plastic

Reusing

Reusing is straightforward and easy to do at home, work or on the move!

By thinking more about the things we buy and how we can reuse them we can save the environment and money too.

Simple solutions - out and about

Using a reusable shopping bag is a cheap, easy way to cut waste and save yourself money in the long term. If used properly a reusable bag can replace over 600 single use carriers in its lifetime.

 

Plastic bags have a significant impact on our environment.  Government scientists believe that plastic in the sea is set to treble in a decade unless marine litter is curbed. Since the 5p charge was introduced over 9 billion plastic bags have been taken out of circulation and there has been an estimated 50% reduction in plastic bag marine litter.

Using a water bottle is simple, saves waste and can save you money on bottles of water, pop and other soft drinks.  Many establishments offer free refills and community taps are on the rise.

 

7 billion plastic bottles are used every year in the UK.  Few on-the-go drinks bottles are recycled and a number contribute to litter on our streets. If just 10% of Brits refilled once a week we could save around 340 million plastic bottles a year.

Carrying a reusable hot drink cup is a great way to cut waste and many retailers offer a discount on your brew of choice when you bring your own cup.

 

7 million disposable coffee cups are used every day in the UK, this equates to a staggering 2.5 billion a year, enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall.  Around half a million of these are then littered each day causing environmental damage as well as unsightly streets.  By bringing your own cup we can reduce the number used whilst making it easier to spot which is yours and often keeping your drink hotter for longer.

Reusable lunchboxes and food containers can help cut food waste, are a great way to transport meals and snacks and help cut our reliance on convenience food - saving us money and helping us make healthier choices.

 

Food stored properly will last longer meaning that we have more opportunity to enjoy it.  Using a lunchbox or food container to store leftovers gives you a quick, easy meal that is ready to go when you are.  

Buying loose fruit and veg cuts plastic packaging at home, reduces food waste by letting you buy just what you need and often saves money.

 

Try putting a basket in the front of your trolley to pop your loose fruit and veg in, visiting a greengrocer or simply swapping plastic veg bags for fabric ones that can be reused, washed and keep your items together. 

 

If you buy your fruit and veg loose you can make life easier by putting it on the conveyor in groups of items and don't give in to temptation at the till and accept plastic veg bags, you've come this far :)

Did you know?

Using a reuseable bag once a week can replace around 100 plastic bags a year or over 600 in its lifetime!

Simple solutions - around the home

The rise in fast fashion has caused a rise in the amount of clothes we thrown away, this has now reached a staggering 300,000 tonnes of clothes a year in the UK.  This has a massive environmental impact and is a missed opportunity to save or make money.

 

In the UK, nearly a third of clothes, worth over £1,000 per household, haven't been worn in the last year.  There is massive potential for us to get more from what we already have.  Over 5% of the UK's total annual carbon and water footprints are from clothing consumption.  If we kept our clothes in active use just 9 months longer (to an average life of around 3 years), this would reduce their carbon, water and waste footprints by 20-30%

 

By buying less and better quality clothing, choosing pre-owned more often, caring and repairing for what we have and donating items we no longer need we can make a massive reduction in the clothes we waste and save ourselves some money in the process.

Swapping to reusable wipes can save money, the environment and may even be better for your skin.

 

Facewipes and wet wipes are behind a staggering 93% of blocked UK sewer pipes and make up a key element of fatbergs with a terrifying 9.3 million flushed down the toilet every day.  With many marked as flushable we often don't realise that these wipes are made of plastic and absolutely shouldn't go down the loo.

 

Reusable face wipes and flannels can be used, washed along with your towels, dry quickly and are ready to use again.  Many can be bought for the price of a packet of wet wipes but will last years.

Reusable nappies and baby wipes can help dramatically cut the waste associated with a young child and save money in the long term.  If parents take sensible steps to reduce the environmental impact of cleaning and drying them the Environment Agency have found that reusable nappies can be 40% better for the environment than disposables.

 

From birth to potty training the average baby will go through over 5,000 disposable nappies which take hundreds of years to decompose and cost hundreds of pounds.  It is estimated that the cost of real nappies is around £80 for a basic set plus around £1 a week to wash them saving money across your child's early years.  If these are then used for a 2nd child the savings really mount up - both environmentally and economically.

 

Reusable baby wipes are a washable alternative to disposables, they can be washed along with your reusable nappies and are typically stored in a clean or dirty box to ensure they don't get mixed up.

Beeswax wraps are an easy way to reduce our clingfilm and plastic wrap use and save money in the long term.  Wraps can be used, cleaned and reused to help keep a wide range of foods fresher for longer.

 

More than 1.2 billion metres of clingfilm is used by households in Britain every year - enough to go around the world 30 times.  Clingfilm is hard to recycle and due to the ways we use it a lot ends up in our environment as litter.

 

Beeswax wraps are a great alternative for wrapping or storing foods like sandwiches, cheese and cake and can easily be used to cover bowls and tubs to keep leftovers fresh to use later.

84% of people in Britain drink tea or herbal infusions every day making a staggering 100 million cups a day or almost 36 billion a year.  96% of this is made using tea bags but many don't know that their tea bags are sealed with plastic. 

 

Switching to loose leaf tea and an infuser or strainer could help reduce waste and the spent tea leaves are great for your compost heap.

 

An impressive 70 million cups of coffee are made every day in Britain and nearly a third of all UK households own an espresso pod coffee machine.  Around 39,000 coffee pods are made every minute around the world, most of which will be thrown away.  Although environmentally worse than instant coffee, pods are thought to be better than filter coffee as less coffee is needed per cup though this isn't always how it appears as the coffee pods are viewed as a more obvious source of waste. 

 

By using an aluminium pod that is returned to store for recycling or reusable pods that can be filled with just the right amount of coffee, the grinds composted and the pod reused we can help to reduce our waste.

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