5 Easy Ways You Can Ditch Single Use Plastic

Kira Simpson

Going zero waste and completely eliminating plastic can be a challenge and does require quite a bit of research and planning.

But, when it comes down to it, reducing your plastic use is actually really easy. Most of it just involves just making different choices and simple swaps.

Being Plastic Free July, this month is the perfect time to start!

Plastic Free July is an initiative that started in Perth in 2011. The purpose of the challenge is to raise awareness of the amount of plastic we use in our daily lives and to encourage people to reduce or even eliminate single-use plastic from their lives for just one month each year.

best reusable coffee cups

If you keep saying you want to try and reduce plastic, start here!

Some tips to make the challenge easier

Work out what types of plastic you’re going to refuse, eg coffee cups, straws, takeaway containers. Then plan how you’re going to survive without them, such as investing in reusable coffee cups, bringing your own containers, carrying around around a zero wast kit.

1. Carry a reusable coffee cup with you

Did you know that most coffee cups are NOT recyclable, even the biodegradable ones? Most takeaway coffee cups have a thin plastic coating on the inside to prevent the hot liquid  from seeping through. We send 50,000 disposable coffee cups to landfill, every hour. EVERY HOUR!! There are so many amazing reusable cups available now to suit every coffee lover taste and style.

2. Use a reusable water bottle

There is absolutely no need to buy disposable water bottles when there are so many great options available for reusable cups. I personally like the Contigo bottles, but you can find many styles of stainless steel or glass if you’re avoiding plastic altogether. Most cities have cold water refill stations now or you can simply refill your bottle at a tap while you’re out.

3. Bring your own food containers when getting takeaway or when taking lunch to work

I’m shocking for this one. My favourite takeaway sushi is the main culprit. This Plastic Free July I am committed to taking my own container with me for my takeaway food. The few times I have brought my own, the people in the takeaway shop had no issues with using my containers for the food.

4. Say no to plastic straws and cutlery

BYO straw and cutlery kit like these ones or simply say no straw please. If you’ve ever watched the video of the sea turtle having a plastic straw pulled from it’s nose, I guarantee you’ll never use one again.

5. Take your own shopping bags and produce bags

Even if you reuse your plastic grocery bags, they eventually end up in landfill where they only start to degrade after 700 years. Unfortunately, plastic bags don’t always stay in landfill; they often find their way to our parks, bushland, rivers and oceans where they pollute the local environment and kill animals that consume or become trapped inside them.

This awful cycle will continue for over 1000 years during the bag’s degradation process. You can stop this just by taking your own reusable bag and produce bags when you shop.

Keep some by the front door, in your car, your office desk and foldable ones in your handbag.

Will you take up the challenge for Plastic Free July? Tell us what you’re going to do to reduce plastic in your life in the comments below!

Image source: Joco Cups

Kira Simpson

Kira Simpson is a sustainability activist, climate optimist and founder, and editor of The Green Hub. Her own sustainable living journey began five years ago when she realised our choices matter. What we eat, where we shop, what we wear, how we live, these choices have the power to shape the kind of world we want to live in. Since launching The Green Hub in 2016 she has grown the blog to become a platform for sustainable fashion and conscious living helping people make lifestyle choices which are kinder to the planet.