11 Ways to Reduce Plastic

I think we’ve all seen the images that have gone viral lately of the colossal amounts of plastic in the sea. It’s so disgusting to see and it’s heartbreaking to see so many sea creatures caught up in the mess that we have all contributed to. I wanted to put a quick blog post together to possibly encourage anyone reading it to remember to either recycle, or try to cut down on the amount of plastic that they go through. 

10 Ways to Reduce Plastic

Without further adieu…

1 – Reusable Straws – Whenever I use a straw now, it’s one of the metal ones that Bord na Mona kindly sent to me a few weeks ago. I love them so much. Straws are a huge contributing factor to the amount of plastic waste there is. I read somewhere that it is claimed that 8.5 billion plastic straws are used annually in the UK. Of course, it’s impossible to know the exact number – but if that number is even a guesstimation, then that’s crazy! I’m making myself a promise to start refusing straws when at a bar on a night out or in a restaurant – whenever I remember.

2 – Loose Veg – It’s such a shame to see so many organic veggies wrapped in plastic in supermarket. Where possible, try and purchase loose fruit and vegetables.

3 – Frozen Food – A huge amount of frozen food is sold in plastic. It is unavoidable sometimes which is just unfortunate. Where possible, try and purchase frozen food that is sold in cardboard packaging.

4 – Reuse Plastic Containers – I do think that people are really good for this, but we always make sure to reuse old takeaway boxes for storing homemade foods in. It definitely takes some of the guilt away from a dirty chinese and saves majorly on clingfilm!

5 – Avoid Plastic Bottles – I’m one of those people who constantly has a reusable bottle of water in the car. However, there have been so many instances where I’ve been ran out whilst up in Dublin and had to cave and buy a plastic bottle. I hate doing it! I’ve opted for two bottles lately – but I think I will eventually just get myself one of those 3 litre bottles to keep in the car.

6 – Avoid Gum – I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on ways to reduce plastic and I keep seeing over and over to cut out chewing gum. I’ve tried to cut down myself, but unfortunately when I work out my ears get totally blocked for whatever reason. The only way I can stop this is by chewing gum. If anyone has any other suggestions for me if you experience this too – please let me know!

7 – Reusable Shopping Bags – I’m notorious for forgetting my reusable bag when I’m out and about shopping. I genuinely feel too guilty to buy a plastic bag though, so I’ve literally got about 40 reusable bags to my name…if anyone needs one – hit me up!

8 – Plastic Cutlery – Leave metal cutlery at your desk or in your car if you’re someone that eats ready meals regularly. You probably go through more plastic cutlery than you think!

9 – Cosmetic Products – Some exfoliators contain micro beads which are really harmful to the environment because they are impossible to gather and recycle because they are so tiny. I’m going to try and make my own homemade exfoliators at some point so if I think that they’re worth sharing, I’ll definitely do a blog post on it.

10 – Buy in Bulk – Order online in bulk to reduce on packaging materials. Some brands, like Zara for example, are great for sending orders in recycled cardboard and other paper materials. Others however, are notorious for sending massive amounts of unnecessary plastic. Acknowledge the brands that are making an effort to be a little greener, and shop there where possible.

11 – Keepcups – These are a great way to cut out disposable coffee cups & their plastic lids and I can honestly say I haven’t used one since I got mine. So many cafes are more than happy to make you a coffee to-go in your own cup.

Anyway, I hope you found this post helpful and insightful. Hopefully you might think twice before purchasing something with plastic, and acknowledge the brands out there that are making an effort to be more environmentally friendly. It’s not easy, and I’m certainly not there yet myself – but if we all pull our weight then it will definitely be worth while.

Niamh xx

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