Plastic Free July: five pieces of advice to get you started

Plastic Free July may be almost over but now is as good of a time as ever to start thinking about how to reduce your plastic footprint.

1) Use a cloth bag for shopping

The introduction of a 5p charge for single-use plastic bags has helped to massively reduce plastic bag usage (read our blog post for more information). However, it is worth reminding people of the benefits of using a cloth bag. Not only will you avert the 5p charge and save yourself some money, you will help reduce demand for unnecessary plastic. Cloth bags also come in pretty funky styles too so that you can express some individuality.

2) Make a shopping list

This might seem obvious but it can be such an effective way to reduce waste and save money. So many people go to the supermarket with no list, buying food they don’t want which is often in plastic packaging. Planning can help both reduce food waste and encourage you to think critically about how you can reduce your “plastic footprint”. Again, effective planning is also likely to help you save money too.

3) Cook

Again, this may seem obvious. But it’s tempting to buy ready meals or food that can be put straight into the oven, given the busy lives that we all lead. This kind of food is almost certainly likely to come in plastic packaging. Cooking can save you money, reduce plastic consumption and is healthy and delicious too. For some great zero waste recipes to get you started, check out the work of The Zero Waste Chef. And if you have leftovers, don’t throw them away – compost them or check out some great food waste recipes e.g. Jamie Oliver’s great food waste tips.

4) Ask: social media / Google

There are so many great zero waste resources online and on social media. Check out our learn more section to get you started. Got a specific question you’d like answering? Join a zero waste Facebook group and pop it in there – the groups are private so only other zero waste supporters can see it (and they’re really friendly and happy to help). Here is a great Facebook group to get you started. Alternatively, type your question into Google and there will more than likely be advice online to help you with your zero waste query.

By all means, contact us too. Fill in our contact form or message us on social media and we’ll do our best to help (social media follow buttons in the footer of this page).

5) Do your best

Though zero waste is achievable, it’s not easy at first so don’t feel guilty if your lifestyle isn’t entirely zero waste. No individual’s lifestyle becomes zero waste overnight. Zero waste is a goal, a destination and a journey. It’s about taking positive steps towards that goal. Mistakes are good too; they are a chance for you to reflect on changes you could make in the future. Stay positive and do your best!

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