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How to reduce plastic use at home

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Are you looking for more ways to do your bit for the environment? Reducing the amount of plastic you use in the home is an easy way to make your lifestyle as eco-friendly as possible. Below we look at how to reduce plastic use and the top 10 ways to reduce plastic pollution within your house.

Buy some long-life bags

One of the easiest ways to reduce plastic use in the home is to switch to long-lasting shopping bags. How many times have you gone shopping only to realise you need to buy a plastic bag, which then ends up stashed in your cupboard or drawers?

By investing in more sustainable shopping bags or even a tote bag, you can reduce how much you’re spending on shopping and avoid having the dreaded ‘bag full of bags’ that so many families build up over the years.

Consider keeping your bags in your car, so you always have them to hand before you reach the checkout.

2. Use reusable coffee cups

If you regularly drink coffee or tea during your morning commute, consider investing in a reusable coffee cup. Most well-known coffee shops will be happy to use your personal cup and you can cut down on how much plastic pollution you’re putting out into the world. Consider investing in several that you always have a spare to hand if one needs washing.

3. Cut down on cling film

Cling film remains one of the hardest plastic products to recycle and while it’s a great way of keeping food fresh, it’s not so good for the environment. Consider investing in tupperware or reusing old jars to ensure that you always have an air-tight solution for your leftovers. Old jars of ingredients are especially useful as they can also double up as decoration or storage for your kitchen.

4. Reduce bottled water usage

We’re always told that we have to stay hydrated but not everyone wants to drink from the tap. If you regularly find that you’re buying bottled water, consider reducing how much you buy and invest in a filter system instead. Not only will you save money over the long term but you’ll get the same fresh taste without having a pile of bottles in your recycle bin.

If you’re a fan of flavoured water, consider picking up an infuser bottle that allows you to add cheaper fresh fruit for a better flavour.

5. Shop responsibly

If you’re thinking about how to reduce plastic use, a great place to start is with your shopping list. While many products now use smaller packages and more sustainable materials, consider making a conscious choice when you’re at the checkout. Loose fruit and vegetables are often cheaper than pre-packaged alternatives and if you’re buying washing powder or cleaning liquid, opt for boxes rather than plastic bottles.

6. Wear natural clothing

While it’s one of the more sweeping changes on our list of 10 ways to reduce plastic pollution, reducing the amount of plastic you wear is a great way of doing your bit for the environment. Many synthetic clothes contain plastic or release microfibres when they’re washed which eventually build up in our oceans. You can avoid this by choosing clothes made with natural materials or using a specialist washbag that catches these fibres before they enter our waterways.

7. Rethink your bathroom routine

When people look to reduce plastic in the home, their first port of call is the kitchen. Unfortunately, the bathroom is also a major contributor to plastic waste in the home and there’s plenty you change to help create an eco-friendly environment.

Think about investing in a bamboo toothbrush or something more long-lasting than your average plastic brush.

Switching to a shampoo bar, metal razor and refillable deodorant are all options you might want to consider. Many of the plastic alternatives are inexpensive but bad for the environment and not long-lasting.

8. Recycle takeaway boxes

Takeaways are a great treat but the boxes they come in can be bad for the environment. If you regularly order from your favourite restaurant and you’re thinking about how to reduce plastic use in your home, consider reusing the boxes that you receive as storage or adding them to your tupperware collection.

A simple plastic box from a takeaway can easily become a box you use for batch-cooking your work lunches next week.

9. Avoid wet wipes

Wet wipes might not seem like plastic but they’re full of the microfibres that clog up our waterways and it takes years for them to degrade. As always, remember not to flush your wet wipes and if you’re using disinfectant wipes around the home, consider switching to more long-term solutions such as towels and natural cleaning solutions that produce less plastic waste.

10. Say no to plastic straws

If you have kids or enjoy a cocktail every now and again, you may have bought plastic straws in the past. Plastic straws represent one of the leading causes of plastic waste in the country, which is why they’ve been phased out in the hospitality sector.

Instead, invest in a reusable, washable metal straw which will last a lifetime and can be used anywhere, whether you’re enjoying a drink at home or need one for a takeaway smoothie you grab while out and about.