Plastic Challenge – My Tips To Ditch Plastic

Challenge single use plastic with the MCS and #plasticchallenge

If you haven’t realised, talk of plastic pollution has been a pretty well talked about topic. And it’s no surprise really when you consider that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. Also, 70% of fish in the River Thames¹ and 90% of seabirds² have plastic in their gut! That’s scary, right? Our throwaway society is killing marine wildlife and we can all make small changes to help make a difference.

For June, the Marine Conservation Society are running a campaign called #PlasticChallenge in which they are encouraging people to ditch single use plastics.

Plastic Challenge – My Tips To Ditch Plastic

I have written multiple posts on ways to be a little greener, but another couple of tips can’t hurt. Here are a few easy and simple ways to ditch single use plastics that I feel most people can do:

Coffee Cups – did you know here in the UK we throw away 7 MILLION coffee cups per day! Yes you read that right. So, how can you stop contributing to this staggering figure?

  • Reusable Coffee Cups & Flasks – Taking a reusable flask or coffee cup out with you is really not a hassle at all. They’re pretty light weight and there’s something for all budgets. I really love using my Klean Kanteen stainless steel flask as it’s multi-use since I use it to take water out with me. And if I want a coffee, then I pour the water into a flower bed and use it for a coffee. If you’re on a budget, check out Glogg bottles.

Straws – you’ve all seen the video with the turtle that had a straw lodged in its nose? That was heartbreaking to watch. I see straws littered everywhere. In town, on the beach and divers have found them on the sea floor during scuba dives. They cannot be recycled and can’t be returned to the earth. What’s the solution?

  • Stainless Steel, Glass & Bamboo Straws – not only are they better for our planet but I find them much more pleasant to use. I always found that plastic would cut the roof of my mouth. This doesn’t happen with my stainless straws. They’re easy to clean with a little straw cleaning brush, and some come in a bigger diameter to accommodate smoothies and iced drinks. I take keep 3 packed in my bag wrapped in a cotton muslin. But you can buy special sleeves if you wish.

Carrier & Food Bags – These often blow out to sea and get eaten by fish and whales. Although it’s reported the the use of plastic carrier bags has dropped by 85% since the 5p charge was introduced³, people still use them a lot. Not to mention the food/sandwich bags are used on a daily basis by many people who take lunch to work or school. Let’s look at some reusable options:

  • Reusable carrier bags are very sturdy and some even fold up into little pouches. When we go food shopping, we grab one reusable bag that has all of our bags in which means we’re never short. We each also keep a fold up bag in our handbag/backpacks for if we ever need one. Which, on many occassions we have. This way you can be sure you’ll always be prepared.
  • Stainless steel food containers/tins are great for storing food. Whether it be leftovers, a sarnie or a chopped fruit. The stainless steel containers can hold pretty much anything. Great for picnics and you could even ask for takeaway food to be put into them. I really love Elephant box as they’ve got a super versatile range.
  • Fabric/Beeswax food wraps are a perfect replacement for sandwich bags. You can get cotton pouches which seal closed with a bit of velcro and even wraps treated with beeswax that are like a reusable clingfilm. There are even vegan versions available.

I know these are only 3 tips but honestly, they’ll make such a difference. Plus, I personally feel they’re pretty easy to work into lifestyles. Even for me as a disabled and chronically ill person. If you sign up to be a member with the MCS, you can get a FREE kit to help you get started which include a KeepCup, reusable flask, organic cotton shopping bag and more.

What tips do you have for others taking on the #PlasticChallenge?

If you decide you’d like to purchase any of the things I’ve linked, then hop over to my discounts page to see if there’s a code for the store you want to make a purchase at.

 

Sources:

  1. Hubbub – FFS Don’t Drop Litter
  2. BBC News – Seabirds Blighted By Plastic Waste
  3. The Guardian – Plastic Bag Useage Drops 85%

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12 Comments

  1. Claire K
    5th June 2017 / 7:47 am

    Love this post as it was discussed at the weekend with family. Great tips for sharing.

  2. Heather Link
    8th June 2017 / 4:20 am

    Great tips! Thank you.

  3. 8th June 2017 / 4:16 pm

    I reuse plastic bags as much as possible and I also look out for food with less packaging. If i buy fruit and veg I try not to take a plastic bag to put it in.

  4. 8th June 2017 / 7:35 pm

    These are fantastic tips – I am really going to put them into practice, thank you for sharing. Those statistics are scary. Kaz

  5. 8th June 2017 / 7:58 pm

    My little girl uses straws often, but I had completely forgot about that turtle video. It was horrific and so upsetting. I will DEFINITELY be looking into getting some stainless steel straws, they sound fantastic.

    Reading on, these are such fantastic tips. I’ve just ordered some straws and food wrap! Thank you!

  6. 8th June 2017 / 8:43 pm

    I have slipped back into the habit of buying plastic bags when I’m food shopping which is really annoying me. I need to try harder to remember the reuseable bags I have.

  7. 8th June 2017 / 9:35 pm

    I like the idea of bringing flasks with you because it does worry me how much we waste when we order food or drink.

  8. 9th June 2017 / 9:36 pm

    I have always thought that the re usable coffee cups that you can get from coffee shops are a great idea. I do love anything that helps the environment.

  9. 11th June 2017 / 3:11 pm

    These are fantastic tips! I am trying my best to avoid using plastic. Thanks for sharing.

  10. 14th June 2017 / 1:27 pm

    I think this is SO important! I think the switch over from people using so many carrier bags to using bags for life since the 5p charge is amazing! I feel the government should implement more measures like this to push people into incorporating into their every day life. That poor turtle video, my heart broke! 🙁

  11. christy b
    15th June 2017 / 10:45 am

    small changes can make a big impact.
    I was actually thinking last night how one small change in your life can make such a difference. not totally plastic….but since switching to csp and a cup my bathroom bin is almost empty. In fact, I emptied it last night and there was nothing but toilet roll tubes… with disposables, I would have to empty twice during my cycle…. but now I can leave it a whole month or 2 before emptying because it’s all just card. so yeah….one small change made a big difference… and its not like its made my life more difficult….in fact its easier because I don’t need to empty the in as much lol.

    I can’t remember the last time I bought a carrier bag…. I used a canvas tote long before the 5p charge….they’re so much more sturdy than the plastic carriers, I won a few bottles of wine at a summer fayre and carried them all in the same bag…had it been plastic it would have torn and just been thrown away.

  12. 17th June 2017 / 6:56 am

    I was literally wondering the other day if there was a better alternative to plastic straws, we don’t use them very often but they annoy me! I will check out your recommendations.

    I always hated the plastic drinks bottles that are everywhere for kids too, not only are they obviously not a green choice, they never last! I can totally recommend the stainless steel bottles from One Green Bottle – we’ve all had one for over a year now and they’re great 🙂