It’s no secret that we all consume a large amount of plastic – a lot of which is single-use. Although convenient and readily-available, this reliance on plastic is harmful to our land, plants and wildlife. A 2016 study found that 32% of the 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced every year goes into our oceans; the equivalent of pouring one rubbish truck of plastic into the ocean every minute. We can all do our bit to reduce the amount of plastic we use and throw away, just by changing a few habits - here are 9 easy tips to use less plastic.

 

Use reusable straws

Did you know that half a billion straws are used every day around the world? Refuse them altogether or swap disposable plastic for stainless steel or bamboo straws that can be washed and re-used instead.

 

Use reusable grocery bags

Approximately one trillion single-use grocery bags are used around the globe every year (that’s almost two million every minute). Invest in sturdy, non-plastic bags to hold your shopping that you’ll use again and again. 

 

Lemons in string grocery bag

 

Take your own containers

Do you buy take-away lunch at work, university or when you’re out and about? Take your own stainless-steel container with you and ask them to use that instead of the disposable containers cafes tend to use.

 

Say no to disposable coffee cups

It seems we’re a world obsessed with coffee – we use 16 billion disposable coffee cups each year. But they’re coated with plastic to laminate the inside, which means they can’t be recycled, plus they all come with plastic lids. Buy a reusable cup that you can keep in your bag or on your desk for whenever you need it.

 

Reusable coffee cup next to pot of coffee

 

Buy a reusable bottle

Plastic bottles play a huge part in our overall plastic waste, with more than 480 billion plastic bottles sold worldwide in 2016. Cut down on your contribution by buying a reusable glass or stainless-steel bottle you can refill.

 

Use beeswax food wraps

Do you use cling film to cover your leftovers? Once used, it goes straight to landfill. Beeswax wraps make a great alternative – they’re easily mouldable meaning you can use them on different bowls and jars and can be rinsed clean and used again. Good Housekeeping has a good DIY to make your own beeswax wraps.

 

Find your nearest bulk food store

Ever walk into a supermarket and feel overwhelmed by all the plastic packaging used to store food? Find a store that sells loose fruit and vegetables, or a bulk food store that allows you to take your own containers to stock up on dried goods like grains, pasta, nuts and seeds.

 

Choose plastic-free chewing gum

Synthetic plastic is used to create chewing gum, which is what makes it so ‘chewy’. It’s also water-insoluble, making it difficult to break down – bad news for our environment (and bad news for those who use it on a regular basis). Try swapping to a plastic-free chewing gum to reduce your plastic waste.

 

Swap your plastic toothbrush

According to HuffPost UK, it can take hundreds of years for a plastic toothbrush to break down – so imagine how much plastic we’re adding to the environment if we all change our toothbrush every few months? Seek out an alternative, like a bamboo toothbrush, which takes around six months to fully compost. 

 

Two bamboo toothbrushes in glass jar

 

At Jurlique, we’re committed to doing our bit for the environment too. Discover how by reading about our sustainability initiatives.