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The Endless List of Alternatives to Anything Plastic

The Endless List of Alternatives to Anything Plastic

Let's help each other to stop wrapping ourselves in plastic 

It is pretty clear that plastic is not only an addiction, but one that we are sub consciously marketed and reinforced pretty much every minute of the day. Everyone has ideas about giving up plastic and we all know plastic is ridiculously problematic, but we all live differently so how you go about it in your own life is important.

We've started a list of tips, but we need your help to add to them! This list is not here to make you feel guilty for what you don't do, but rather to offer tips on what you can do.

Lifestyle - live your own life

Any kind of plastic shopping bag Get one big Tote & a bunch of foldalbe re-usables 
Bottled water, especially plastic  Use the tap & filter if you need to. Store in glass bottles or your stainless steel bottle.
  Always carry water with you in your stainless steel bottle. Get one the size that suits your lifestyle - bag, car etc. 
Soda & Mineral Water  Get a Soda Stream & make your own 
Disposable Crockery & Cutlery   If you are worried about breaking  your 'good stuff', buy a 2nd hand or cheap set for parties.
Clean up your body care  Buy bar soaps, shampoos with no packaging & skincare with no microbeads 
Pack your lunch  Pack your lunch in containers, or wrap in bees wax cloth, not cling wrap

Shopping - wield your power

Avoid buying anything served up in plastic                      If you don't buy, sellers will stop selling it
  Use your own reusable veggie bag 
  Buy bulk products or products sold in glass 
  Shop at your local Farmers Market 
  Shop at Farm Gates & buy direct 
Avoid processed frozen food if you can    Sometimes this is hard, but there are easy wins here - freeze your own berries for starters. Don't buy frozen veggies or prepared meals. 
Avoid packaged food within packages  The simple solution to this one is to buy bulk wherever you can. Or the larger packet and store what you don't use in a container or in the fridge till you need it.

Take Away

Straws Flick straws altogether. Seriously, what were we thinking?
  If you really want a straw, buy reusable metal or bamboo.
Take Away Food Containers  This can be tough. Take your own if you can, when you pick up. Otherwise, re-use the ones you receive.  Stop supporting anyone who sells takeaway food in expanded polystyrene.

You can check to see if your fav place is listed as a BYO container joint on Trashless Takeaway.
Take Away Coffee Cups  Get a reusable. There are a zillion options around now. If you forget your cup, ask for NO (plastic) LID.
 Carry Bags If your take away is in a carry-able container, don't accept a plastic bag to carry the carry-able take away in.
 Plastic Cutlery Say no to plastic cutlery and napkins. Often they are just slipped into your bag so make sure you check and hand them back.  

Advocate - if that's your speed

Join an Advocacy or Activist group & make your voice heard    5 Gyres 
  Take 3 for the Sea          
If you know a Cafe or Restaurant who allows you to bring your own container, add them to Trashless Takeaway Map  Trashless Takeaway

For the Deeper Greens

Fruit & Vegetable Containers  Return your containers to the seller. (Which means you have to buy from someone who will take them back.) 
Just stop It's increasingly easy to cut out plastic altogether and still live a normal life without drawing too much attention to yourself. Just like vegetarian food last century - bit by bit, options are improving and in many cases are now better.

Help us to help everyone - add your tip below or on Social Media and we'll update the list.

Main Pic:  Unsplash | Karina Tess / Tips: Eco with Em

Something incorrect here? Suggest an update below:
Rachel Gaddi
Head of Marketplace Integrity

Don't forget to kindly tell your waiter: "no straw, please" when you order drinks for dine-in. Thursday, 11 July 2019

Kim Good
Managing Director

Change your nylon scourer for a coconut fibre scourer like the Eco Max Kitchen Scrubber. Millions of green scourers end up in landfill daily. Thursday, 11 July 2019

Jennifer Nielsen

Your tips are added Brendan and Adam. Thank you. šŸ˜Š Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Brendan S

And refuse the plastic cutlery. Tell the shop person to ask people if they need it! Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Related Tip

Much of the plastic we use is for convenience (disposable) or a replacement for something that might once have been packaged in glass or metal. The trick is to just try and be the teeniest bit more mindful when you pick up something plastic. Kicking the plastic bag habit is easy, but it takes a little persistence.

Giving up plastic is right up there with kicking any addictive habit. Alcohol, smoking, chocolate and coffee.

Here are a few tips from Eco with Em to get you started on giving up plastic bags.