Plastic Free July is almost here! Will you take up the challenge? The goal is to avoid single use plastic for the month of July. Check out the website www.plasticfreejuly.org for recipes, ideas and tips. They also have their own list of plastic products and replacements, as well as lots of other information. My table below is an extract from my upcoming book, Shoestring Sustainability.
Now is the time to think about what sort of plastics you will avoid, and how you’ll manage that. You might need to shop at different places, switch brands, change your habits or try new recipes.
Avoiding new plastics is difficult at first. This table lists some common plastics, with non-plastic, reusable or recycled alternatives. Buying second-hand plastic reduces the need to manufacture it, but it can still impact your health (especially kitchenware and clothing). I try to avoid buying new plastics wherever I can, even if it’s not single use. So these ideas include other options for durable plastics as well.
Common plastic products
|Appliances||Metal, glass (eg. kettle), hand-powered wooden or metal|
|Bin bags||Newspaper, recycled plastic, biodegradable plastic|
|Bucket||Metal bucket, recycled plastic food buckets|
|CDs and cases||Music on USB, online download, cardboard case|
|Children’s furniture||Pine, other wood, papier mache, metal, cloth, wicker|
|Cling film||Sealable containers, fabric covers, plate over dishes in microwave, recycled fruit bags, washable velcro bags|
|Cups and plates||Ceramic, pressed or turned wood, bamboo, metal|
|Cutlery||Bamboo, metal, wood, corn starch|
|Dairy packaging||Paper cartons, glass milk bottles, waxed cheese|
|Dish brush and sponges||Cloth, metal scrubber, leaves, loofah, rags|
|Disposable nappies||Cloth (fitted or squares), eco disposables, nappy free|
|Food packaging||Paper bags, tins, glass, loose|
|Food storage||Glass jars, stainless steel, net bags (veg), ceramics|
|Jugs||Glass, metal, ceramic|
|Laundry basket||Wicker, wood and canvas|
|Non-stick cooking utensils||Wood, silicone|
|Pens||Recycled plastic, pencil, refillable ink|
|Picnic cups||Paper, enamel, stainless steel|
|Picnic plates||Large leaves, enamel, stainless steel, paper, bamboo, wood|
|Shopping bags||Green bags, trolley, basket, net bags, paper, no bag|
|Shower curtain||Glass door, fabric curtain, whole floor drain|
|Styrofoam takeaway cups||Paper, bring your own stainless steel or BPA-free mug|
|Synthetic carpet/rugs||Wool, sisal, jute, coir, sea mats, reeds, rag rug, bare floors|
|Synthetic clothing||Cotton (pref. organic), hemp, silk, linen, bamboo, wool|
|Water bottles||Stainless steel, BPA-free plastic|
Good luck with your plastic-free adventures! Tell me how you go!