5 simple plastic-free switches to Beat Plastic Pollution

5 minute guide

This year’s World Environment Day had the theme, Beat Plastic Pollution.

By now, most of us are familiar with plastic free alternatives to the “Big 4” plastic polluters: plastic bags, water bottles, plastic straws and coffee cups. 

But what about the rest? Sustainable business guru and make and mend maven, Jen Gale, shares her quick tips to help you ditch the disposables.

Jen Gale 4 June 2018


Once we’ve sourced re-usable alternatives for the Big 4, what can we do next as individuals and families to cut back on single use plastic, asks Jen Gale.

5 simple plastic-free switches to Beat Plastic Pollution

Swap handwash for good old fashioned soap

Have you ever thought about the number of plastic bottles in your house that could be replaced by a humble bar of soap?

Hand wash in every bathroom and shower gel at the very least.

Bar soap is a super simple solution that seems somehow quaintly old-fashioned now. The good news is that there are some fabulous independent soap makers out there, making sustainable palm oil free soaps that are good for you and good for the planet – check out All Natural Soap here, The Soap Co's wool wrapped pebble here or the Gloucestershire, The Soap Folk here.

Plastic Free Swaps Bar Of Soap

Put away the pump and embrace the bar of soap

Swap clingfilm for beeswax wraps

Although clean clingfilm can be recycled with plastic carrier bags, a far better alternative is simply to avoid it altogether.
Try good old Tupperware (yes, still plastic, but not single use) or even a plate on top of bowls of leftovers to help keep them fresh. 

If you’re wanting to add to your zero waste supplies, then have a look at beeswax wraps – either make your own or buy some jazzy ones like these from Swizzle or Bee Bee Wraps.

Plastic Free Swaps Beeswax Wraps1

Stop getting stuck in clingfilm and swap to beautifully simple and plastic free beeswax wraps

Swap roll on for cream

Roll on deodorants tend to come encased in plastic that is currently not easily recycled. 

An easy switch is the plastic free, organic deodorant cream, Fit Pit, available here, or if you’re really keen, this is my tried and tested recipe for homemade deodorant (yes really – I promise it works!).

Swap a shampoo bottle for a solid bar

Back to the bathroom where even if you’ve made the switch to soap I’m willing to bet there are still single use plastic bottles a plenty. 

Try out solid shampoo bars to replace your regular bottle - Lush make solid shampoo bars or check out these ones here from Wild Sage.

Want to ditch other plastics from your bathroom - read our Ditch the Disposables feature here.

Ditch the lunchtime single use

If you have young children of a certain age, you might find that you have endless empty pouches of pureed food hitting the bin each day. 

Check out these re-usable replacements from Nom Nom – the convenience of a pouch without the plastic price tag for the planet.

Alternatively, ditch the plastic carton covered takeaway lunch for a reusable, plastic free lunchbox, like this one from Nature & My, made of rice husks (Ed - it's the one I use!).

Plastic Free Swaps Lunchbox

Swap your single use plastic covered lunch and take your own in a plastic free lunchbox like this one

Jen Gale is a sustainable living specialist, founder of the A Sustainable Life with Jen Gale Facebook Group and the Sustainable Life podcast.

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Want to live a plastic free life? Here's how to get started in 5 easy steps

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