Plastic Free?

Being totally plastic free is not doable. It is an unachievable ideal that causes stress and actually stops people from making even small changes.

Any changes you can make are worthwhile. Ditch the impossible dream, along with zero-waste. Don't go through your house and throw out plastic but think carefully about buying anything new from plastic and definitely reduce your single use plastic.

Not all plastic is the enemy. We need plastic, for example plastic has many uses in the medical field, it keeps food fresh avoiding food waste, a lot of our household white goods and entertainment goods couldn't be made without plastic. Rapid Antigen self-test kits are a box of plastic being made in China and shipped to my house via the NHS every week. I use them because I feel its the right thing to do, there is no alternative.

Sometimes plastic can even be a good alternative as at the moment some plastics are more easily recycled than tetra packs.

Ideas to limit the amount of plastic

Here are some easy swaps or ideas to limit the amount of plastic you use. There are also lots of ideas in the Household section of this website.

Use a refillable water bottle and reusable coffee cup.

Carry reusable bags out with you. There are some really compact products available.

Buy large packs and transfer to smaller containers or reusable bags e.g. a traybake or large packet of crisps and then transfer to a small pot or bag for packed lunch.

Buy large containers of laundry liquid and washing up liquid. Ocado and other supermarkets have started selling products like this.

Look carefully at the packaging of the things you buy there are often alternatives that use less plastic.

Make your own beauty and cleaning products and store in glass jars.

There are cleaning products that you can buy online and then add the water at home.

Buy fruit and vegetables loose or use a box scheme.

Buy milk in glass bottles from a local milk delivery service.

Use stretchy lids, use tea plates over bowls ,make bowl covers, use beeswax as alternatives to clingfilm.

Use solid shampoo and soap bars.

Use bamboo toothbrushes and wooden toothpicks you can also buy wooden handled floss brushes. There are alternatives to toothpaste in plastic tubes but I haven't been brave enough to try!

Hidden plastics

Be wary of tea bags and coffee pods, there are plastic free alternatives.

Glitter - biodegradable plant based glitter can be bought online

Chewing gum - there are plastic free gums available online

Christmas wrapping papper is often laminated with plastic and foil, much of it is not recyclable. 227,000 miles of wrapping paper in the UK is thrown away each year.


Due to customer pressure supermarkets are reducing single use plastics and increasing reusable packaging and unpacked ranges.

Waitrose has stayed at the top of the league table in reducing plastics (Greenpeace and the Environmental Investigation Authority)

In some Sainsbury's stores there are large recycling points and several stores have introduced recycling of single use plastics such as pet food sachets and cling film