17, July 2023
Five Tips to Help You Go Plastic-Free
It’s July: we’re into the second half of the year (already!), summer’s in full swing – and it’s officially time to pare back plastics. Since 2011, the Plastic Free July campaign has been encouraging people all over the world to reduce their plastic waste for the month of July, with 140 million people taking part last year. By now, we’re all aware of the damage plastic does to our planet, but it can still be hard to avoid it in day-to-day life. The idea of Plastic Free July is that small switches made this month can lead to everlasting change. Here are some of our favourite ways to part with plastic, in July – and always.
Swap to Solid Soap and Haircare
Make shower-time as clean as can be when you switch to solid soap and haircare bars. Ours are totally free of plastic and come packaged in recycled and recyclable card. Yep, we still do plastic bottles, but those bottles have been made of recycled and recyclable plastic since 1999. And we’re always looking into new forms of packaging (see Our Plastic Use – and What We’re Doing About It). We also offer refills and aluminium Refill-A-Bottles, which massively help the plastic reduction cause. But if you want to go completely zero-waste in the bathroom, soap, shampoo bars and conditioner bars are the way forward. We even make a shampoo bar for dogs!
Use Those Tote Bags
How many times have you been given a free promotional tote bag? And how many times have you actually used it? It’s not just canvas freebies that people forget to use; supermarket bags for life or longer-lasting carrier bags are often bought with good intentions, then stowed away and forgotten about. It means you often end up buying surplus plastic bags when you’re out shopping. This Plastic Free July, start a habit of using the plastic-reducing bags you’ve got. If you keep them in a kitchen drawer or cupboard, move to a hook near the front door so you don’t forget to grab yours on the way out. Or invest in a packable bag that you can always carry, for any spontaneous trips to the shop.
Prepping and Wrapping
Food is one of the biggest reasons why we can end up using unnecessary plastic. Forget to prep your lunch and you might well end up buying a sandwich wrapped in plastic, or a salad in an unrecyclable tub. With a little advance planning, it’s easy to enjoy a lunch that’s completely free of single use plastics (and probably works out cheaper than buying food on the day, too). Your future self and the planet will thank you. Batch-cook meals that can be stored in the freezer, or make extra for your evening meal so you can take in leftovers the following day. Use lidded boxes, tubs or jars to store and transport your food. And if cling film is a regular in your kitchen, switch things up and replace it with beeswax wraps.
Drinks on the Go
Just like food, drinks have a lot to answer for when it comes to plastic waste. Thankfully, more and more people are realising the pointlessness of single-use plastic bottles and packing a refillable alternative whenever they leave the house. And there are free water refill stations everywhere; just download the Refill App to find the ones nearest you. Can’t get by without your morning coffee? Hot drinks cups and their lids are also major contributors to plastic waste (even paper cups usually have a plastic lining). By carrying a refillable cup, you’ll massively reduce your plastic consumption. You could also save money by doing this; many coffee shops offer discounted coffee to those with reusable cups. Or you could make your coffee at home and take it with you in an insulated flask or cup.
Wave Bye to Wipes
Face wipes, screen wipes, floor wipes… all of these wet wipes are very handy to have, but they’re a blight on Nature. They can take decades to biodegrade, and cause sewer blockages when instructions not to flush away are ignored. Some supermarkets are taking steps to ban baby wipes containing plastic, and more biodegradable options are becoming available. But one of the best ways to avoid this kind of plastic waste is to go reusable. Good old-old fashioned flannels are a great way to wash your face with an added dose of exfoliation, whilst muslin cloths are perfect for a softer cleanse. Using reusable cloths with cleaning products around the home will also make a big difference (look out for plastic-free sponges and scourers, as these emit microplastics). Like everything on this list, reusable cloths are easy to use once you get into the habit. And hopefully, once Plastic Free July is over, you’ll never look back!