastic products to break down in landfills. If you can, make an eco-friendly swap with these zero-waste sanitary products.

Try: Grace and Green Period cup. Menstrual cups are cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Check out more plastic-free sanitary products here. 

When you’re out and about,

During the pandemic, our use of plastic has exploded. From plastic cups to takeaway containers, everything is single-use and thrown away. Ensure when next leaving the house to bring some handy essentials to help reduce your plastic footprint when out and about.

Reusable Coffee Cups

reusable coffee cup

Credit – Nought

The UK gets through 2.5 billion coffee cups per year. Bringing your reusable coffee cup is an easy way to reduce your waste.

Try: Nought Reusable coffee cup. This bamboo cup is made with sustainable materials so you can help reduce your plastic while keeping your coffee tasting great.

Eco Friendly Cutlery

cutlery

Credit – Green Island 

Millions of plastic forks, knives and spoons are thrown away each year. Choose the eco-friendly option and bring along your reusable cutlery when you’re out and about.

Try: Green Island’s bamboo cutlery set. This is a great way to stop using single-use cutlery on the go.

Bring Reusable Bags

Linen Tote bag

Credits – Linen & Stripes

Since 2015 the plastic bag levy has seen a 95% drop of single-use bags in main supermarkets! Continue this great work and remember to always carry a reusable bag with you.

Try: Linen and Stripes reusable linen tote bag is the effortlessly chic alternative to plastic bags.

Wear A Reusable Face Mask

masks

Credit – Sabinna 

Every month 129 million single-use masks are thrown away. Buying a reusable mask is a great way to avoid excess waste. Buy local and support independent businesses.

Try: Sabinna linen and organic face masks. These handmade face coverings are the perfect zero-waste swap to single-use face masks.

At Wearth, we champion progress over perfection and any small swap to reduce your plastic waste will help create a better planet for all. At any time of the year, be part of the solution to end plastic pollution. Join the Plastic Free July movement and begin your sustainable journey.