With Plastic-Free July drawing to a close, what habits can you maintain to reduce your plastic waste?
Plastic waste is a hot topic in current media, and rightly so. Plastic is hugely damaging to the environment. It litters the oceans and beaches, causing harm to the animals that live there. It’s often super hard to recycle. And what’s more, it’s everywhere.
Plastic is wrapped around many of our daily items, including our food and clothes. When you’re trying to reduce your plastic use, it’s easy to feel like there’s not much you can do. Or, like you have to radically compromise your lifestyle to make a difference. That’s not the case.
Plastic-free July has shown that all our choices matter when it comes to using plastic. Here’s some switches you can make in your everyday life all year round to make a difference.
1. Stop buying lunch on the go.
Do you often pop to the shop for a meal deal at lunchtime? Have you considered the plastic impact of this? Pre-packed sandwiches and soft drink usually come coated in plastic packaging. Instead, try making your lunch at home each day. This is a great way to save money, eat a little healthier and reduce your daily disposable plastic. It’s a win all round.
2. Carry reusable essentials
It’s easy to get caught out with small everyday items such as straws, cutlery and water bottles. Ensure you always have reusable versions in your bag so you won’t be forced into using single-use items out of necessity.
3. Be prepped for the weekly shop
Always keep a stock of shopping bags in the boot of your car when you’re doing the weekly shop. There’s nothing more frustrating than realising you have a drawer full of bags at home when you’re paying for another at the checkout.
4. Make savvy swaps at the supermarket
Although big supermarket chains are striving for more environmentally-friendly shelves, there’s still a long way to go. However, there are some items available with or without the plastic wrap. Fruit and vegetables often come wrapped or loose. Opt for the loose versions to reduce your plastic waste. You can also swap the plastic-wrapped bread for a fresh bag wrapped in a brown paper bag.
5. Ditch the clingfilm
Avoid wrapping clingfilm around your food by making better use of Tupperware. You can also buy plastic-free alternatives to clingfilm, such as wrapping made of beeswax!
6. Use brown paper to wrap presents
Standard wrapping paper often contains a thin plastic coating, that gives it its glossy sheen. This is often very difficult to recycle. Brown paper, however, is far easier to reuse and recycle. This makes a positive environmental impact. Plus, brown paper tied with some string makes for a beautiful, rustic present.
7. Make your own natural disinfectant
Instead of buying plastic bottles of cleaning products, make homemade swaps where you can. You can actually make an excellent and fresh-smelling disinfectant from some rubbing alcohol, white vinegar and water. Add in some essential oil such as lemon or lavender to give your home a fresh scent.
8. Revolutionise your coffee to-go
This one gets a lot of public attention, and you can see why. Disposable coffee cups are very difficult to recycle, as they are made of several different materials. Recent headlines uncovered that less than 99.75% of takeaway cups are recycled. Most coffee chains are aware of this issue, and will be willing to make your coffee in your own reusable cup.
9. Get your milk delivered
Do you still have a milk delivery service in your area? Ditch the plastic cartons for old-school glass bottles of milk to reduce your plastic waste.
PillTime’s use of plastic
At PillTime, we get a lot of questions about our packaging. We make every effort to improve our sustainability where we can. So, we make the PillTime pouches out of biodegradable cellulose. We also run a Naked Packaging initiative which encourages patients to reuse their cardboard PillTime box. We respect our patients’ efforts to be disrupt your efforts to reduce your plastic waste. Read more about our environmental ethos here.