10 Tips to Go Plastic-Free on the Move
Looking to live more sustainably? Stick to these top tips guaranteed to help you get around plastic-free whilst saving money, resources, and ultimately aiding the fight against plastic pollution.
Quick Eco-Facts and Tips
- You will use either five menstrual cups or 12,000 disposable menstrual products in your lifetime – A Waste Free World
- One bamboo toothbrush = four plastic toothbrushes – Charlie Fiest
- One cloth tote bag = 170 single-use shopping bags – Charlie Fiest
- One reusable coffee cup = 500 single-use coffee cups – Charlie Fiest
- Polyester takes 20 to 200 years to decompose in a landfill – Charlie Fiest
- Soft plastics (such as straws and the soft film from fruit punnets) will pollute for 200 years
- Plastic bags take 500 to 1000 years to break down
- Plastic bottles take 70 to 450 years to break down
10 Tips to go Plastic-Free on the Move
1. Always carry a reusable water bottle with you, wherever you go.
Why? Because a plastic bottle (for juice, water, energy drinks) will be used for an average of three minutes and will remain on the earth for approximately 450 years, releasing harmful chemicals, falling into the sea and emitting micro-plastics which can end up in our own bodies. Most restaurants and cafés will refill your reusable bottle for you. Plus, if you’re travelling abroad, many airports (such as London Luton) have taps with fresh water specifically implemented for the refilling of water bottles. HIP Water Bottle Cloud 650ml, £11, houseoffraser.co.uk
2. Always carry a tote bag.
This is an important one for those who cook for themselves, and for anyone travelling abroad. Bring a tote bag or two when going on holiday, so that when shopping, you have somewhere to put all your goodies, as opposed to a plastic bag. The Dior Oblique tote bag is a great size for carrying groceries – and is effortlessly stylish. Alternatively, get a plain tote bag which can be stuffed into your smaller bag, if you don’t feel like carrying it around all day. Dior book tote Oblique bag, £2,400, dior.com
3. Bring your own tupperware to pick up takeaways.
I discovered this myself a while back – if you bring your own tupperware when picking up a take-away (after calling to let them know beforehand), the restaurant will most likely pack it with your order, whilst some places will even take money off the bill. Adoni Leak Resistant Lunch Box, £18, asliceofgreen.co.uk
4. Bring your own straw.
Planning a picnic? Bring your own straw to avoid using single-use plastic. These make a great present for eco-friendly friends and family, too. Hay Sip Swirl Straws Set of Six, £25, libertylondon.com
5. Carry a reusable cup for hot drinks.
Avoid drinking from single-use coffee cups by investing in your own reusable cup. You’ll often be charged less for your drink, plus there are tons of beautifully designed coffee cups, such as those from Ecoffee Cup and Keep Cup. If your main quarm about purchasing a reusable cup is that you don’t want to carry it around all day, get a collapsible one like the below from Stojo. Stojo Collapsible Reusable Pocket Cup, £12, Oliver Bonas
6. Carry your own cutlery.
Grabbing lunch on the go? Whole Foods has biodegradable cutlery, but numerous outlets are still offering single-use plastic cutlery with their takeaway meals. Get hold of your own handy eco-friendly cutlery set so that you’re always prepped for food-to-go. Cutlery roll, £19, tabithaeve.co.uk
7. Request no plastic in your room.
Booking a hotel or renting a holiday home? Go plastic free whilst travelling by contacting the hotel or host before arriving and requesting that no plastic products (i.e. shampoos and body lotions) be inside the room. An array of top hotels are already ahead of the curve. Take DUKES London, for example, whose travel-size toiletries have been replaced with eco-friendly dispenser bottles.
8. Smoke smarter.
The filters on cigarettes (made of plastic), can take up to 10 years to decompose. Not only are these off-putting to see outdoors and on beaches, but they also pose a danger to animals and young children. Switch to an electronic cigarette from blu, who can recycle your old one when you’re done with it, and when sending a product, will only use cardboard packaging. blu.com
9. Be prepared and shop sustainably.
Life can be busy, but if you take a little time to research and prepare waste-free options, avoiding plastic on-the-go can be much easier than you think. Get to know the zero-waste shops in your local area, or those mainstream stores that are offering plastic-free produce. See our London picks here.
10. Switch to reusable food wraps.
One of the best ways to save money, avoid buying single-use plastic and eat healthy is to bring your own meals to work. Rather than using cling film (of which “more than 1.2 billion metres, equating to 745,000 miles of cling film is used by households across Britain every year – enough to go around the circumference of the world 30 times over”, according to beebeewraps.com), use a natural alternative which can be reused. The same thing can be said for makeup wipes – opt for washable pads instead. Bee’s Wrap Assorted 3-Pack, £16.50, thewisehouse.co.uk.
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