So, your Plastic Free July is off to a great start, and you’ve already tackled the “big 4” single-use plastics. Where do you go from there?
The truth is, plastic is everywhere in our lives, and there are loads of opportunities to cut back. Here four more ways you can ditch plastics this month:
1. Buy in bulk.
There are zero waste food shops popping up all over the United Kingdom right now. Pebble Magazine has done a great roundup of zero waste shops in the UK. If you happen to live near one of them, by all means avail yourself of the resource.
Take some containers to the shop - you can use jars, tubs, drawstring bags, or whatever you have. The sales people should be able to help you weigh them and mark them with the tare. Then fill them with your desired goods from the bulk bins, and take them to the till where they’ll be weighed again and the tare deducted. You’ll be charged by weight for the goods you’ve chosen. No packaging, no waste.
If you don’t live in a place where you have access to bulk food shopping, there are a few online resources. Plastic Free Pantry uses kraft paper and home-compostable plant film bags for their dry goods, or you can send them your own containers and they will ship them back to you filled with the goods you purchase! How cool is that?
2. Bring your own cutlery.
If you’ve already tackled the big four, the you’ve probably already got a good zero waste kit going, with a water bottle and a reusable coffee cup. It’s a good idea to add some cutlery to your kit as well. You can simply use cutlery from your kitchen, wrap it in a napkin and stash it in your bag when you're away from home, or you can use a lightweight kit like this one. When you’re out and about and find yourself faced with plastic cutlery, you’ll have a waste-free option to hand so that you can say no to the disposable stuff.
3. Carry a food container.
Another useful piece of equipment to have in your zero waste kit is a food container. Our stainless steel containers are lightweight and portable, but any container you have at home will do. This can be useful for:
- Shopping - ask your butcher, fishmonger, or cheesemonger if they’re willing to put your purchases in your own container rather than their wrapping (which is often plastic)
- Takeaway - ask at the counter if your local takeaway joint will serve you in your own container and skip the polystyrene or plastic takeaway container
- Leftovers - if you’re out at dinner and can’t finish what’s on your plate, scoop the leftovers into your food container and take them home with you, avoiding both food waste and plastic takeaway container waste
4. Skip the cling wrap.
I’d love to hear how your efforts are going! Let me know in the comments!