8 Ways to Reduce Plastic Usage
Here at DDRC we are making changes to be as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. We are all more aware than ever of the environmental issues, such as plastic pollution, that face our generation; so much so that it can seem like an impossible uphill battle. Small transformations in our habits and behaviours can really make huge differences, so here are some really quick and easy wins that can get you reducing your single-use plastic consumption straight away!
1. Buy loose fruit and vegetables
Supermarkets often have packaging free options for fruit and veg alongside the products in plastic bags. Choosing non-packaged options not only reduces the amount of plastic packaging you take home, but also encourages supermarkets to offer fewer packaged products based on customer spending habits. Buying the exact amount of fruit and veg you need can also save you some money!
2. Switch to an old-fashioned safety razor
Razors and razor blade heads are almost entirely made from plastic, and those that aren’t come in with a hefty price tag. Safety razors are entirely made from metal, as are the razor blades (which are usually packaged in paper). A replacement razor blade will cost you roughly £0.20 – compared to a regular plastic razor replacement head which cost on average £2 per blade! So, in addition to cutting out the plastic from your shaving routine you can also save yourself a bit of money too. If you do make this swap, just make sure to dispose of the razor blades safely and securely.
3. Say no to straws
Remember to ask for your drinks without a straw when ordering out and about – or check if they use paper straws as an alternative. If you prefer to use straws, consider purchasing a straw made from a sustainable material to carry with you, for example metal or bamboo.
4. Switch to solid toiletries
Many regular toiletry items can be found in solid, packaging free forms. Hand soap being the obvious, however many shops sell solid versions of shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and even toothpaste! Not only do solid toiletries save on packaging – you can take them in your hand luggage without worrying about the 100ml limit.
5. Refillable water bottle
It takes three times the amount of water to manufacture one bottle of water, than it does to fill it. Plastic water bottles rarely reach the recycling plant, and they cannot be re-used due to worries about safety. It takes over 450 years for a plastic bottle to breakdown (and even then the microplastic particles cause problems!) so switching to a refillable water bottle will not only save you money, but means that there is one less bottle polluting our environment each time you use it!
6. Buy boxes, not bottles
Many products that normally come in bottles can also be found in box form – think clothes washing powder and dish washing tabs. Cardboard boxes are far easier to recycle than plastic bottles, and often the product goes further than the liquid form. Some cleaning products can also now be bought as a tablet that you add to a re-usable spray bottle of water.
7. Reusable coffee cup
In the UK we use over 7 million disposable coffee cups every single day. If you enjoy grabbing a takeaway coffee on your morning commute, then consider taking your own reusable coffee mug with you – most cafés will offer a discounted price as well. Bonus points if you make the coffee yourself at home, and then compost the coffee grounds!
8. Find a local milk man
Support your local community and buy your milk direct from the farmer. Not only are they usually supplied in glass bottles, which helps the milk keep for longer, but you’ll also be reducing the carbon footprint of your weekly shop and helping to support local farmers. Glass milk bottles can be re-used about 25 times before they are recycled, and the process is much simpler and cheaper than recycling plastic – which often isn’t done anyway.