10 tips for living plastic-free

Date posted: 28 June 2019

This month we are encouraging Lake Macquarie to take up the Plastic Free July challenge to choose to refuse single use plastics. The plastic bottles, bags and takeaway containers that we use just for a few minutes are made from a material that is designed to last forever. By refusing to use these plastics, you will be helping the environment by avoiding waste to landfill and reducing the amount of pollution in our waterways.

Here are our top 10 tips to help you lead a plastic free life:

1. Reusable bags

Plastic bags are often used for a few minutes before being discarded and most plastic bags are not recycled, ending up in landfills – where they take hundreds of years to break down – or in the environment as toxic pollution.Ditch plastic bags and start bringing reusable bags with you everywhere you go.

2. Give up bottled water

Plastic water bottles aren’t just a waste, they may also be harmful to your health. Use a reusable water bottle or a glass jar and fill it at the tap.

3. Ditch the zip-lock bags

Ditch zip-top bags and plastic wrap for packing up leftovers and use reusable glass containers instead. You can safely reheat them in the microwave too. You can also swap out plastic wrapping with a brown paper bag to store your baked snacks.

4. Bring your own mug

Did you know that just about every takeaway coffee cup has a plastic lining that will outlive the average person? Next time you need that coffee fix, remember to bring your own reusable cup or mug. Some cafes even offer discounts or incentives if you use a reusable cup – helping you save money in the long-run!

5. Straws are for suckers

Do you really need that straw? Many restaurants and cafes will often give you a straw by default. When you order, remember to tell them, “No straw, please.” If you really need one, carry your own stainless steel or glass straw.

6. Steer clear of plastic packaging

When shopping, buy items that are plastic free where possible. Instead of buying the plastic wrapped meat or veggies, get the protein from the butcher wrapped in paper, and pack your veggies loose and plastic free in your own reusable bag.If an item you want comes in a glass jar or plastic container, choose glass.

7. Make your own cleaning products

Rather than buying pre-packaged cleaning items from the store, try making your own products. Homemade cleaning products are better for the environment because they don’t have any packaging and are made from natural materials. Here’s a few plastic free cleaning products you can make at home.

8. Host plastic-free parties

Treat your guests to reusable partyware instead of disposable plates, cups, and cutlery or try serving finger foods that don’t need utensils.

9. Replace plastics in your kitchen

Is your dish detergent in a plastic squeeze bottle? You could buy detergent in bulk and use a mason jar instead. That plastic scouring pad or plastic dishwashing brush could be replaced with a brush made of wood and natural fibres.

10. Have fun living with less plastic

Have fun with your plastic-free journey! Be innovative and creative in looking for new ways to express your life without plastic. Share your plastic-free tips with us on Facebook or Twitter. To accept the challenge, visit plasticfreejuly.org.

To accept the challenge, visit plasticfreejuly.org.

Page last updated: 28 June 2019