Plastic is a big problem. It may have been previously applauded for its versatility and durability, two qualities that make it highly convenient for a vast range of commercial and household uses.
But the environmental issues it’s causing today are fast becoming irreparable, especially when it comes to the damage plastic waste is doing to marine life.
It’s not just plastic waste that’s causing complications. At every stage of its life, plastic is problematic. From its production to its disposal, plastic presents a number of deadly and urgent environmental issues.
Yet, despite these dangers, plastic production is increasing, with the US alone planning to boost production by 30% in the coming years. The growth of single-use plastic production is particularly concerning, but with demand comes the need for supply. Eliminating the demand for plastic throughout the world is what many are calling for, and it all starts with the individual.
It’s possible to live an almost plastic-free life, and if everyone does their bit to reduce plastic consumption in their homes, the world will no doubt be a happier place. Here’s how you can take on your own plastic challenge and reduce your plastic footprint for the better.
It’s now easier than ever to buy plastic-free products, particularly with initiatives like Staffordshire-based Anything But Plastic. Its founder Jenny Derry reveals more about the vision that drives her super sustainable business forward:
“I’m hoping to get rid of those obstacles and bring about some positive change. Many of us are aware of the need to do something about plastic pollution but lack the means or tools to be part of the solution. It needs to be made more widely known that the alternatives to plastic exist so that people can consciously choose to use less plastic.”
One product that has seen a significant shift from plastic is the humble straw. The government banned the sale of plastic straws last year, apart from their use for medical purposes.
Paper straws are now favoured above all else, but you can go one better. Metal straws are the best option for those passionate about going plastic and paper-free. They’re also long-lasting and reusable.
Go reusable everywhere
Like straws, the shopping bag is another item that’s received a much needed plastic-free makeover in recent years. Plastic bags now carry a charge to encourage more people to invest in reusable bag designs.
In contrast, reusable bags are great for the planet and built to last meaning you can continue to use them for years to come without contributing to the world’s plastic crisis.
Watch where you buy
Where you shop makes just as much of a difference as what you use to pack your shopping in.
Buying your produce from farmers’ markets or local farm shop is more sustainable than doing a shop at the big supermarket down the road, and supports your local community.
Buying everyday products in bulk can reduce the packaging you use as well as save the time, money, and petrol you waste when taking those extra trips to the supermarket.
Taking your own glass, metal or cloth containers along to the shop with you will also reduce plastic use. Many cleaning products are available with refillable bottles now too.
Although using natural products like baking soda and vinegar will leave your home just as clean and pristine, as well as eliminate plastic packaging.
Rely on glassware
One of the greatest uses of plastic within the home is to store leftovers. Plastic bags and containers are the go-to products for food storage but using glassware instead is a worthwhile step in the right direction.
As well as providing a durable and reusable storage option, glassware (such as Pyrex) will save you money in the long run. It is also entirely BPA free, meaning no nasty chemicals seeping into your food or drink. Wooden, cloth, and metal containers also do the trick.
Using a milkman instead of going to the shop to purchase milk is another way to replace plastic with glass in your everyday life. Invest in a reusable water bottle for drinking on the go too. Glass and metal reusable water bottles unlock many more benefits than plastic.
Choose natural products
Your home and wardrobe can be plastic-free too. By saying “no” to fast fashion and choosing naturally sourced and made wool products, you can discover the timeless pieces that’ll take you from season to season and reduce plastic production.
Wool garments and home accessories last a lifetime (and more) and work wonders for the planet, not to mention the people and animals who call it home. Find out exactly how our wool is responsibly sourced and environmentally friendly.