Image: Package Free Shop
It is no secret that plastic has a huge negative impact on the environment and our oceans. Worldwide we go through 10 BILLION plastic bags each WEEK! How did we get in such a mess? Single use convenience. We are basically a lazy society of people - yep there I said it!
From super market plastic bags to coffee cups, straws to plastic bottles, why do we continue to opt for one time use over reusable? The material each of these items are made from could out live you! That coffee cup sat on your desk in front of you will go to landfill today along with the 1 MILLION other coffee cups and will live there for up to 50 YEARS!!
So, I have gone around my house and picked out all the plastic that could be avoided, here are our top tips to help you avoid single use plastic this month (and hopefully on-going)
AROUND THE HOUSE
Food wrapped in Plastic - Go to your local market or organic food stores with your own Tupperware or reusable bags.
Milk Bottles - Look for milk in refillable glass bottles. If you're in Melbourne check out these guys at La Latteria.
Bin Bags - Line your bin with layers of News Paper, when your bin is full take the bin out an place straight into the large wheely bins / recycle bins - learn more here
Cleaning Products - Opt for wooden cleaning products rather than plastic, check out BioMe for examples. In terms of actual cleaning sprays, make your own. Purchase a reusable spay bottle and white wine vinegar. Learn more via Trash is for Tossers
Cling Film and Glad Wrap - Simply use reusable containers, fabrics or aluminium foil
Takeaway boxes - With the convenience of UberEats, Foodora and Deliveroo takeaway packaging is a tough one to tackle. You could call up your favourite takeaways and ask what packaging they use. Some do use biodegradable boxes, if your takeaway doesn't try reducing how often you order and if your food is delivered in plastic containers, wash them and reuse them to home pantry items.
Lunch Boxes - Opt for mental or wooden over plastic.
Plastic Utensils - Opt for mental or wooden over plastic.
Coffee Machine Pods - Search for biodegradable coffee pods - yep they're a thing now!
HEALTH AND BEAUTY
Shampoo and Body Wash Bottles - Soap Bars and solid bar shampoos are just as effective.
Toothpaste - Make your own, its really simple and also...cost effective
Toilet Roll Packaging - Opt for toilet roll that comes in paper packaging over plastic. Like Who Gives A Crap.
Tampons - Reusable menstrual cups are in and one time use tampons are OUT!
Hairbrush & Toothbrush - Opt for wooden over plastic. If you have an electric toothbrush great - you are already getting much more use out of it.
Razors - Opt for long life razors blades or lazor hair removal.
OUT AND ABOUT
Shopping Bags - You know what to do, take a reusable tote bag with you or market trolly.
Coffee Cups - Always opt for a reusable cup like KeepCup, Frank Green or JOCO.
Straws - Opt for no straw or if you're super organised and it can fit in your handbag, you can now purchase metal reusable straws.
Water bottles - Why? Why would you ever need to buy one time use plastic bottles filled with water that you can get from the tap? It's not helping you get to you 401K. Opt for a refillable.
Take-away food cartons - I love sushi and often I will buy it for my lunch for the local Japanese, you can take a small Tupperware box with you for takeaway outlets to fill. This is not uncommon so don't feel stupid! Your saving the world one plastic box at a time!
Finally, try not to get too overwhelmed with this process. Yes it takes a little bit of research and preplanning but when it comes down to it, it's just about make small decisions each day. Just keep trying. It’s called a challenge for a reason and everything you do is better than nothing.
Click HERE for the Trash Is For Tossers list of alternatives to expand your knowledge further.