Is It Possible To Live A Plastic/Waste Free Life?

As a way to escape from the stress that is exam season, I found myself binge watching Netflix. But not rubbish TV shows: documentaries.

It’s been so educational watching and learning new things about the world we live in. After seeing Sarah post on instagram from The Scarlett State about the documentary A Plastic Ocean I decided to give it a go.

A Plastic Ocean follows film makers who originally set out to film whales in the ocean. However, when diving with the whales they realised the sheer mass of plastic and rubbish in the ocean; both on the seabed and just below the waters surface. Shocked by this, they proceeded to document the plastic that polluted our worlds oceans and what can be done to solve this problem.

If you have access to this documentary I highly recommend you watch it.

After watching it I decided I really need to change the way I live. We live in such a disposable society. Everything we buy is packaged and then when we get home the packaging thrown away. Did you know the average use of a plastic carrier bag is just 12 minutes? Disgusting really when you think that those plastic bags don’t decompose or get recycled; they just sit in landfill piling up higher and higher.

So there are things we all can do to make changes. I’ve researched and will be implementing many of these in my everyday life, if not all where I can.

Bring a reusable bag for shopping

The government may have brought in the 5p carrier bag charge but having worked in Tesco for a while now it hasn’t deterred anyone from using them. The simple change of bringing a rucksack or cotton bag when you go for your weekly shop can make a huge difference. I’ve been doing this for a while and I honestly can’t remember the last time I had to buy a carrier bag!

Bring a reusable mug for hot drinks

This is such a good investment. As someone that absolutely adores tea (honestly I’m obsessed) I could not live without my reusable travel mug. I ordered mine from T2 and it goes with me everywhere. I take it into a coffee shop and ask them to make my drink in it rather than in one of their takeaway cups. Some companies even offer a reduced price if you use a reusable cup!

Buy loose produce

Obviously it can be tricky when doing a weekly shop to find loose fruit and vegetables for purchase. Many supermarkets sell them in packs wrapped in plastic, but opt when you can to buy without the packaging. Bananas are often sold separately as well as in plastic bags so choose the loose bunch instead!

Swap out household options for plastic free alternatives

Things like kitchen utensils, toothbrushes, female sanitary items and toiletries all use a lot of plastic and waste. Many waste free alternatives are now available such as bamboo toothbrushes, solid shampoo and conditioner bars and menstural cups for women (even though menstural cups are often made from silicone, they create SOOO much less waste than disposable sanitary products plus they’re a one time purchase so even cheaper!) By swapping these items in your life you could significantly reduce the waste that you create.

Donate rather than waste

Just because something no longer has a use for you doesn’t mean it doesn’t for someone else. Donating old items or recycling them appropriately is a great way for them to avoid landfill!

Say no to plastic items

Straws, takeaway cups, microwave meals, whilst convenient are incredibly damaging. Plastic free alternatives are available, so learn to carry them with you or simply say no! You don’t need a straw to drink a drink, so say no. The more people that do, the more companies will realise they need to change. When it becomes the companies responsibility to take the costs of recycling properly things will change!

Reduce, reuse and recycle

How many times did you hear this growing up? Because I heard it a lot! But it really is important! Recycling the correct materials will help to reduce the waste you produce massively, the same can be said for disposing of food waste in food bins/composts as well. Reusing by repurposing goods or simply donating them to someone else is another way to get use out of an item and limit waste! Only buy what you need not what you want. Learning about minimalism can help with that one!

These are all things I’m going to try and implement in my life, being able to make a small change can have a big difference.

Below are some links I’ve found useful and educational in limiting the amount of waste we produce!

Zero Waste Nerd – Beginner’s Guide

Trash is for Tossers – Steps to Zero Waste

My Plastic Free Life – 100 Steps to a Plastic Free Life

Ox

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