While this week has seen a major step forward towards a greener future with the removal of single-use plastic bags from supermarkets, there is still a way to go in terms of reducing overall plastic consumption. Here’s a list of the easiest plastics to quit. Do you have other ideas? We would LOVE to hear them!
1. Plastic bags
Quitting plastic bags has to be the lowest hanging fruit of all, given Coles and Woolworths have stopped or are soon to stop offering free single-use plastic bags for purchases. We’ll have no choice, really! Those who shop at ALDI, Harris Farm and Costco will have had some practice, given those supermarkets have always offered reusable bags, paper bags or boxes.
But what happens when we didn’t plan to shop yet find ourselves at a supermarket checkout?
- Kmart sells great fold up bags that fold down to the size of 2 EFTPOS cards for about $2 or 3. They come in their own pouch – perfect to keep in your handbag for the unexpected retail shopping trip!
- Both Woolworths and Coles will have a range of reusable bags available for purchase starting at 15c for customers who don’t bring a bag from home.
- Woolworths will also offer a 99c ‘Bag for Good’ from which all proceeds to be donated to the Junior Landcare grants program, so that will help ease some guilt.
- For the first few weeks leave the bags on the front seat of the car as a reminder to take them into the supermarket
2. Use your own water bottle
Did you know it takes over 1,000 years for a single use plastic water bottle to break down? That means every water bottle that has ever been made STILL EXISTS (unless it has been recycled). Buy yourself a proper reusable water bottle, save $4 everytime you would have otherwise bought one and save the environment too.
3. “I don’t need a straw, thanks”
So many cafes and restaurants give out straws but truthfully, we don’t need them. A straw won’t change your life but it can kill our marine life very easily. If you love yourself a straw, buy a pack of 4 metal ones from Kmart for $3. Woolworths has announced they will no longer sell straws, so this should help curb usage too.
4. Cling Wrap and Gladbags
When your Cling wrap runs out next, see how long you can go without replacing it. Here are some options you can use instead:
- Re-usable food containers
- Alfoil (can be recycled)
- two plates
- a bowl with a small plate on top
- Sandwich bags
- Beeswax wraps
- Silicone wraps
- Cotton food covers
5. BYO to go
No doubt you’ve heard about bringing your own coffee cup to cafes but have you ever considered bringing your own containers to your favourite takeaway places? Another great idea is to try purchasing food like cereal, pasta, and rice from bulk bins (e.g.The Source Bulk Food, Rhodes) using reusable bags or containers.
Recycle your plastics
We get it, you’re trying hard but you’re still using a bit of plastic. It’s ok. You can collect your (clean) soft plastic and return them to your local Woolworths or Coles for recycling. For a list of suitable soft plastics, click here (http://www.redcycle.net.au/what-to-redcycle/). These plastics can be recycled to make all sorts of products, from fitness equipment to furniture, signage and more.
We hope these top 5 tips help you and your family, and in turn our world!