This plastic free July, why not see if you can reduce the amount of one-use plastics in your kitchen?
We’re all about living life with just a little less plastic. And the kitchen is the perfect place to start, as it’s one of the key places where plastic waste is produced in the household.
These days it’s easier than ever to live a life without plastic, as there are so many wonderful plastic free alternatives out there to help you. So if you want to reduce your plastic consumption, read on!
What are single-use plastics?
Single-use plastics are so called because they are used once, and then thrown away. Examples include drinking straws, the plastic packaging around prepared foods, drinks bottles and plastic produce bags. It takes a lot of effort and energy (usually fossil fuels) to make them, and then they’re just thrown away. What’s more, many of them can’t be recycled, and will simply end up in landfill sites.
The sun and wind slowly breaks them down into microplastics, toxic chemicals that leach into the soil and the water table.
Many one-use plastics are very lightweight, and are easily blown into rivers and oceans.
Our goal: to help you get them out of your kitchen! Read on for our top 10 tips to help you out!
1) Use Reusable Shopping Bags
It’s likely that you do this already, as supermarkets and shops now charge extra for the use of plastic bags. But instead of using more durable plastic bags, why not use tote bags made of recycled material or organic cotton? You can find plenty of options for sale at the plastic free shop.
2) Drink tap water instead of bottled water
Banish the plastic bottle from your kitchen by drinking tap water instead. If you don’t like the taste of tap water, you can get hold of a water filter. Another alternative is to make your own flavoured water - we like to refrigerate a jug of water flavoured with lemon, cucumber slices and mint.
3) Get a plastic free veg box
There’s nothing nicer than having fresh organic veggies delivered to your door every week, particularly if they aren’t covered in plastic wrap. Riverford have recently launched ‘Box Zero’, which is completely packaging-free, without even a rubber band! Even the box itself can be reused up to 10 times before being composted.
We tried the box ourselves and were delighted to receive a range organic veggies all the colours of the rainbow, from broad beans to kohlrabi, red peppers to potatoes.
4) Make a meal plan
This is not only a way to reduce food waste, but also a way to reduce your plastic waste. When you make your meal plan, you’ll buy only what you need for each recipe. It also means you are more likely to buy your produce loose; just the three apples you need for that tasty crumble recipe, rather than a cellophane bag full.
5) Ditch the cling film
This piece of plastic is in common use in our kitchens, but the good news is that there’s a fantastic alternative - Wax Wrap! Made by infusing organic cotton with jojoba oil, beeswax and pine resin, wax wrap can be wrapped around everything from sandwiches to cheese to preserve it. Each piece can be used around 200 times - after that it can be composted or used as an organic firelighter!
6) Buy plastic free kitchen cleaner
Cleaning products are another form of plastic waste, but it’s easy to find an eco friendly alternative. We like Ocean Saver, which provides concentrated cleaning refills. Just mix with water and use in their recycled plastic bottle.
7) Get your milk delivered - and more
In Britain, it was once very common to get your milk delivered in glass bottles, which could then be left outside for collection. Well, you can still get your milk delivered like in returnable glass bottles, and much more besides! The wonderful Milk & More also deliver a range of tasty fresh juices in glass bottles, as well as liquid soap, body wash and much more, all of which can be refilled.
8) Make yourself a plastic free lunch
Instead of buying pre-packaged sandwiches or salads with disposable plastic cutlery, why not make your own packed lunch? Use a tupperware or plastic free lunchbox and fill it with a tasty seasonal lunch. If you don’t want to take cutlery from the kitchen, buy some bamboo utensils to eat it with instead.
9) Discover your local no plastic shop
One of the best ways to get zero waste groceries is to visit your local no plastic shop, where you can get refills of the dried groceries in your kitchen, eco-friendly cleaning products, beauty products and everything you need for a plastic free life. Take some glass jars with you and fill them with dried pasta, lentils, and anything else you’ll be cooking with. Not only is it good for the environment, it also looks much nicer to have food arranged neatly in glass jars than it does in disposable plastic bags!
10) Ditch the frozen convenience foods
While frozen convenience foods might be a great quick fix for an easy weeknight dinner, they are also wrapped in single-use plastic packaging. Instead, why not buy produce without plastic and use it to batch cook some delicious weeknight supper recipes. They can then be frozen and defrosted when you need them. It’s not only good for the environment, it’s also much more healthy!
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