There is an overwhelming amount of reasons as to why you would want to transition to a "plastic-free" lifestyle. Small acts in our day to day routines can result in huge changes to our future lifestyle, economy and society.
“We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
We are familiar with the 3 R's - reduce, reuse & recycle however Plastic Soup Foundation took this one step further and introduced another 4 R's.
Rethink: This step encourages us to take a step back and assess our surroundings. Look at what waste we are contributing, what plastic is already in our lives and rethink before adding to this.
Refuse: Say 'No!' more often to the little things like plastic straws, plastic cutlery, plastic bags when shopping, single use cups for milkshakes, smoothies, coffee's.. any drink!
Repair: Give things a second life before throwing them away! Fix them, make a project or create something totally new, this also relates back to rethinking what you are doing before you actually do it. Yes, it's easier to buy something new but repairing is something we have lost touch with as everything is at our tempting disposal.
Remove: We are going to show you how you can remove plastics from particular rooms in your home or workspace. This is not to say go and remove everything plastic and throw them in the bin, we definitely encourage using what you can until its ends of life before putting it in waste. But you can also take part in acts such as World Clean Up Day, weekly community clean ups and support organisations making the change.
Six out of eight Australian states and territories have committed to ban of single-use plastics. This includes such things as lightweight plastic bags, straws, drink stirrers, cutlery, polystyrene food + drink containers, plates + bowls, cotton bud sticks and so much more. The actioned and yet to be rolled out ban on single-use plastics for each state can be found here.
Going "plastic free" is not as easy as it sounds and we understand that. We want to help you break this down to simple steps so that you don't become too overwhelmed. Start slowly, remember your 7 R's and start to adapt your lifestyle.
Plastic Free In The Kitchen
Our kitchens are filled with plastic, there's no doubt about it. From food packaging, food storage, drink bottles or cooking utensils it really is a lot when you take a step back and look at this area as a whole. But this is not to say we can't make small changes like;
1. If you are getting a takeaway meal and cannot provide your own container and the place you are ordering from uses plastic containers, keep them and reuse them. This may not be "plastic-free" but you're reducing your waste overall.
2. Stop purchasing plastic wrap - Plastic wrap contributes to the larger plastic pollution crisis, it’s difficult to recycle, and it’s made from potentially harmful chemicals, especially as they break down in the environment. Choose a friendlier option such was our Vegan Wax Wraps to cover, store or wrap your food with.
3. Say no to single-use plastic bottles or coffee cups and always keep a reusable one of each handy so you are not tempted. Make it a rule that you cannot have a delicious takeaway coffee without your reusable coffee cup.
4. Be mindful of what you are using to wash your dishes, generally speaking these are made of plastic. Choose a reusable, biodegradable and compostable option instead such as our Biodegradable Sponge Cloth.
Plastic Free In The Bathroom
Your bathroom can hold a variety of plastic bottled products such as body care, skin care, hair care or even cleaning products. You can approach this in 2 ways - be mindful of what you are buying and only buy things in glass bottles or get creative and make your own products that are plastic free & chemical free.
1. You can be mindful of what you are buying and what packaging it comes in. There is access to lots of recyclable or glass packaging and if this isn't an option, save your containers and reuse or repurpose them.
2. Making your own products is really easy and there's so many benefits to it! You know what's in it, you can choose mindfully what you're making + storing them in, if anything, and you are eliminating the need to buy more which naturally eliminates waste.
Plastic Free In The Laundry
Our laundry is a room which may also be filled with plastic bottles for cleaning products or laundry detergent. It can also contain plastic pegs to hang our washing out with. Simple ways we can transform to plastic free;
1. Rethink what you're purchasing and reach for a non-plastic option and reuse the containers or bottles in which you do purchase.
2. Switch to stainless steel pegs - plastic pegs are simply not good for the environment. Not only are they not biodegradable, they don't weather well which leaves them falling to pieces and hard to collect. This has seen to effect birds as they are attracted to the bright colours and consume the broken fragments. Stainless steel pegs last longer that you'll be able to pass them down to your children!
Plastic Free In The Living Room & Bedroom
Take a minimalist approach, while we love something new take a moment to see what it's made of and what it comes packaged in. It's fun to unpack new items but have you noticed what you're left with as a result of this? Usually a bin full of plastic or styrofoam. What you can do;
1. Buy secondhand - search Facebook Marketplace, Op shops or antique stores.
2. Opt for less clutter in these spaces, keep it minimal yet clean. You can also opt for more eco-friendly or sustainable gifts if you find these spaces fill up with thoughtful but junky gifts.
Other great starting places to going plastic free are;
- Grocery shopping - do not use the plastic fruit & veg bags, take your own or simply don't use one. They will only be in them for a short-time and end up in the bin anyway!
- Take your own containers to the butcher or deli for your cold meats to help avoid the plastic in which they are wrapped or stored in.
- Create your own travel set for your car which can have things like a KeepCup, Thermo Water Bottle & Cutlery Set. This way you always have it on hand for when you're out and about.
You may feel your small changes aren't changing the world, but they are. The smallest action or change can impact significantly regardless of what it is.
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Author: Georgia Doherty
Georgia is the Marketing Assistant at ECO. Modern Essentials. Georgia oversees the company's social media platforms, helps coordinate brand collaborations, is a leader for ECO.'s content creation + DIY recipes and manages ECO.'s affiliate program. She is a qualified Beauty Therapist with extensive Dermal Therapy qualifications, a Diploma in Training Design & Development with a Aromatherapy Practitioner Certificate. Georgia is passionate about leading a happy & healthy life and helping educate those around her.
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