From plastic shopping bags to water bottles and food packaging to shampoo bottles, plastic pollution is now one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues.
From 1 June, Scotland is banning the production of single-use plastic items, including cutlery, plates, stirrers, and polystyrene food containers and cups. And last November, the UK Government announced plans for a similar ban in England.
To mark this phase out of single-use plastic, we’ve rounded up our nine favourite alternatives to plastic that are better for the environment.
Replace tea bags with tea leaves
Did you know that most tea bags contain plastic? Ditch the bags for loose tea leaves and treat yourself to an infuser or strainer to make your next cuppa better for the environment.
Buy loose fruit and veg
Supermarkets are increasingly selling loose fruit and vegetables to avoid wasteful plastic packaging. If you need a bag, choose a paper or washable cloth one instead.
Use a reusable coffee cup
Around seven million coffee cups are thrown away every day in the UK alone – and less than 1% of these can be recycled. Remember to bring your own cup the next time you need a caffeine fix.
Avoid buying bottled water
Did you know that one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute globally? Help to lower this number by investing in and using a reusable bottle.
Use shampoo and conditioner bars
Several companies now sell a range of bathroom products – from shampoo and conditioner to soap and deodorant – in bars. See if you can ditch the bottle for a bar.
Choose bamboo cutlery
Did you know that plastic straws and stirrers can take up to 200 years to decompose? Choose paper straws or wooden cutlery where possible– or even better, carry your own spork with you!
Buy glass jars and fill them up
Refill shops around the UK allow you to bring your own storage jars and containers to stock up on cupboard essentials like pasta, rice, cereals and nuts.
Bring your own shopping bags
Supermarkets now charge 10p for single-use plastic bags, so why not invest in a few bags for life and bring these with you the next time you head out for groceries?
Switch to foil or beeswax wrapping
Cling film is made from a type of plastic that cannot be recycled. Use foil to cover leftover food or invest in some reusable food coverings made from beeswax to fit all bowl sizes.
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