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Living without plastic can be challenging, but it is vital that we all do what we can to reduce the amount of plastic we use in our lives. Plastic has become one of the most harmful materials to our planet, harming wildlife, polluting oceans and filling landfill without decomposing. The effects on the global environment are devastating, but with society having become dependent on plastic products, it can be difficult to make the move to reducing consumption. In this guide, we explore how to go plastic free at home, sharing tips and hints to help you lower your plastic use.
Scary plastic statistics
Almost everything we buy contains some form of plastic. It is no wonder then that the plastic pollution issue has become so widespread. Did you know that in the region of eight million pieces of plastic enter our oceans every day? And that 50 per cent of plastic is used just once and discarded?
A plastic bottle can last for 450 years in an ocean and will never actually disappear altogether, and one in three fish caught in the UK are reckoned to contain plastic. All scary statistics, which is why we all, as individuals, need to do what we can to reduce plastic use. Here are some ideas on how to go plastic free to help you get started.
1. Switch to a shampoo bar
Shampoo bars are usually free from plastic packaging. They also last longer than bottled versions, and are easy to use.
2. Swap facial wipes for a face cloth
Whilst cleansing wipes might be convenient, they are not usually biodegradable and come in plastic packaging. Opt instead for washable face cloths that can be re-used.
3. Try a wooden toothbrush
Every plastic toothbrush you’ve ever used in your life is said to still be in existence. If you can make the switch, a wooden toothbrush is an eco-alternative, or opt for biodegradable nylon.
4. Buy toilet roll wrapped in paper
Not all loo roll comes in plastic packaging. Look out for manufacturers who produce toilet roll in paper packs. Slightly more pricey, but even if you bought every other pack, you’d be helping reduce plastic consumption to some degree.
5. Buy fruit and veg loose
Packaged fruit and veg is not only more expensive than the loose alternative, it often leads to waste too due to buying more than you need. Buy loose, and unless you really need to, don’t bother using the individual bags provided in supermarkets.
6. Replace plastic-packaged food with tins
Lots of food products come in plastic packaging, but are also readily available in tins. Tins are recyclable, so switch the likes of soups, tuna and veg from plastic tubs to cans.
7. Bring your own container
Many retailers are now offering loose foods such as cereals and pulses ready for you to fill your own reusable containers. Much better than buying single use plastics every time.
8. Buy a reusable shopping bag
Keep a fold-up reusable shopping bag in your handbag and a few shoppers in your car ready to use in place of single use plastic bags. As well as helping reduce plastic use, you’ll also save money not having to buy single use bags every time you shop.
9. Go for refillable cleaning products
Many manufacturers are now selling refill pouches for their plastic, pump-action cleaning bottles, so look out for those instead of buying a new bottle every time.
10. Choose biodegradable bin bags
Bin bags are a necessity, but if you look for them, you’ll find biodegradable options. Be careful not to confuse them with degradable bin bags though. The difference? Biodegradable bags are broken down by living organisms, whilst degradable bags contain chemicals that break them down, making them less environmentally friendly.
11. Be choosy about packaging
If it comes to it and you have no choice but to buy something with plastic packaging, check first whether it’s recyclable. Some you may have thought would be recyclable are actually not, so be choosy about your packaging.
Reduce your waste, with help from Kola Project
Kola Project was founded in response to the global waste crisis. It is the world’s first fully circular shopping experience, based on a return and reuse program.
When you buy from Kola Project’s range of high quality, sustainable household products, you can enjoy full reassurance that what you’re buying has a future once you’re done with it. Because as part of the program, whatever you buy can be returned for repair, recycling, refurbishment, recycling or composting, no matter how long you’ve had it.
Why not start your circular shopping experience today? It will fit perfectly with your plastic-free goals.