14 easy ways to use less plastic

Written by Madiy Warner

There are so many reusable products now on the market but it can be hard to know where to start so the below list should hopefully be a good guide!

Lifestyle:

Reusable cup – this is something that I’m sure everyone has by now but it is one of the easiest ways of swapping out for a plastic alternative, and lots of places give money off or extra rewards for this.

Reusable straws – metal straws seem to be popular but I am not a fan of that metal taste so instead, I use bamboo straws as these work just as well.

Fruit and veg markets – as well as supporting the local community, shopping and market stalls for fruit and vegetables often means not using as much plastic. 

Teabags – teabags can be deceiving as they look like they may be recyclable but they actually contain micro plastics so swapping to loose leaf is an easy and rewarding option. 

Refillable containers – Waitrose really stepped up with lots of stores now offering refill stations for customers to fill up tubs of everything from pasta to coffee, and other stores are now beginning to follow suit meaning that there are lots of options for food without packaging. 

Bags – easy and obvious but always having at least one bag with you means you are unlikely ever to need to buy one when shopping.

Personal Care:

No more sheet masks – they are single use products made from plastic packaging with a mask inside that’s usually made from nylon or polyester. There are plenty of alternatives including using sheet masks made from biodegradable materials if you are really fond of them, or masks that come in a pot (ideally glass) as you get multiple uses rather than just one.

Wet wipes – most people now know that these are not great for the environment, but they are also pretty bad for your skin, too. So rather than swapping for a biodegradable pack, stop using them altogether and go for a cream, gel or oil based cleanser as these are much better for your skin and the planet.

Sequins and glitter – they used to be made out of metal but now are often made out of PVC making them non-biodegradable. It is worth looking for sustainable options such as The Sustainable Sequin Company that use recycled plastic to make their sequins. 

Skincare and haircare – Lush are the obvious choice here because of their naked range which now include an array of products such as: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, massage bars, body butter, body scrub, shower oil, shower bombs (what?!), henna hair colour, facial oils, cleansing balms, toner tabs and deodorant. They are really making it more accessible as well as opening completely plastic free stores, they are setting the standard for how it should be done.

Razors – using a razor with replaceable blades can seem more costly but works out more affordable over time and is much better for the environment than disposable ones.

Bamboo toothbrushes – not much more expensive than plastic makes them quite an easy switch but make sure you pay attention to the packaging as there are some bamboo toothbrushes that come in plastic outer packaging!

Periods – not one that everyone is happy to change but opting for a menstrual cup or reusable underwear is much better for the environment as well as much more affordable in the long-term.

Microfibre face cloth – (or flannel) rather than cotton pads or wipes, these are gentle at taking your makeup off and can easily be thrown in the wash. Primark do some great, affordable microfibre cloths but they are often hard to find so grab them if you can!