At GoJute we are constantly searching for new ways to make our lives more sustainable and to reduce our impact on the planet. Our dependence on plastic has come to the forefront of the media in the last few weeks, with the UK government and large retailers announcing their own plans to become single use plastic free. But with some of their targets set 25 years away, how can we start making a difference today? This got us thinking! and we have compiled a list of our top 10 tips to help you reduce your everyday dependence on single use plastics!
Plastic straws are now found in the majority of drinks we purchase on the high street. In fact, America alone consumes a whopping 500 million plastic straws every day! With each straw having a lifespan of only a few minutes, is the damage the plastic pollution creates really worth the convenience? We definitely don’t think so! and a lot of retailers are starting to agree too. Both JD Weatherspoons and Wagamama are the largest chains to date that have stopped giving out plastic straws in every drink and they now offer a recyclable, paper alternative! But what can you do if the stores you visit haven’t made the plastic free switch? You can purchase your own reusable metal straw to carry around and ensure you never have to commit the plastic straw sin.
Who wasn’t shocked when David Attenborough’s latest series of Blue Planet revealed the shocking amount of plastic particles we are now consuming due to our own plastic pollution? All plastics and their pollution can cause harm, but did you know there are some worst offenders to avoid? The three most toxic plastics are Polyvinyl Chloride (#3), Polystyrene (#6) and Polycarbonate (#7) as they can cause an array of harmful effects on our bodies. If you avoid buying any plastic with the numbers 3,6 and 7 inside the plastic triangle symbol, then you can help to avoid their toxic effects.
Now obviously this a bit of a biggy for us! But a jute bag can replace the need for up to 600 single use plastic bags in its lifetime, stopping the need for a vast amount of single use plastic. Our jute bags are made from natural jute fibers that completely biodegrade, unlike the 600 plastic bags that would be haunting the planet for up to 1000 years later. So always remember to take your trusted jute bag when you head out to the shop!
Did you know that bottled water is less regulated than tap water, requires enormous resources to collect, bottle and ship it and most bottles are just filtered tap water anyway? So why waste your hard earned money on adding even more plastic to our environment! Get your self a reusable stainless steel or glass bottle and start refilling today.
On the go and in need or a refill? check out refill.org, their handy app can quickly find your nearest free water refill point.
We currently throw away a massive 2.5 billion coffee cups each year! Did you know that single use paper cups are actually lined with plastic? This results in the vast majority of cups ending up in landfill sites. That’s an awful lot of wasted energy and plastic pollution just for one hot drink. We could get rid of most of that waste by simply taking our own reusable coffee cups with us when we grab our caffeine fix. Some stores even offer a discount for bringing your own cup, so why wouldn’t you?
When your next purchasing your cleaning supplies, food and drink and any other products, why not be more cost effective and buy in bulk. Bulk purchases tend to have less packaging in comparison to the product quantity and some stores will even let you bring your own container to refill, eliminating 100% of the plastic used in the packaging!
Why buy your fruit and veg covered in sinful plastic when nature grew them with their own protective skin? Next time you’re at the supermarket challenge yourself to buy as many fresh products unwrapped as nature intended. If you find yourself underwhelmed by the amount of plastic free fruit and veg at your supermarket, why not head to your local greengrocers where you’re guaranteed to find an array of fresh unpackaged goods!
Rather than picking up your weekly pints in plastic bottles at your local supermarket, you could be getting fresh milk delivered to your door. Not only does this eliminate the need for plastic but you are reducing the amount of transport between your fridge and the field.
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Now this one surprised us, did you know that nearly all tea bags contain plastic? we certainly didn’t! It turns out that the vast majority of tea bags are ‘heat sealed’ and in order to do this, they require a thin layer of plastic to bond the paper tea bags together. There are some exceptions to this, as some more ethical tea companies do use cotton thread to stitch their tea bags, eliminating the need for any plastic. But to be on the safe side an evolution over to loose tea is a guaranteed way to keep your next tea break plastic free.
Now we don’t expect you to be able to keep to every point on this list every day, as sadly we do live in a world where it’s sometimes unavoidable to purchase plastic. But if we all take a few steps in the right direction and share these tips with others then we will start to reduce our everyday plastic consumption. And if supermarkets start to see a change in our spending habits towards plastic free products, they will have no choice but to make the switch too!