Sadly all the plastic that has ever been created in the world is still in existence. Most will take thousands of years to fully decompose and is having a disastrous effect on the environment
These swaps are not only are good for the planet but they also are better than the plastic alternatives – so its a win all round! Even recycling plastic does not mitigate the problem as it’soften shipped around the world and lots of energy is taken up with recycling. It’s far better to just avoid plastic where you can.
Reusable Coffee Pods
The inventor of the now popular coffee pod machines now regrets it due to the huge amount of waste they produce. Some now claim to be recycled but there are rumours that this is just a PR. The combination of several different types of plastic is expensive to recycle so ones consumers think are being recycled may be sent to landfill.
By using reusable coffee pods you save about 85% and have virtually unlimited coffee choice. They are quick to wash up and the remains can be used as compost.
The plastic bottles that most fizzy water is in are said to leach chemicals into the water and it’s undeniably very wasteful transporting such a heavy product.
You can make your own at home either using an old-fashioned soda syphon on a soda device. It’s fun using these devices and it costs a fraction.
Did you know that most tea bags contain a small amount of plastic? Unfortunately, this is true as it’s used to seal the bags on most teas. This causes problems as they can’t be composted without leaving behind microplastic.
Either choose loose tea or one of the few premium brands that don’t contain plastic. The tea bag in the photo above doesn’t have a seal line so is most probably plastic free. But most mass-produced brands at the time of writing (March 2018) do use plastic.
Instead of using the plastic bags that supermarkets provide buy your own set of produce bags. They are usually a fine mesh that allows fruit and veg to breathe so lasts longer. They are often colour coded or with labels so help with organising.
The drawstrings are convenient to use and you can wash the produce while in the bags. Often I get people ask me about my bags while shopping so it helps to spread change just by using them!
Glass and Metal Straws
Plastic straws aren’t just wasteful they also taint the taste of the drink. You can replace them with either glass or metal.
I have had a set of metal straws that are still as good as new even after 6 years. Just a quick rinse and pushing a pipe cleaner through keeps them in perfect condition. Great to always carry on you! Some places for some odd reason add several straws in a drink so always say no straw when ordering just to make sure.
Never worry about finding the end again of plastic wrap/clingfilm once you switch to wax wraps! Easier to use and seal just as well. They last for about a year and can be composted after. Often made of organic cotton and wax. Some brands use (sustainably sourced) beeswax so if you are vegan make sure to get the soy wax versions.
For reheating food just put a plate on top or get a reusable splatter lid.
A reusable is easier to hold, retains the heat better and is less likely to leak so its a no-brainer. Choose one that suits how you like to drink your coffee and always keep it on you.
Reusable snack and sandwich bags not only look great but they have a far better zipper and take seconds to clean.
I like to use an organic hemp shopping bag for my shopping. It just needs a wipeout once a month and is far far stronger than any plastic bag and much more comfortable to hold.