Recycling is part of our everyday lives: at home, in the workplace, at school, in cafés and restaurants. We’re all more aware than ever of the importance of recycling, but how about stepping up a gear and really trying to reduce our use of plastic?
Ask yourself this, and answer honestly. Do you do enough to protect the environment?
Well, 16 June is the perfect opportunity as it’s World Refill Day – a global campaign to prevent plastic pollution and help people live with less waste. So, how can you get involved? According to the brains behind this environmental campaign, it’s all about making small changes to your daily routine to become more green and less wasteful.
This quick read explores ways to reduce your personal plastic use and wastage.
It’s so easy to pick up a bottle of water when you’re on the go and feeling thirsty, but what about the waste? Water and fizzy drink bottles are the top offenders when it comes to single-use plastic, yet they’re so simple to replace. Start carrying a refillable bottle to save using throwaway plastic bottles and to save money whilst you’re at it.
Tip: Before recycling your plastic bottles, put them to use. You can create bird feeders, plant watering systems, a mini greenhouse, bottle-top jewellery and much more. Check out some great ways to reuse bottles here.
Hot drink cups
Just like water bottles, takeaway coffee cups are a huge source of waste and rarely get recycled. A massive 500 billion takeaway cups are used around the world every year, with only 1% being recycled. A reusable coffee cup is the simple solution – try keeping one in your bag so it’s always to hand when you’ve got a caffeine craving.
What’s the point of buying bananas in a plastic bag? The same goes for other fruit and vegetables. Opt for loose items instead of adding to your personal waste by buying ones wrapped in plastic. Alternatively, sign up for a veggie box that’s delivered to your door and offers a range of green goodies.
Refills are the way forward for a more sustainable lifestyle. Choose refill products instead of brand-new plastic packaging when you’ve run out of your favourite shower gel or go the old-fashioned way and choose soap bars. Lots of popular brands now offer shampoo and conditioner bars as well.
Jam jars, pots for herbs and spices, Tupperware… all of these are refillable, so why not take the step to refill instead of buying brand new? It’s easy enough to do and if you buy in bulk, it’s a great way to make sure you never run out of those essential items. In many cases, buying refill packs works out cheaper than buying new bottles, so it’s a win for the environment and your bank balance.
Many big-name supermarket chains are also rolling out zero-waste refill stations, where you can fill your own containers with products such as pasta, coffee and rice.
If we all take small steps to reduce waste, we can make a huge collective difference.