The Big Plastic Count is taking place this week – are you getting involved? Greenpeace are asking us all to count the plastic we throw away between 16th – 22nd May to demonstrate how much plastic we are consuming as a nation. Plastics are typically bad for the environment – they use a lot of energy to produce and can only be recycled 2-3 times. We are using too much and it is time to do something about it.
If the Big Plastic Count is making you review your plastic usage, here are some helpful ideas on how you can cut down on plastic.
Bring Your Own Bag
Most of us are familiar with this now – always bring your own bags when you are off to the shop. Buy some ‘bags for life’ – they are sturdy and strong and can last a long time. Minimising the amount of plastic carrier bags you use is a massive step in the right direction.
You can also apply this to your fruit and veg purchases. Use nets or fabric bags for your fruit rather than using additional plastic bags or packaging.
Bring Your Own bottle (Or Cup!)
Coffee cups and plastic drinks bottles are another big plastic waste culprit. You can do something about that by bringing your own.
Carry your own water bottle around with you that you can re-fill during the day. And use your own coffee cup if you are stopping for a hot drink on-the-go. Most café chains actually offer discounts if you bring a re-usable cup. So, it is a win-win on that front.
No Plastic Straws or Cutlery
Plastic straws are another no-no. Use a metal alternative, or at the very least opt for a paper straw. Since 1st October 2020 it has been illegal for businesses to use plastic straws and plastic coffee stirers – so you shouldn’t see too many around these days.
Similarly – avoid single use plastic cutlery. The best option is something you can keep and re-use, but if you need something more temporary go for bamboo over plastic. Bamboo cutlery is strong and sturdy – as well as being sustainable and compostable.
Change Your Teabags
Opt for tea leaves and a tea strainer for a plastic-free brew! If you need something more ‘ready-made’ go for a brand like Teapigs or Pukka which use plastic-free tea bags. Fortunately many of the bigger brands are also following suit so keep an eye out for ‘bio-degradable’ options in general.
Use the Milkman
Many of us are turning to the traditional milkman these days in a bid to be more plastic-free. Plastic milk bottles are bulky and take up a lot of space in the recycling bins, so a re-usable glass milk bottle is the perfect solution.
Use Re-fill Shops
Bulk re-fill shops are excellent, and you are likely to have one close by. Bring your own containers to fill up on shampoos, conditioners and other products to help reduce your plastic footprint. Shampoo bottles are a big part of our plastic waste problem.
Also consider shampoo and soap bars. No plastic packaging involved – and just a beautiful clean.
Find better alternatives
Always go for items that come with less packaging and make conscious choices which are better for the environment.
At Shurgard we can help you make a ‘greener’ move. Our packing tape is made from paper to make moving boxes easier to recycle; our protective covers no longer come with unnecessary plastic packaging and our silk paper is biodegradable in less than 2 months.
Sign up to the Big Plastic Count – and start to make a difference today!