5 easy ways to ditch plastic

A couple of days ago was Earth overshoot day. That means we’ve used up a years worth of earths resources in a mere seven months.

Just let that sink in for a moment.

We’ve reached the point where the amount of natural resources that humanity takes from the Earth is more than what the planet can renew in a whole year.


And we’ve done it by over-fishing, over-harvesting forests, and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than forests can sequester. In short, humans are demanding more from the earth than it can produce.

And that is scary.

But we can all do our bit. And it’s actually something I’m going to be focussing on from here on in. I want to live more consciously and start to do my best to make changes that will benefit the environment. I’ll never be perfect, but I will try my best to be better when it comes to plastics.

So here are 5 EASY ways your can ditch plastic from your life.

Be honest about your plastic habit.

I recently stood in my kitchen, looking at my recycle bag and couldn’t actually comprehend how much plastic was in there. Seriously, we produce very little rubbish in our household but our plastic recycling was off the charts. So it’s time to evaluate your plastic usage. What can be removed? Think about buying loose fruit and veg, ditching shrink wrapped food stuff and even changing your toothbrush to a bamboo one.

Turn down straws!

image via zerowasteweekly.com

Straws are probably one of the single, most wasteful things you can use. Single use straws never degrade, instead they break in to small pieces and end up inside marine life – I don’t think I need to go in to details here but it’s horrific.

Whilst corporations need to take responsibility and reduce the plastic waste they create you can help by buying your own reusable straw (if you need a straw at all that is). Get a couple and keep them in your handbag for when you’re out and about. Personally, I prefer glass straws to steel (they use go through me) and I use these ones I purchased from amazon.

Say no to take away coffee cups.

We all know by now how disastrous take away coffee cups are for the environment. We use 2.5 billion a year in Britain alone and only ONE in every 400 of those are recycled.

So take your own. There are plenty of nice useable coffee cups (I have a gorgeous one from Starbucks that I purchased in Copenhagen airport) and some outlets give you money off your drink for using a reusable cup = win/win.

Take your own shopping bags.

We’ve had the 5p charge in Wales since 2011 so it’s rare that I’ll wander out without a reusable bag in tow. In fact, in the first 4 years of the 5p charge in Wales, usage of single use plastic bags dropped by a whopping 79%! I tend to stick with the foldaway bags as they are easier to transport and always in my handbag for spontaneous shopping trips.

Time to get rid of bottled water.

Not only will ditching your bottled water habit be good for the environment but it will also benefit your health. Plastic contains BPA and phthalates, both of which have a negative impact on our bodies. Instead find a BPA free water bottle and refill as you need. I personally opt for a glass bottle, which I purchased from TK Maxx.

Author: Rachael

I'm a journalist and creative consultant. I write about how busy women (just like you) can live, work and eat - better.

8 thoughts on “5 easy ways to ditch plastic”

  1. We have tried to reduce waste over the years including cloth nappies, reusable wipes etc we have looked at metal containers and bottles inc straws for school

  2. I always make sure I take our reusable bags shopping! My partner and I make sure we recycle our plastic now too so hopefully this should help a bit more!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.