Simple Swaps to be more Plastic Free

10 easy tips and ideas to help you cut down on plastic waste and join our eco-friendly journey.

Whether you’ve just started your plastic-free journey or are looking to make easy, sustainable and eco-friendly changes, we know that making a difference can seem challenging and daunting.

We definitely aren’t perfect (especially if you have a soft-spot for dib dabs like Fran!), and we can’t always do everything to be completely plastic-free, but there are little things and simple swaps we can make that will definitely make a difference.

Share our simple-swaps list with your friends, colleagues, and families and challenge them to join us in making small changes to make a big difference!

1

Switch your weekly shop to local, independent stores

Supermarkets are all about convenience, which means they excessively wrap in plastic and other packaging, and reduce your choice. One of the biggest, and often simplest, changes you can make is supporting your local greengrocers, butchers, and plastic-free stores that offer low-waste alternatives and promote locally made produce and community businesses.

We’ve created a list of the UK’s zero-waste stores to help make your plastic-free shopping experience even easier. Click here to view our plastic-free shopping map.

And don’t worry if you still pop into your local supermarket from time-to-time, nobody is perfect!

2

Ditch plastic milk cartons and support your local milkman

Plastic milk bottles make up the whopping 60% of household packaging which is plastic bottles. Switching to glass bottles helps lessen the pressure on landfills and supports local farmers and milkmen.

Find your local refillable milk station using our clever Milk Refill Map.

3

Say no to single-use water bottles and carry a reusable alternative

We’re thrilled that this has been adopted by so many people and is becoming the go-to plastic free swap, but don’t let big corporations and difficult people stop you from refilling your reusable bottle! Always turn down the single-use plastics and don’t be afraid to ask your nearby cafe, coffee shop or store if they can top you up.

Our friends Refill have teamed up with businesses around the UK to create a handy app to help you refill anywhere on the go.

4

No reusable coffee cup? Then skip your takeaway coffee

We know, easier said than done (especially on a Monday morning!), but our friends at Boston Tea Party made the bold move to ban all single-use takeaway cups and we think it’s a great place to start. If you’re always forgetting your reusable cup, why not buy a second so you’ve always got a spare? Or be brave enough to rely on the free work coffee for the day!

5

Swap cling film and plastic sandwich bags for reusable beeswax wraps

We couldn’t mention plastic-free living without giving ourselves a bit of a shout-out! Single use plastics like cling film and sandwich bags are not only terrible for the environment, but also completely unnecessary. Using Beeswax Wraps or Vegan Wax Wraps not only keeps your sandwiches, leafy greens and leftovers fresher for longer but can be reused for up to a year. And after that? Either compost these completely biodegradable wraps, or rewax them to use for another year!

6

Always take a tote bag shopping

Another obvious and easy one! We’re chuffed that sales of single-use bags in big supermarkets have fallen by a whopping 90% since the 5p charge was introduced!

By remembering to carry a reusable bag in your pocket, you’ll be ready for those impulse visits to your favourite shop or food store. The more we remember and reuse our bags, the fewer plastic bags will be manufactured; cutting plastic waste once and for all!

We have a stash of reusable bags ready to grab in our office for all of those last-minute trips to the supermarket after work for dinner, it’s a real lifesaver!

7

Swap liquid soap bottles for soap bars (and shampoo too!)

Not only do bars of soap and shampoo use less plastic packaging, but unbelievably they are more energy-efficient too! Research conducted by Conservation Magazine found that liquid soap requires 5 x more energy for raw material production and 20 x more energy to create plastic packaging! A no-brainer surely?

We love Mind The Trash as they offer eco-friendly and kind-to-your-skin bars that work wonders on our hair!

8

Prepare your packed lunches

Boring right? But we don’t just mean bringing in uninspiring homemade salads and sandwiches (unless you’re a brilliant cook!), we also mean remembering to take your reusable containers and beeswax wraps when buying your favourite lunch food to help cut down on takeaway waste.

9

Buy B Corp

We were absolutely over the moon to become B Corp certified in 2019. For those who don’t know, B Corp is a fab certification awarded to businesses who work hard to support and promote social and environmental performance, be transparent in all actions and to balance profits with people, planet and purpose.

Buying BbCorp means buying well; buying people and planet-friendly products. Find out more about B Corp and find our B Corp friends.

10

Ditch the tea bags

Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you go caffeine free! But with most tea bags still containing small amounts of plastic (whether it’s the thin layer of polypropylene plastic on the bags, or the plastic covering the packaging), it’s another easy way to stop nasty plastics entering our ecosystem. Loose leaf tea is easily available from most tea shops and supermarkets, our favourite is Cup of Tea. And don’t forget to buy a teapot with a strainer or a super small sieve to create the perfect brew.

If you have any seriously simple swaps that we’ve missed, email us and we’ll add them to our list.