Cutting back on single-use plastics is not an easy task. Vegetables and fruit in our supermarkets are “conveniently” wrapped in plastic which go straight into the bin when we get it home. Everything we buy – be it cosmetics, toiletries, household cleaners, loo roll, it is all wrapped in plastic or in a plastic container.
Yes, we may put the plastic into the recycle bin but it does not help to reduce the mountain of plastic that is still being produced. Besides which, of the 1.5m tonnes of recyclable plastic thrown away each year in Britain, only a third of it gets recycled! We think that is shocking!
Below are some alternatives to common plastic wrapped items. We will keep adding to the list as we find them.
Disposable cutleryBamboo or starch based plastic cutlery – better still take your own from home, buy cheap metal cutlery if you are afraid to lose your best silver!
|SINGLE-USE PLASTIC – PROBLEM||ALTERNATIVE PRODUCTS|
|Toothpaste – in plastic tubes or pumps||Try using tooth-powder – available in small tins. Or make your own, there are numerous recipes online and they maybe better for your teeth too!|
|Shampoo and conditioner – plastic bottles||Shampoo and conditioner is available in bars from Lush, Friendly Soap and other Eco Friendly suppliers|
|Toilet paper – plastic wrapped||All well-known makes of loo-roll now come plastic wrapped! However buy it in boxes of 36 rolls from Who Gives a Crap|
|Dental floss – string and packaging||Silk dental floss 12m is available in a small tin from Sanareva or WooBamboo 37.5m in a plant based plastic dispenser|
|Polystyrene packaging chips||Biodegradable starch based packing chips available from Eco-Flo These amazing packing chips dissolve away in water!!|
|Plastic Wrap||Try using baking paper to wrap sandwiches or Bees Wrap beeswax impregnated fabric wraps. If you must use cling-film Bacofoil make a biodegradable cling-wrap|
|Plastic straws||What happened to paper straws – they are still available and more fun to play with after use! Remember making straw snappers?|
|Cotton-buds – plastic sticks||Cotton buds with paper stems are much better for the environment and readily available.|
|Plastic water bottles||Tap water in the UK is drinkable so take your own refillable bottle, or use a water fountain. Water is now also available in cartons in UK, Water in a Box, try to find it in your local supermarket or ask them to stock it! We need to spread the word!|
|Glitter||It does get everywhere! And sadly this fun sparkly craft material is also a microplastic that is very bad for the environment. However the good news is that there is a greener alternative – EcoStardust and EcoGlitterFun produce glitter products made from plant based cellulose that will safely biodegrade.|