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20 Changes You Can Make To Go Plastic Free

6 minute read
20 Changes You Can Make To Go Plastic Free

Published at 11:02am 27th February 2019. (Updated at 9:09am 28th March 2019)

Throughout the month of March, Eagle Radio has teamed up with Guildford's Chambers Recycling to show you how to you can make a difference and get your family to go greener. 


Breakfast Bev from the Peter Gordon Breakfast Show will be trying out these tips throughout the month and seeing how easy (or difficult!) it is to cut down on her family's plastic use. 


1) Bags - Use reusable shopping bags such as a backpack or canvas tote bag (much more stylish than a plastic bag!) when packing items at the till. Simply pop a few in your car boot so they're always on hand for the weekly shop, and fold a tote in your handbag so you're never without one! 

2) Fruit & Veg – Buy your fruit and veg loose rather than in pre-packaged plastic. Take net or paper bags along to put them in, or leave them loose in the trolley to avoid plastic produce bags. It can be cheaper too as you’ll only be buying what you need, which also reduces waste!


3) Bread – Buying fresh bread from a local bakery, or the bakery section of the supermarket, is not only much tastier than a loaf of pre-sliced, but you’ll also be helping the environment too - double win! Just use a paper bag or pop it in your own cloth bag to avoid single-use plastic packaging.

4) Meat - Going to the local butcher or the butcher section of the supermarket with your own container in hand will effortlessly reduce your weekly plastic usage. You’ll avoid plastic wrapping, and the butcher can deduct the weight of the container, so you’re still just paying for the weight of the meat. Genius! You can also conveniently do this at the deli or cheese counter.

5) Food shopping – Check if there are plastic-free alternatives for the product(s) you’re after, and if not, grab the option with the least plastic packaging. Simple!

6) Snacks - Make or prepare your own snacks (such as fruit, veg sticks or nuts), to avoid plastic-packaged food. Pop them in some brightly coloured Tupperware, and you’ve got an appealing and eco-friendly snack.

7) Lunch – Use reusable stainless-steel containers, tupperware, or cloth bags to carry lunch to school or work. Easy Peasy.

8) Cling film – Forget the plastic cling wrap and replace it with natural beeswax coated cloth wraps. They’re cheaper in the long term, plus they come in lots of funky designs!


 9) Shop Zero Waste – Ask Alexa whether there is a zero-waste shop near you! Take along a few containers, glass jars, and reusable bags, and refill on dried kitchen foods like rice, pasta, cereal, spices and more, without harming the environment. They also offer plastic-free alternatives for everyday bathroom essentials, from toothbrushes and cotton buds, to deodorant and soap. Liquid refills include shampoo, shower gel, handwash, washing up liquid & fabric conditioner. Staff weigh your container so you’re just paying for the refill product, which can work out as more cost effective as you aren’t paying for packaging. Zero waste stores in Surrey include Keep in Farnham, and Greenwise in Fetcham.

10) Farmer's market – Support your local farmers market and grab some delicious, fresh local produce. Bring your reusable bags or containers, and you’ll be totally plastic free!


11) Water – Rather than buying water in a plastic bottle, try investing in a reusable stainless-steel bottle. There plenty available from supermarkets and online at very affordable prices, plus they keep water cooler for longer. Just like tote bags, they also come in loads of fun colours and designs - much more enjoyable than drinking out of a boring plastic one!

12) Coffee to go – Why not use a reusable coffee mug or flask for hot drinks whilst out and about? Lots of coffee shops offer discounts or rewards for using a reusable cup instead of a single-use one.  If you forget your travel mug, ask for the cup without a lid, or use it as an excuse to have a relax and drink it inside with a proper mug!

13) Milk – Having milk delivered to your door the ‘old fashioned’ way in returnable glass bottles is making a comeback!  Check if your local area has a milkman delivery service, which is much friendlier (and easier) than using plastic bottles or plastic-coated cardboard.

14) Drinking straws – Ask not to have a plastic drinking straw at the pub, or bring your own metal straw! You can get handy foldable ones online which fit inside a pouch for your handbag or keys.

15) Soap – Reach for a bar of soap instead of liquid hand soap – it cleans and refreshes just as well, smells just as good, and is also cheaper which saves you money! It’s a no-brainer.

16) Shampoo – Take a look for plastic-free alternatives such as a solid shampoo bar or shampoo cubes. Organic cosmetics stores stock some absolutely delicious smelling ones which last longer than single bottles, and they lather just as well too!

17) Toothbrush – Replace a plastic toothbrush with a bamboo one. It’s such a simple change, yet makes a big difference to our oceans.

18) Washing –Use powdered dishwasher detergent from a cardboard box, rather than pods or tablets with plastic wrapping or from a plastic tub.

19) Gifts – Wrap gifts using paper tape (washi tape) rather than plastic tape, and use brown paper instead of wrapping paper. Paper tape also comes in different colours and patterns!

20) Fix it – Try to repair plastic items when they break instead of buying a new replacement – there’s bound to be a YouTube tutorial showing you how! If you’re having trouble or are limited for time, look into if your area has a local repair café.


Bonus Tips: 

- Limit convenience foods - All frozen foods use plastic. The more we can limit our consumption of frozen convenience foods, the less plastic waste we will generate!

- Beauty Items - Go for lotions in glass or metal containers, instead of plastic. 

- Jars - Save glass jars and bottles and reuse them for storing leftovers, or for buying food from a zero-waste refill shop. 


Feeling inspired?Check out the rest of Eagle Radio's Green Month here.