Top Easy Ways To Reduce Your Plastic Use

Reducing our daily plastic use can do loads to eliminate the amount of plastic waste that ends up in our oceans.

At Lush Cove we're looking into more ways to become more eco-friendly as we know that plastic waste is a long-term issue with huge environmental consequences;

According to the guardian; only 9% of all plastic in the U.S. is recycled, and just over 40% of all plastic used globally is used only once and then thrown out. Most of it ends up in the ocean, where it can have fatal consequences to sea life.

If you want to try to reduce your plastic, there's lots of ways you can do your part, many of which are cheap and easy. Small daily changes may not seem like the best way to make a difference, but collective small changes in the way we use plastic can help cut down the harmful waste polluting our ecosystems worldwide.

A big benefit of making small daily changes is that it sends a message to big companies that they don't need to produce the vast amount of plastic that they do. You don't need to be a millionaire to do without plastic, either; reusing and recycling come after reducing, and it costs nothing to use less. Be aware of your plastics usage and keep up the pressure on bigger manufacturers to consider sustainable alternatives.

1. Get an eco-friendly phone case.

We only have one planet, there is no Planet-B. 

Let's face it, our phones and devices are expensive and we all dread that inevitable big-drop moment. It's clear we need to protect them with a case. 

Until recently all cases have been made from TPU Silicone or other plastics which haven't been great for the environment.

We're now delighted to announce our first in a long line of eco-friendly and fully compostable phone cases.

Lush Cove Eco Friendly Phone Case

Join us and help to do your part for our oceans one step at a time.

2. Get A Reusable Water Bottle

Reusable water bottles are an amazing way to cut down on the purchase of pricey single-use plastic bottles or cans, whether they're water, juice, or coffee. Always make sure to fill up before you leave the house so you're not caught out on the go. 

Bye-bye single-use water bottle!

3. Pick Metal Or Paper Straws Instead Of Plastic Ones

Plastic straws have been the center of attention lately, and with good reason; most of them find their way into the environment, and they're not recyclable.

If you're able to cut back, why not? Bring your own straw if you need it, and get a glass or metal version as a replacement.

4. Reusable Shopping Bags Are The Way Forward

The best way to keep plastic bags out of your shopping is to provide your own; a tote bag or recyclable bag when you're on your way to the shops is always a great idea, it's also worth keeping some handy at all times to hold unexpected purchases. We like to keep some handy in our cars. If space is an issue; carry small ones. "Keep at least two reusable bags attached to your key ring at all times. You may already have some that have a nifty ring attachment," Kate Bratskeir advised for Mic in 2018.

5. Don't Bother With Bottled Water

Plastic bottles of water are not the way forward for a plastic-free world. "Not only does it come in a plastic bottle, but tremendous resources are used to extract, bottle, and ship it," My Plastic Free Life explains.

6. Avoid Shrink-Wrapped Fruit & Veg

One of the main ways add to our plastic use is while grocery shopping, particularly when grabbing fruit and veg.

"Try to avoid snacks that come wrapped in individual plastic and instead grab popcorn kernels and banana chips from the bulk section of the store," is great advice from National Geographic.

Bring your own box or bags to carry fruit or veg if you're worried about germs.

7. Get A Travel Mug For Hot Drinks On The Go

Can't wake up without your morning coffee? Say no to plastic cups, straws and other plastic bits and bobs by bringing your own travel cup, ideally made out of something environmentally friendly like sustainable bamboo.

As a bonus; most places (small and large) will charge you less if you bring your own cup.

8. Go With Refills Rather Than Purchasing Again

Rather than going out and purchasing an entirely new plastic bottle, try to look for ways to fill the same one up again.

Kevin Goodson of Money Saving Expert explains, "Buying refills of products such as air fresheners, coffee granules, handwash, and herbs and spices saves money as well as cutting down on plastic waste in terms of lids, bottles and so on, as our table shows. Some refills will still result in plastic waste, so it’s worth comparing how recyclable the packaging is compared with that of the original product before purchase."

9. Get Plastic-Free Cleaning Products

Yep! It's possible to have low plastic use in your cleaning products too.

"Use natural cleaning cloths and scrubbers instead of plastic scrubbers and synthetic sponges. Compressed natural cellulose sponges are often sold without any plastic packaging because they don’t need to be kept moist; they expand when wet," explains My Plastic-Free Life.

10. Skip The Top When You Grab A Coffee

Want to grab a drink on the go? Begone the plastic top!

"Going topless is a curious way to save plastic, but for those who often sip something on the go, not worrying with the top might knock some serious non-biodegradable guilt off the docket. This goes for the to-go coffees, as well as fountain drinks from fast food joints or convenient stores. So, go topless when possible," recommends Jonathan Engels at One Green Planet.

11. Swap Out Plastic Wrap

Plastic Wrap is a big waste. It always ends up being thrown out. Plastic wrap is also not always necessary when it comes to preserving food.

"Beeswax and soy wax wraps – reusable, biodegradable alternatives to cling film – are now widely available. Made from cotton, wax and resin, these wraps can be moulded around containers and food itself to keep it fresh, then washed, dried and reused. They last for up to a year and, once they’re spent, some can be composted," notes Goodson at Money Saving Expert.

12. Try A Bamboo Toothbrush

Go for a plastic-free bathroom by looking at your toothbrush, advise the Wildlife Trusts: "Bamboo toothbrushes made from sustainable bamboo are an easy way to ditch the excess plastic."

You just have to cut the plastic bristles off first..

13. Reuse Plastic Containers

Reusing plastic is a great way to keep it out of the landfill.

"Save up yogurt pots and other small plastic pots to start growing fruit and veg in before moving them to your garden," Goodson recommends. "Tubs containing the likes of margarine and ice cream can be reused as dividers in drawers and cupboards."

14. Avoid Take Out

We all love our take-away food, but is the cost to our wallets and the environment too high? Do away with the plastic containers and cutlery of take out food.

"Make ‘fakeaways’, i.e., replicate takeaway food by making it at home — as well as doing away with the associated plastic, it’ll undoubtedly be cheaper in the long run," says Goodson at Money Saving Expert.

15. Go To Grocery Counters For Meat, Fish, & Cheese

Old-fashioned it may be, but try to go fresh when you go shopping rather than heading for the supermarket's frozen or pre-prepped aisles.

In supermarket deli counters, the food will be the same price, but you'll be able to order exactly as much as you need and ask for no plastic packaging. "Check out the counters before buying from the fridges," Annie Clarke of Mind Body Bowl told Women's Health.