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How to reduce plastic packaging waste in your daily life

Through our daily lives we often unknowingly contribute to the destruction of our environment. Single use plastics and other types of packaging do serve a purpose of informing buyers about their product; however, they often end up either polluting land through litter or ending up in landfill. If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint then reducing the impact of your daily routine is a good place to begin. Here are some tips to get you on your way.

1 – No more bottled water
Not only are plastic bottles difficult to recycle, but a huge amount of resources is also consumed in the creation and transportation that goes into them arriving in your hand. Although it can take a bit of getting used to, simply purchasing a metal or BPA-free refillable bottle can make a big impact. Not only will you help the environment, but you’ll also save money and be better hydrated throughout the day.

2 – No more plastic bags
Among the biggest single-use packaging offenders has been up until recently, the humble plastic bag. While the UK government has intervened to introduce a 5p charge in supermarkets, a great many retailers still provide plastic bags and if you forget to bring your own then you may end up buying one anyway. To avoid being caught out, get yourself a fold away reusable bag which can be compressed to take up very little space, and leave spares in your car.

3 – Buy your fruit and veg loose
Another way to cut down on packaging is to buy your produce loose. Not only can you often get it cheaper, but you’ll avoid all the pointless wrapping that takes up space in your bin the moment you get it home. The single use plastic bags that supermarkets provide won’t protect them from bruising and you’re going to wash them before you eat them anyway, so avoid those too.

4 – Be crafty with your cleaning products
We often make noise about the powerful cleaning properties of many of the items found in kitchen cupboards. Instead of buying expensive kitchen and bathroom cleaners, you can often make your home sparkle with a simple mix of vinegar and water, or baking soda. You can even use bars of soap or baking soda to do your dishes, and use cloths instead of those brightly coloured sponges which usually have a short shelf life.

5 - …And your beauty products
Beauty products can be plastic free too. Choose shampoo bars instead of bottles, opt for make up and hair pomades that come in metal tins, and use soap instead of shaving cream for your daily shave.

6 – Make your lunch waste-free
It’s easy to get caught out at lunch time if you’re unprepared. If you end up scouring the chilled sections for sustenance come midday, then you’ll know that the packaging is often made up of single serving bowls, wrappers and cutlery. If you want to avoid this then opt for fresh food from street vendors, or better yet – bring your own leftovers in a metal container.

7 – Buy second hand products
There are times when we just can’t avoid using plastic, but when you do need to splash out, try and buy second hand products. You won’t be contributing to your carbon footprint because no new plastic will be generated, and it won’t need to be transported and packaged up for you. In fact, you’ll save money and may even help to avoid adding to landfill waste by taking it off someone’s hands.  Websites like Preloved, eBay and Facebook’s Marketplace are usually a good place to start.

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Tips for making your home more sustainable