11 Ways To Reduce Your Plastic Waste

July is #plasticfreemonth over on Instagram, with businesses, influencers and lots of amazing humans taking part. 

Why is this a big deal? There is so much plastic waste happening every single day, singe use plastics have become out of control. This is such a big issue because a lot of it ends up in landfill or the oceans. I watched a video last week that really hit me hard and made me realise how big a problem this is. 

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A diver was diving off the coast of Bali and recorded the whole experience, so much plastic waste floating around and into him. And then a stingray swam past and all this waste was just brushing over him. It broke my heart. We are doing this, and for why? Convenience. Plastic has become such a normal part of society that most people won't even think twice before buying, using and throwing away. 

According to conserveturtles.org, over 100 million marine animals are killed every year due to plastic debris in the oceans! There are 100 million tons of plastic waste in our oceans right now.

This is why #plasticfreejuly is so important this year, more than ever. People are waking up to what is going on, people care what is happening. It is time to educate ourselves on what is happening to our planet so we can make a difference. 

I want to share with you 11 ways in which you can reduce your plastic use, things that I have been implementing this year that has drastically reduced my footprint. 

11 WAYS TO MAKE AN IMPACT

  1. STOP USING PLASTIC STRAWS - There are so many sustainable swaps for these now, go on Amazon and you can find bamboo straws, metal straws, paper straws. I use stainless steel straws at home and I also put one in my bag whenever I go anywhere and always ask for my drink to come without a straw. 

2. USE REUSABLE PRODUCE BAGS - These are super cheap to buy on Amazon, handy cotton bags that you can take to the supermarket and choose produce that is not wrapped in plastic, and so you don't need to use the supermarkets single use plastic produce bags. Morrison's supermarket in the UK have the widest selection of produce not wrapped in plastic. It is also usually cheaper to buy unwrapped fruit and veg rather than wrapped!

3. DON'T BUY PRODUCTS WRAPPED IN PLASTIC THAT CANNOT BE RECYCLED - This is easy, decide is it something you truly need and couldn't survive another day without, or is there a more sustainable swap you can make. If you are unsure, just google (or Amazon look up) type eco friendly or reusable or recyclable and then the name of the item, and see what comes up. 

4. SWAP PLASTIC COTTON BUDS - A swap I made this year was to bamboo biodegradable cotton buds, they can be put with your composting/food waste.

5. DON'T USE/BUY PLASTIC BAGS - Buy some reusable jute/cotton bags and keep some in your car incase you make an unplanned shopping trip. I have been known to sometimes forget bags and waddle out the store with all my products loaded up on me and my husband because I refuse to use a plastic bag. If your not doing it already, recycle everything possible. Check labels and make sure you are recycling things in the right way. I bought a separate kitchen bin for all my recycle waste, which gets more filled than the landfill.

6. DITCH THE MAKE UP WIPES - You can get amazing magic cloths on Amazon that you just wash in the machine and reuse. It is amazing how much waste you will save from just this one simple swap. 

7. BUY A KEEP CUP AND/OR STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLE - And take them everywhere you go. Keep cups are for use in coffee stores, they will use your cup for your drink, and in some places you actually save money doing it that way. Then having a stainless steel water bottle you fill up and take around with you is great because you never have to buy drinks on the go. And most drinks on the go come in plastic bottles which usually end up in landfill and the ocean. One of my favourite influencers Zanna Van Dijk has designed a Chilly's water bottle that is perfect for taking on the go, and as a bonus, a portion of the proceeds go to helping marine life.

8. PARTICIPATE IN A BEACH CLEAN UP - There are so many happening all over the world, just hop on google and search for local beach clean ups, or just arm yourself with some reusable bags and go and do your own beach clean!

9. SWAP YOUR TOOTHBRUSH - I swapped to a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush this year. Find them on Amazon

10. RECYLE YOUR GUM - All chewing gum contains plastic and most of that ends up in the oceans, or on the streets. I have recently discovered an amazing company called GUMDROP who make products out of recycled gum. They have gum drop banks that you can buy and fill with your used gum, which you then send back to them for them to recycle and reuse! Genius! 

11. SPEAK UP! The more we spread this message and educate others on what is happening, the bigger of an impact we can make. Post on social media, tell your friends and family, teach your children, be a positive example. It all helps. Your voice matters, and even if you help just one other person make some swaps, then it has been worth it.

Let me know your best tips in the comments,

Sam xo