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News - Catch up with Chambers

26 April 18

10 simple ways to cut down on your use of single use plastic

The fight against plastic waste has gained some serious traction in recent months. Late last year an episode of the BBC's Blue Planet series highlighted how a desperate lack of recycling is leading to 8 million tonnes of plastic waste entering the world’s oceans each year, destroying marine life. Since then the UK government and major retailers have been pledging real support to reduce plastic pollution, with initiatives including: 

  • The UK Plastics Pact –  40 major businesses including Sainsbury’s, Nestle and Coca-Cola have pledged to eradicate single-use plastics from packaging by 2025
  • Government’s 25-year environment plan –  extends the 5p plastic bag charge to small retailers and could see a ban on plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds
  • Morrison’s and Tesco will soon allow shoppers to bring in their own containers to collect their raw meat and fish, to cut down on plastic bags
  • Bottle deposit scheme: Customers will pay more for drinks in the shop – and will then be able to claim the money back if they return their drinks containers to be recycled

The main goal of these initiatives is to reduce use of single-use plastic which includes items like straws, coffee stirrers, water bottles and most food packaging, which are thrown away after one use. While we might discard these items into our recycling bins with the best intentions, not all plastics can be recycled due to their varying quality so end up in landfill and the sea. And while some plastics can be down-cycled into fibres that can be used for fleeces, textiles or carpets, this will likely be the end of their useful life because most recycled plastics can’t be recycled more than once.

Our opinion is that it’s best to avoid buying single use plastic altogether – so here are our top ten tips on how to avoid it:

  1. Carry a reusable bottle and / or a coffee cup
  2. Carry a reusable shopping bag
  3. Buy loose, package-free fresh fruit and vegetables
  4. Choose greetings cards that aren’t covered in plastic film
  5. Buy bars of soap, shampoo and conditioner, which you can buy package free from shops like Lush
  6. Use only 100 % biodegradable wet wipes
  7. Make your lunch and store in a plastic container rather than buying packaged sandwiches and salads
  8. Refuse plastic straws,  plastic cutlery and plastic cups
  9. Choose paper cotton buds over the plastic version
  10. Use a bamboo toothbrush


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