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The Plastic Diet - How You Can Reduce Your Plastic Usage

Plastic is destroying the planet. 

From brushing and flossing your teeth to packing your vegetables in the supermarket, plastic has become a daily necessity. Sadly, those same toothbrushes and plastic bags end up everywhere from city drains to deserted islands.

With mountains of plastic rubbish being dumped into the world’s oceans, it is no surprise that huge quantities of plastic are being found in the stomachs of sea birds, whales and most other ocean-life. Plastic rubbish is increasing at such an astonishing rate that it is predicted that by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish.

But thankfully, there are some easy plastic pollution solutions. Here are a few tips on how to reduce your single-use plastic usage.

 

Bring a reusable shopping bag

  • Whether you are clothes, book or food shopping, avoid using plastic bags and bring a cloth bag or backpack to carry your purchases.
  • In the supermarket, refrain from using single-use plastic bags when buying fruit and veg, instead leaving them loose in your shopping trolley.
  • Choose glass bottles when buying milk, sauces, honey, yoghurt, etc., as they are easily recyclable.
  • Have a cloth bag to wrap your bakery bread in, instead of using the plastic wrappers.

Use reusable containers

  • Use glass or Tupperware containers for storing leftovers, shopping in bulk and getting take-away from restaurants. Most restaurants will be happy to pack your meal in your own container. 

 

Refill water bottles and coffee mugs

  • Refilling your own water bottle is not only good for the environment, it is also good for your wallet. Avoiding plastic water bottles reduces waste, as well as reducing the risk of ingesting harmful substances. If you are worried about where your drinking water is coming from, the Refill app tells you where to find safe water filling points all over the UK.
  • The same applies to take-out coffee. Give your barista a thermo mug and reduce the number of plastic lids that end up in the world’s oceans. Many coffee shops will even charge you less when you bring your own mug.
  • Refrain from using plastic straws. They are not easily recyclable and are constantly found washed up on seashores. If you require a straw for medical reasons, or you simply prefer to drink with one, you can choose from a wide range of eco-friendly, reusable straws instead.

Reassess your hygiene products

Maintaining personal hygiene often comes at the price of using large quantities of plastic products. But there are some changes you can make to stop this.

  • Make your own cleaning products. They will be less toxic in your home and will reduce the number of plastic bottles you throw out.
  • If you have a housekeeper, be sure to tell them not to throw away empty cleaning product containers, as you intend to refill them.
  • Switch from disposable razors to a razor with replaceable blades.
  • Flushing period products down the toilet is also a huge source of ocean plastic pollution. Women can opt for environmentally friendly sanitary products. Try using tampons with a paper instead of plastic applicator. Any sanitary products with plastic should be binned, not flushed.  
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