Tips on how to be Plastic Free

Plastic has been an extremely topical subject over the last few years as many plastic free schemes have successfully started up in towns all over Kent with Whitstable and Faversham both achieving ‘plastic free status’ this year.

300 million tons of plastic get produced every year and with the average time for plastic to decompose in landfills being 1000 years, it’s not an overreaction to state that we are destroying the world we live in.

We spoke with Sally Edge (Faversham Plastic Free) and Kati Ramsden (Bare Bazaar and Plastic Free Ashford) who provided some helpful tips on what you can do at home to help reduce your plastic consumption:

  • Cook more from scratch
  • Buy loose fruit and veg
  • Take your own tubs to the butchers or meat counters at supermarkets, and loose dry goods from your local package free shop
  • Re-use paper bags
  • Instead of using cling film or foil to keep food in the fridge, improvise and use a bowl with a plate on top to act as the lid
  • Keep glass jars as these can be good to store leftovers
  • Fold up a shopping bag to carry with you instead of purchasing more
  • Invest in a reusable bamboo coffee cup or water bottle rather than buying single-use ones each time you want a drink
  • Taking leftovers to work for lunch rather than buying expensive salads in single-use dishes.
  • Make your own cleaning products – a lot can be done with citric acid, bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar

Reasons why you should choose to reuse plastic:

  • Shoppers in the USA use almost one plastic bag per day, where as shoppers in Denmark use an average of four plastic bags a year
  • Nearly half of all plastic ever manufactured has been made in the last 20 years
  • Less than a fifth of all plastic gets recycled globally
  • 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic bags annually

The Plastic Free Schemes have been created for a community dedicated to minimising their local area’s contribution to the single-use plastic crisis.

It is part of a national initiative started by the ‘Surfers Against Sewage’ environmental organisation who have set up a national accreditation scheme aimed at communities all around the UK to build ‘Plastic Free Communities’.

This involves individuals, community groups, schools, businesses and the local authorities making a pledge to reduce their use of three types of single-use plastic as a first step.

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