Veg pre-wrapped in plastic at Chrisp street market, E14
1) Reflect on your personal plastic usage.
Most of the plastic we throw away goes straight to landfill and a lot ends up in the environment where it will take forever to decompose :(
The problem starts at home and although the use of plastic is sometimes inevitable and has improved our lives in many ways, not all plastics are useful or necessary and the negative impacts on our health and the planet can't be overlooked.
So the first step to deal with our plastic addiction is to take a hard look at our own plastic consumption and make resolutions to minimise our plastic consumption (it doesn't have to be a new year thing).
Start by auditing your bins, separating and keeping all your plastic waste for a week or use a tracking app like https://www.myplasticdiary.co.uk/ to log in all your plastic.
Here's a supermarket plastic policies league table, click the link to see where your supermarket scores: https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/supermarket-plastic-reduction
2) Refuse everyday single-use plastic
Display a checklist on your wall or fridge to remind yourself to take your reusable essentials before you leave the house. i.e mask, water bottle, reusable coffee cups... Try to say no to plastic cutlery and make your cutlery a regular fixture in your bag, you never know when you might need it! On trips to the supermarket avoid excessive food packaging by getting your fruit and veg loose and placing them in reusable produce bags or plastic bags kept from previous shopping. Did you know that packaging fruit and veg in plastic can actually lead to wilting? Most fruits and veg do not need to be packaged in plastic, their peels and skin are barriers, perfectly designed by nature. A concern when it comes to packaging-free foods stuff is a shortened shelf life however did you know that you can place carrots and herbs in water and strawberries in a glass Tupperware to keep them for longer and cut down on food waste (scroll down to read the country living article on vegetable storage).
Easy swaps to avoid single-use plastic
3) Start swapping for reusables one item at a time - to slowly syphon out your reliance on plastic products, i.e. beeswax instead of clingfilm sandwich bags and even piping bags, bring a reusable water bottle instead of spending well-earned cash on disposable plastic water bottles and remember to bring your beautiful reusable mask to the shops. Make sure you use stuff you already own to minimise your carbon footprint. Visit our Instagram or Facebook page for some easy swaps and eco-tips. Which plastic products do you rely on the most?
4) Reuse plastic containers and bags that you already have, try to recycle or upcycle your plastic. Use plastic bottles as planters in the garden or make a bug hotel from juice cartons.
5) Pick up litter when you see it. It can not only make a tremendous impact on the appearance of your surroundings but also makes it safer for the local wildlife and children.
6) Sign a petition. Signing petitions is an easy painless way of making a difference to the planet and the people who live on it. Here are some great ones related to plastic waste in the UK: https://action.greenpeace.org.uk/l/854853/2021-04-22/qv21z?source=WB&subsource=OCPOPSPEWB01BL&_ga=2.207844818.1931223285.1625172194-1362904047.1622131434 https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/challenges/plastic-pollution/ https://planetpatrol.co/bigbagban/
Some interesting articles to read: