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6 Plastic free living tips to help reduce YOUR plastic footprint

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Worried about the impact you are having on the environment? Here are six plastic free living tips to help you reduce the plastic in your life. 

6 Plastic free living tips

This post is part of the Zero Waste series on Mums Make Lists.

It’s on us all to reduce the amount of plastic on our precious planet.

So I’m building a series of posts on how we can all make our households and lifestyles move towards being more zero waste.

Zero waste is about more than just reducing plastic.

However, reducing our reliance on plastic and in particular, single-use plastic, is one of the biggest and most important things we can do collectively to make our world a better place.

I’ve put this post together with useful information from the Surf Rider Organisation, which has a campaign to Rise Above Plastic by getting everyone to reduce their plastic footprint.

A quick plastic fact

A lot of plastic pollution at sea starts out on land as litter on beaches, by waterways and on our streets.

Once plastic enters the marine environment it slowly photodegrades into smaller pieces of plastic that marine life can mistake for food.

It’s time we all did our bit to reduce our plastic footprint.

Move over convenience, you’re killing us

Plastic is everywhere.

It’s in our homes, our offices, our motor vehicles, our schools, our hospitals.

Plastic usage has grown inline with our desire and reliance on convenience.

We use plastic to package food, drinks, medicines, toys, groceries and more.

Lots of the products we use our plastic, from toothbrushes to toys, to dinnerware, electrical products.

But the reality is that far from being convenient for us, plastic is slowly killing our planet.

With the exception of the small amount of plastic that gets incinerated each year, virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made is still in existence in some form.

Our world simply can’t go on coping with increasing levels of plastic.

It’s not good for the planet, for wildlife, for adults and for our children.

So, how do we get to work quickly and efficiently reducing the amount of plastic in our world?

6 Easy ways to reduce the amount of plastic you use

Here are ten very simple things you can start doing TODAY to reduce your plastic footprint.

1.Shopping bags

Try to always have a couple of fabric or natural mesh shopping bags to hand.

Better still, keep a whole stack of them in your car for grocery shopping.

If you do get caught out and need to use a plastic grocery bag, make sure to reuse it.

I’ve got one of these mesh market bags, it’s so easy to stash in my handbag or pocket. 

There’s an added bonus that they’re bang on trend at the moment. 

reduce plastic use, zero waste, single-use plastic, mesh market bag


2. Leave it behind

Groceries covered in excess packaging?

Leave it at the store.

This gets the message across that supermarkets and brands need to take reducing packaging very seriously.

3. Refuse single-use plastic with your takeaway

Say no to plastic straws and plastic cutlery.

Carry reusable utensils in your bag if you regularly buy takeaway lunches.

Carry a reusable coffee cup. There are so many cool ones out there, like this one.

4. Reduce packed lunch plastics

Stop using everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons.

Get yourself a reusable lunch bag or box and get yourself a reusable drink canteen.

I have a 500ml Chilly’s stainless steel water bottle. 

It keeps my water super fresh and cool and I feel so much cooler sipping from it than from a plastic bottle!

You can also keep coffee hot in it, then pour coffee into a cup in the office. 

Chilly's Bottles Leak-Proof, No Sweating BPA-Free Stainless Steel Reusable Water Bottle Pastel Green, 500ml


I’ve also got my eye on this two tier bento style lunchbox. It’s super practical and easy to wash out and keep clean. 

Bamboo bento box, reduce plastic, ways to reduce plastic use, zero waste

Buy now

5. Get yourself a go-mug

Get yourself a go-mug so you can refuse takeaway coffee cups.

It’s easy not to realise the amount of plastic involved in a takeaway cup – the lid, the plastic lined cup….

I love these reusable bamboo coffee cups by Cambridge. I had no idea you could wash and reuse bamboo until recently. 

The lid is made from heat resistant silicon. There’s even a silicon sleeve to give you extra grip AND the cup fits into car cup holders.

In short they are perfect whether you’re taking them on the daily commute or on parenting duty in the playground.

Cambridge CM04438 Retro Daisy Bamboo Eco Travel Mug, Set of 2

Buy now

6. Recycle

Recycle, recycle, recycle… 

If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics.

Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.

SLO Active – clean up our oceans

If you want to understand more about why it is SO important for us to reduce the amount of plastic in our world, take a look at this video, created by SLO active, a social enterprise dedicated to cleaning up our oceans.

Visit the SLO active website to learn more about the things we can all being doing to reduce our plastic footprints.

Read more on Mums Make Lists:

We’re creating a series of posts around working towards leading a zero waste lifestyle and, most importantly,  reducing the amount of single-use plastic that’s currently drowning our world.

Plastic free living tips – 7 Single-use plastics to ditch now

9 Zero-waste bathroom single-use plastic swaps you can make today

If, like me, you are keen to do your bit for the environment – and keep nasty chemicals to a minimum in your home for the sake of your family’s health, you might like to read some of my posts on green cleaning:

11 Zero waste Christmas ideas

10 Genius time-saving cleaning hacks

6 Natural bathroom cleaning hacks

DIY Green cleaning products that really work

And our biggie… The ONE day Spring clean that won’t take over your life

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Reduce plastic use, plastic free living tips, ways to reduce plastic, single-use plastic