2018 was the year the wider world woke up to the huge problem of plastic waste and pollution. Environmentalists have been talking about the Great Pacific garbage patch for ages, but it was David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II in late 2017 which really drove home the point to most. As a result of the growing concern around plastic waste, there is now European legislation in the works, which will effectively ban common single-use plastic products by 2025.
But I still often hear many people still feel unsure about how they can contribute in the meantime, and 2025 is a long way away anyway. For me, it’s not about eliminating every single bit of plastic from our homes or lives. Rather, it’s about starting where you can. It’s about taking one or a handful of items you frequently use, for example, and seeing if there is a way to go plastic free.
So, to kick off this blog, which I would like to call the Good Interiors Co. bulletin, I’m sharing three simple ways to reduce plastic in your homes and daily lives.
1. Buy bulk.
Zero waste and plastic free independent shops need your support and can really help you lower your plastic footprint. They will have bulk bins of dried foods like cereals, pasta, etc. and some even have toiletries which normally come in single use plastic. Take along an empty container, tare it at their scales and away you go. Many of these shops have free second-hand glass containers you can use or new ones for purchase. We were lucky enough to have two established in Cardiff in 2018 (Viva Organic and Ripple), and many are popping up all over the UK. Here is a condensed list for in many areas in the UK:
London: See this longer list for many areas of London: https://thezerowaster.com/zero-waste-near-you/
Here is a link to a more comprehensive list of stores in the UK.
2. Make your own food products.
Making your own cuts down massively on the number of plastic containers consumed in a year. This could be hummus, peanut butter (or other nut butters), pesto, and even mayonnaise if you’re brave enough. Yes, making your own food like this can be a little more time intensive, but in my experience the homemade versions taste so much better. And think how many of those little hummus pots won’t be sitting in the landfill for 400 years as a result! I have quite a few recipes for these homemade food products, including one for homemade Nutella. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to hear more about these. Mmmm, Nutella… (this one also doesn’t have palm oil – more on that soon).
3. Ditch plastic milk bottles by getting your milk delivered.
This is an oldie but goodie. There are still many functional milk floats in the UK – we just signed up here in Cardiff. You can even select organic in case you’re so inclined. Check Milk&More to see what’s available in your area. PRO TIP: get these silicon toppers for your milk bottles if the ripped metal is annoying - we love ours and you can’t beat the name (moo pops).
I hope these tips help you take a few first steps in your quest to #passonplastic. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below – especially if you’d like to hear more about that Nutella recipe.
Best wishes and happy new year!