Ten tips for giving up single use plastics at home

Plastic pollution has become a major public concern in recent years. David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II sparked widespread interest in the crisis, encouraging a drive for more immediate change.

In 2018, the UK Government pledged to eliminate ‘all avoidable plastic waste’ by 2042. However, if you’re looking to start making small, effective changes to your current lifestyle, we’ve put together 10 easy ways to trade single use plastics for more sustainable alternatives.

  1. Carry a reusable water bottle or coffee cup. Enjoy your morning hot drink without the guilt of disposing of another non-biodegradable plastic cup.
  2. Keep a shopping bag in your work bag or car. Think of how much you could save if you kept all the 5ps you would have spent!
  3. Ditch plastic straws. There are plenty of other options – including bamboo, stainless steel and glass. If you’re eating or drinking out, increase the demand for sustainable choices by declining plastic straws.
  4. Trade your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo alternative. You can find bamboo toothbrushes for adults and children at high street stores such as Boots and Holland and Barratt. When you’re ready to replace it, toss the bamboo handle on the compost heap so that nature can reclaim it (note: check whether the bristles are compostable and remove if not).
  5. Swap cling film for reusable food wraps. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to survive without it.
  6. Stop using single use food bags. If you’re saving leftovers or making a packed lunch, glass jars and storage containers are great alternative.
  7. Support your local farm shop or zero waste store. Many farm shops sell vegetables without plastic wraps and containers, whilst zero waste outlets allow customers to fill their own containers with dry foods such as pasta, rice, nuts and seeds. If you’re green fingered, you could even try planting your own vegetables in the garden.
  8. Reduce your reliance on liquid hand soap. The pump mechanism often isn’t recyclable, creating unnecessary plastic waste. Try using bars of soap where possible, or buy refills instead of throwing away empty dispensers.
  9. Avoid plastic bottled water. Try storing tap water in a reusable glass bottle or water filter jug in the fridge for a cold water supply.
  10. Cut down on takeaways. Although it’s sometimes nice not to have to cook, takeaways arrive in numerous single use containers. Perhaps you could go out for a meal instead or, if you’re feeling brave, request that your favourite takeaway packs your order in your own reusable storage containers.

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Anna Hinchcliffe

Written by

Anna Hinchcliffe

Head of Marketing

Anna is responsible for Emsleys Estate Agents' marketing, including digital, social media, branding and content.