10 easy ways to reduce plastic waste

10 easy ways to reduce plastic waste

10 easy ways to reduce plastic waste in collaboration with Behaviour Change Cornwall

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog. Todays post is all about 10 easy ways to reduce plastic waste in celebration of plastic free July. In this blog post I have collaborated with Behaviour Change Cornwall who are an independent research project aiming to give individuals, businesses and organisations the insights to promote pro-environmental behaviour change in Cornwall. 

 

1. Carry a reusable bottle – stop buying water

I know we have all heard this one before but it is something that is truly so easy to cut out! Billions of plastic bottles wash up on our shore every year – each one poses a lasting threat to wildlife. On top each bottle you buy is costing you 1000 times what it costs to drink tap water. 

Don’t like the taste of tap water? Try adding a slice of lemon or lime. Behaviour Change Cornwall and I recommend a swell bottles. S’well is not the cheapest bottles on the market but they act as an insulated flask keeping water cold or tea hot on days out. They are also very pretty you won’t want to leave it at home. I will leave links* to my favourite below.

behaviour change cornwall
swell reusable bottle in rock pool in cornwall
reusable cotton bud under running tap

2. Ditch Cotton Buds

No one is in love with cotton buds – they are ear-infection-causing throwaway clutter. Most consider them a necessity for hygiene and make-up application without an alternative. Well actually there is a fantastic alternative in the LastSwab* – reusable, hardy and cheaper overtime. Beautifully and sustainably made they will save you buying and wasting thousands of cotton buds.

3. Reusable cotton pads

Along the same lines why not try out some reusable cotton pads.* They are all I have used for over a year now and work wonderfully. Instead of having to buy cotton pads in bulk from places like Primark which would cost me money to drive to and then would also end up with me getting sucked into the world of fast fashion. I have made a one off purchase of these ones from Phogary* on Amazon. Good for my pocket and for the environment.
vintage levi jeans bought on ebay secondhand to reduce waste

3. Buy Used Stuff

New used to be the default choice but, many these days have realised they can save money, save the planet and find cooler stuff secondhand. Using old items stops them becoming waste and stops the production of new ones, plus used items are much more often packaging free.

I just recently bought a pair of Levi jeans from ebay and I am over the moon with them. They fit perfectly, look great and only cost me a fraction of the price. Not to mention I found a fiver in the pocket and an old deutschen note. I wonder what stories those jeans have to tell! 

I will leave a link to the seller here.

4. Buy in Bulk

Tiny crisp-packets, individually wrapped sweets and tiny pots of yoghurt are some of the most common finds in the sea. Buying bigger and splitting in containers saves so much unnecessary packaging and money. Plus it is far more rewarding when you do dig into your favourite foods. 

I buy in bulk often on amazon, my favourites are Nakd bars as for me they are healthier alternative to my chocolate bar addiction! Buying in bulk on Amazon also means I get the bars for 50% cheaper than I would in any shop and they do mix cases so you can sample every flavour and find your favourites!

5. Avoid Microbeads

So much make-up and beauty products from body-wash to  facial scrubs have tiny microbeads of plastic in them. Whilst many brands are removing them. You’ll often find them in the weirdest of products, most worrying of all in toothpaste! Eww.

6. Eat with your hands – or carry a spork

Carrying a spork is a cool way to save the planet. Plastic Cutlery is used on average for 2 minutes and them becomes another piece of waste. The “biodegradable” pieces of cutlery still last 10 years before disappearing! So please say no.  Instead bring your own.

There are some very beautiful cutlery sets on the market at the moment. I don’t own any as of yet as I just a bring a metal fork from the kitchen on the go with me. However, when I do feel the need to invest in one I will let you know how I will get on.

plastic bag in ocean

7. Buy a bag – or don’t use one

Plastic bags are marine nightmares! Hanging in the currents of the ocean for years until an unfortunate seabirds, fish and turtles mistake them for prey. Plastic bags are totally unnecessary and with a penchant for breaking and becoming useless after one use. Plastic bags never should have existed. 

Help end their existence by buying a reusable carrier or just not using a bag at all. In Lidl you can use old boxes for carriers.

8. Get some biodegradable glitter

Ever found glitter on yourself at the most random time? Yeah that stuff gets everywhere, including the ocean. This pre-made throwaway micro-plastic is immediately eaten up buy small fish and plankton, which is eaten by bigger fish and eventually us. Instead of contributing to this shiny sparkly extinction-event use awesome biodegradable glitter*.

biodegradable-glitter-easy-ways-to-reduce-plastic
cork is an easy way to reduce plastic waste

10. Be a sophisticated drinker

Whats better that popping a cork on some bubbly or a fine wine? Not much and especially not a plastic screw top. Bottle lids are one of the most common beach finds and one of the most lethal long-lasting choking threats for wildlife and our beloved dogs. Buying drinks with traditional cork stoppers is a great alternative, so feel good when you hear that pop.

Here is an awesome site that recycles corks into new things. If you are local to Cornwall you could also take a trip to the Eden Project to find some call recycled cork items.

Summary

I hope you enjoyed this blog post on 10 easy ways to reduce plastic waste. These 10 prompts are all things that you are probably already doing or can be implemented really really easily. I think the main take away for me it just to be mindful of what I am consuming and to think of the greater impacts of those items.

Many thanks again to Behaviour Change Cornwall for inspiring me and helping to write this blog post to make this post on 10 easy ways to reduce plastic waste . You can check out their amazingly curated and insightful instagram page here.

Lots of love, Melissa x

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