Reducing Your Plastic Use and Saving Money
  • Refuse a single-use plastic bag and take your own.
  • Take a reusable coffee cup when you go out and refuse single-use take away cups.
  • Take a refillable water bottle when you go out. You can look up on the Refill App (www.refill.org.uk) to see where you can refill your water bottle.
  • Take your own cutlery or use sustainable alternatives in your packed lunches.
  • Buy loose fruit and vegetables and either don’t use a bag, reuse your own small bag or use a paper mushroom bag for smaller items.
  • Try to look for second hand options first. Search on auction or selling sites before you buy new.
Refuse Plastic Where It Provides No Benefit
  • Say no thanks to straws.
  • Refuse single-use condiment sachets.
  • Recycling is preferable to landfilling but usually about 15% of what goes for recycling still gets thrown away due to contamination and the process uses energy. Plastic can only be recycled a few times before it will ultimately end up in landfill, as litter or in the sea. So try to avoid goods with excessive packaging altogether.
  • Take your Tupperware or container to the meat, fish and deli counter and ask them to put it straight in without a plastic bag.
  • A small bottle of water and some cotton wool and tissues can replace wet wipes during a nappy change and for washing hands and faces just use a flannel.
Switch To Plastic Free Alternatives
  • Have your milk / orange delivered in glass bottles. For example, Marlow Dairies supply milk and orange in glass bottles locally.
  • Switch to refillable cleaning products. For example, Fairhaven provide Ecover refills locally.
  • Avoid single-use plastics in the bathroom, for example, use bars of soap rather than liquid soap in a plastic bottle.
  • Replace disposable items, for example swap disposable razors for a steel safety razor.
  • Swap plastic tooth brushes for bamboo compostable ones.
  • Choose metal, cardboard, glass packaging over plastic which are easily recycled. For example, Barrilla pasta or ‘Who Gives a Crap’ toilet rolls.
  • See if you have a refill shop or zero waste shop to refill your containers with products like pasta, rice, nuts, seeds, and spices. Look at the Zero Waste App to find good places to shop to avoid packaging (www.zerowasteapp.io).
  • Try using reusable nappies, North Herts re-usable nappy free starter kit is worth £100 and boots and Waitrose sell nappy liners. Suppliers of reusable nappies TTL members have used are The Nappy Lady and Babipur. The North Herts Nappy Library are teaming up with Bamboo Turtle to hold regular nappy chat sessions at their shop, they have kits with a range of nappies that parents can try at home to find the style and fit that’s best for their little ones.
  • Try to use reusable boxes with lids instead of plastic food bags and clingfilm. You could purchase or make cloth alternatives, e.g. beeswax food wraps and or a reusable snack bag.
Join the Plastic Free Conversation
  • The Plastic Free Fantastic facebook page is a place for sharing tips with 100’s of others on going plastic free in the UK.
  • Twitter sites that you could follow are @trashisfortossers and @plasticfreemermaid.
  • If you see plastic being used unnecessarily let the shop staff know you’d prefer less or no plastic. More often or not they just need one person to bring it to their attention to change what they are doing.
  • When making internet purchases add something to the comments such as “I would like packaging to be minimal, plastic free and 100% recyclable.” and support internet shops that supply their goods without plastic packaging.