This is an area I definitely need to improve on so I am definitely not setting myself up as a paragon of virtue here - I have made some changes to my life though, in order to try and reduce the amount of plastic coming into the home so I'm going to share them here. And just to note - bulk buying is a great way of avoiding plastic, especially when you can bring your own containers. Unfortunately it is not an option for my family, due to anaphylactic food allergies and the danger of cross-contamination, so this is why I don't have experience of that - although I do buy the large sizes of washing up liquid and toilet cleaner so that I can refill my smaller bottles, rather than buying new ones.
It's important to say, also, that there is no need to rush out and buy new things. If things you have work well, that's brilliant. The things I'm sharing here are things that I have found to be useful and that aided me in reducing plastic so it was worth it for me. First up are my beeswax wraps - I actually put off buying these for ages because I had mainly just used tupperware containers to store food. However I spotted these in Aldi and thought I would give them a go. They are great for wrapping cheese and things like that and then I needed a large one, (second pic) because I got a breadmaker through my local freecycle and realised that I didn't want to wrap my fresh bread loaves in clingfilm. I got this from Other Mammys on Facebook and it's just perfectly the right size for my bread.
Shampoo and conditioner bars are a good alternative to plastic bottles - I have had mixed results with shampoo bars but I'm going to commit to these for this month anyway. I think it probably depends on your hair type and which brand you are using but it's certainly something to consider.
Other ways to reduce plastic are:
- Grow your own fruit and veg
- Shop at local markets and bring your own tote bags
- Reuse glass jars and bottles for storage
- Bring a reusable water bottle with you to work/on journeys
- Have your reusable coffee cup with you when you are out and about (this has been curtailed since Covid-19 but hopefully coffee shops will return to accepting them soon)
- Have a 'lunch pack' in your desk at work - mine has a cutlery set, a metal straw and a cloth napkin.
- Bring your own containers where possible when purchasing meat/fish/takeways
- Use loose leaf tea as many brand of teabag contain micro plastics