Carry a re-usable water bottle
An increasing number of councils are installing water fountains, plus you can look for shops that offer a ‘water refill’ point – download the app at refill.org.uk. This resource may become even more valuable later this year if the deposit on single-use plastic bottles and aluminium cans, currently under discussion, is introduced.
Keep a knife and fork in your bag
Buy a spare set from a charity shop, and wrap them in a linen napkin to keep them clean – thus avoiding disposable plastic cutlery.
Put bags everywhere!
Never part with 5p for a plastic bag again by putting reusable bags in your car, handbag and by the front door. If you’re using a plastic ‘bag for life’, remember to recycle it at the stations inside supermarkets when it is no longer fit for purpose.
Opt to eat in at a café rather than grabbing food (with its inevitable packaging) on the go – the break from your desk is good for your mental health, too. Ordering a takeaway at the weekend? Make a table reservation instead.
Buy in bulk
Unless you live near a bulk store, where you can take your own jars to fill with basics such as pasta and rice, it’s very difficult to buy certain items without plastic packaging. Buying fewer large packets of these essentials uses less plastic than lots of smaller ones. It saves money, too.
Use loose-leaf tea
Many teabags are made with a plastic sealant. Loose-leaf tea avoids this problem altogether (monteas.co.uk delivers with no plastic packaging, too), but if you’re a fan of teabags, then PG Tips has recently started selling pyramid teabags made from plantbased materials. All Tea Pigs tea temples are made with cornstarch (teapigs.co.uk).
Join the growing number of #2minutebeachclean volunteers
Turn your regular dog walk or Sunday stroll into a way of cleaning up the plastic litter that already exists. There are numerous points around the coast (visit beachclean.net for a map) that have litter pickers you can borrow. And remember, it’s not just beaches – plastic litter threatens wildlife in rivers and the countryside, too. If you’re feeling more energetic, the Scandinavian trend of ‘plogging’ (picking litter while jogging) is gaining in popularity, too.