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 Here are some tips to help you reduce your use of plastic....

Reducing single-use plastics is an important step towards mitigating plastic pollution and its detrimental impact on the environment. Here are some practical tips to help you minimize your use of single-use plastics:


  • Bring Your Own Reusable Bags: Keep reusable shopping bags handy whenever you go shopping, whether it's for groceries, clothing, or other items. This reduces the need for plastic bags provided by stores. Even ‘biodegradable’ bags only actually degrade if properly composted – which is rarely the case.


  • Use Reusable Water Bottles and Containers: Carry a reusable water bottle, coffee cup, and food containers with you. This helps you avoid using disposable plastic bottles, cups, and containers. 15 million of these bottles are now bought and thrown away each day in the UK alone. In a year, if laid end to end, this would be enough bottles to go twice around the world. Check out ‘Midway’ a film by Chris Jordan at to see the impact of single use plastic on an island thousands of miles from the nearest human.


  • Say No to Plastic Straws and Cutlery: Refuse plastic straws and disposable cutlery when dining out. Consider using stainless steel, bamboo, or other reusable alternatives.

  • Choose Glass or Metal Containers: Opt for glass or stainless steel containers for storing food instead of plastic containers.


  • Buy in Bulk: Purchase items in bulk whenever possible. Bring your own containers to stores that offer bulk bins for items like grains, nuts, and spices.


  • Avoid Plastic-Wrapped Produce: Choose loose produce or use reusable produce bags instead of plastic ones. Try to avoid food in plastic or Styrofoam trays that cannot be recycled.


  • Reduce Takeout Packaging: When ordering takeout, request minimal plastic packaging and utensils. If possible, dine in or bring your own containers for takeout. Even takeaway cups that are apparently made from paper are coated in a plastic film and can’t be recycled. Take a packed lunch to work or on trips, instead of buying takeaways or packaged supermarket sandwiches, etc.


  • Use Cloth Napkins and Towels: Replace paper napkins and paper towels with cloth alternatives that can be washed and reused.


  • Choose Personal Care Items Wisely: Opt for personal care products that use minimal or no plastic packaging. Look for bar soaps, solid shampoos, and toothpaste tablets. Avoid cosmetics (especially face and body scrubs) with the ingredients ‘propylene’, ‘micro-fine polyethylene granules’, ‘polyethylene micro-spheres’, ‘polyethylene beads’ or ‘polyethylene’. These are in fact tiny plastic granules.


  • Avoid Single-Use Plastics in Personal Care: Use reusable razors, menstrual cups, and cloth diapers instead of disposable alternatives.


  • Avoid Plastic Wrap: Use beeswax wraps, silicone lids, or containers to store food instead of plastic wrap.

  • Make Your Own Cleaning Products: Create your own cleaning solutions using ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. This reduces the need for plastic-packaged cleaning products.

  • Choose Non-Plastic Packaging: When shopping for items like toiletries or cleaning products, opt for those with packaging made from glass, cardboard, or metal. Use powder detergent in cardboard boxes rather than liquids in plastic bottles.

  • Use clothes made from cotton, wool or other natural materials as much as you can. Synthetic fibres like nylon or polyester are forms of plastic. Each garment releases up to 2,000 microscopic fibres per wash – they’re now even found in the Antarctic. You can reduce this with microfibre filters found online.

  • If it’s a child’s birthday, don’t give out plastic party bags with lots of plastic toys that will soon break and be thrown away. How about just one nice (non-plastic) present like a book? And avoid balloons!

  • When you throw away plastic six pack holders or any other ring-shaped pieces of plastic, cut each loop to ensure animals cannot get trapped in them.

  • Participate in Cleanup Activities: Join local beach or river cleanup events to help remove plastic waste from natural areas.

  • Educate Others: Spread awareness about the negative impact of single-use plastics and encourage friends and family to adopt plastic-free practices.


Remember that transitioning away from single-use plastics is a gradual process, and every small effort makes a difference. By making mindful choices and encouraging others to do the same, you contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment for everyone.

If you want to do even more….

  • Write to supermarkets or product manufacturers to complain about unnecessary and excessive plastic packaging.

  • Write to the your government to introduce more regulations on products containing plastics and their packaging.

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