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Looking to Reduce Single Use Plastic?  Here’s Some Tips to Help.
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Looking to Reduce Single Use Plastic? Here’s Some Tips to Help.

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Reducing single use plastic is high on the agenda of most households, supermarkets and businesses across the globe.  When you see the figures it’s easy to see why.

  • The average person will use 3 single use plastic bottles per week.
  • Each bottle takes 450 years to decompose.
  • There are currently 8 million bottles in the ocean.
  • If we don’t act now there will be 937 million by 2050!

These figures are just the estimates on bottles, so add plastic bags, cosmetics and micro plastics: you get the picture and it isn’t pretty.

Since the BBC show Blue Planet, so many of us are more engaged and aware of the situation and many are making positive changes in the reduction of household plastics.  Friends of the Earth have come up with a comprehensive list of things we can do to make big changes in our purchasing of household goods that will save the oceans and the planet.

As we’ve already touched on, many plastic bottles end up in landfill or in the ocean, but let’s take a walk around the house.

In the bathroom, there are cotton buds, razors and toothbrushes that are all single use.  There are alternatives made from sustainable bamboo.  Our Best Dressed Man comes with both a toothbrush and razor.  With the razor only the blade needs to be changed so less waste.  Our soap is solid bar, which means it uses less water than shower gel so lasts longer and doesn’t come in a plastic bottle.  When purchasing your beauty and cleansing products there are so many choices now that are sold in solid bar form, shaving foams, soaps and shampoos that all come paper wrapped rather in plastic.

In the kitchen the plastic menace is rife. From wrapped vegetables and bagged fruit to cleaning products and scourers.  Many companies are now selling cleaning products in re-useable packaging, so buy the bottle once and then subsequent refills which use much less plastic.  There are also more and more refill stations opening up where you can take your own bottle and refill. Check out Ecover.com.  Use your own bags and purchase loose fruit and veg rather than the pre-packed options.  The packaging has to be paid for, so loose is often much cheaper anyway.  When washing up, opt for a wooden handled brush rather than a plastic one and use natural fibre cloths. There are loads available and they can be composted.  For storage options you can’t go far wrong with glass, you can see the contents and you can freeze them, just remember to leave a couple of inches at the top for expansion. 

Leisure wise it’s so easy to grab a bottled water to take out with you, or grab a coffee to go, but having your own cup or bottle will save you money.  Not only are you not spending on the single use versions, outlets like Starbucks and Costa and many of the independents will give discounted prices when you use your own.  It makes sense, they don’t need to buy as much if we all get used to bringing a reusable.  We have several great options available.  Our Chilly Style water bottle which holds 500ml of either hot or cold liquid, is handy and stylish and features in our Student and Desk Mate.  If you prefer coffee or tea on the go then check out the ECoffee cups in the Commuter Gift Boxes, available in two colour ways and branded ooh, these 12oz cups are a perfect sustainable option for you.  Made from recycled plastic they really hit the mark.  If you really want to go for it, then check out our Bamboo Gift Set.  Not only does it have a great travel cup it has a notebook with recycled paper and bamboo cover and a multi charger.

There is no doubt that it will be near impossible to go 100% plastic free but as things break or wear out why not look to replace them with alternate eco-friendly versions.  If we all make a start no matter how small, the combined result will be huge.