I’m sure many of you have seen the multiple headlines or watched documentaries, on how our plastic waste is killing our planet. The turning point for me was the BBC’s documentary series, Hugh and Anita’s War on Plastic. I was horrified to see my local councils recycling bag in a mound of waste in Malaysia. Then the wet wipe fat burg that had caused chaos in the sewers, that’s without the human and marine life being affected.
It was at this point I decided I needed to make a major change in how I personally do things. So simple really, but the convenience of a product you could use once then throw away really caught on. We’re all guilty of this and I’m going to share my 5 easy ways to reduce your plastic waste!
I personally have 2-3 bottles I can simply fill up with water or squash, then refill when empty all without disposing of multiple plastic bottles. I also have a few reusable coffee cups that I use for hot drinks, I’ll admit mines from a coffee shop chain. I’ve used my reusable coffee cup for years (around 8 years), especially whilst travelling from university in Liverpool back to the Rhondda.
That was a five and a half hour trip with 3 train changes, coffee was always in need especially in winter! I simply popped into the coffee shop asked for my drink to be put into the reusable coffee cup, I was never refused and that saved potentially three single use, non recyclable cups ending up in landfill! If you multiply that by the amount of journeys made per year the total amount of single use cups used is astonishing!
The same applies for plastic water bottles too. I’ve found in the past 3-4 years cafes are far more willing to refill a reusable water bottle than they once were. I have refill.org.uk’s app installed on my phone, so I can always find a water refill station wherever I am! It’s a really easy switch to make and honestly you’ll not only be saving the planet you be saving money too, those plastic water bottles aren’t cheap and just add to the mountain of plastic waste already out there.
Ok so for those of you that wear make-up, think about how often you wear it and how you remove it. Let’s say for example you wear makeup 6 days a week and use 3 make-up remover wet wipes to remove your makeup. In one week you’d be using 18 wet wipes a week, that’s approximately 72 wet wipes a month and 864 wet wipes per year! Now that’s scary, especially when almost all wet wipes contain plastic meaning they add massively to your plastic waste! I’m guessing most of you would then pop these in the bin, so those 864 wet wipes will end up in landfill and the tiny particles of plastic will work their way into the soil and waterways.
Now I’m going to be honest, I rarely wear makeup I actually am not a major fan. I tend to only wear makeup for special events or occasions. Once I saw that wet wipe fat burg on Hugh and Anita’s War on Plastic, I’ve changed to reusable make-up remover pads that I make myself from off its of fabric too small for clothing. I simply use, add to my laundry, wash, dry and reuse!
I also use these pads for cleansing lotions too. It’s a really simple thing to do and it means a little bit more laundry. When you think of how many single use wet wipes you can potentially avoid using per year, for me it was a define swap! Again you have to pay for a pack of make-up remover wipes when you run out. I can honestly say you’d save more money via reusable make-up remover pads. If you’re interested in making the swap then you can order a pack or two from me here.
Ok so once your done reading here, pop into your bathroom and count how many bottles you have of soap, shower gel, etc, I bet you’ll have quite a few! Now how many of you have soap bars?
This is where me and the family have made another change, we’ve committed to avoiding buying shower gels, body washes, etc in favour of instead purchasing a humble bar of soap! Now I hated soap bars because they’d always slip out of my hands and I’d end up wasting lots of it as it got washed away. That’s where I got the idea of soap pockets, it’s a simple concept really, some cotton towelling, a bit of binding, a hanging loop and some sewing later and voila a soap pocket is born!
Simply pop the soap bar into the pocket, dampen the pocket and wash away, once your soap bar is completely used up, just pop the soap pocket in the wash, dry it and add a new soap bar! It’s another easy way of reducing the amount of single use plastic and your plastic waste. Plus each member of the family can have their very own soap pocket. Order yours today here.
This one leads on from the reusable make-up remover wipes. They are larger square versions that can be used for lots of things from replacing babies wet wipes right through to wiping down surfaces at home. You can really get rid of a lot of wet wipe options through these reusable alternatives you just need a bit of imagination to make it work. Plus once used you just need to wash, dry and reuse!
I make these wipes in packs of 5 and you can find them here.
When shopping for fruit and veg you’ll often find horrible plastic bags to put your loose fruit and veg in. Over the past few months some supermarkets have been offering the option of purchasing reusable mesh bags or using those horrible plastic ones. The reusable ones have a small price tag but are completely worth it to avoid adding more plastic to landfill and it’s a really easy swap that doesn’t cost a fortune! I don’t currently sell these but I hope to in the future, so please check with your supermarket to see if they have a more eco-friendly option!
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day check out how you can support Earth Day and make further eco-friendly changes on Earth Days Website.
So I’ve asked some tough questions and made you think a little about how much single use plastic you actually use. I honestly believe these five changes are easy to implement and aren’t too expensive. If we all make small changes it’s possible to help reduce that damage being done to the planet, the wildlife and ultimately ourselves.
Let me know below if you have any other easy swaps or changes to reduce single use plastic waste.
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