Tuesday, 5 July 2016

10 Simple Ways to Rid Yourself of Single-Use Plastics for Plastic-Free July (and beyond)

In Plastic-free July aim to refuse single-use plastic and create new habits that carry past July 31. Here are some ideas:

Free veggies!

  1. Let your fruit and veg be free. You do not need to put them in those plastic bags provided on rolls. Take them loose to the checkout, use a paper bag if available, or make your own lightweight reusable fresh produce bags.
  2. Refuse to buy pre-wrapped fruits and vegetables.
  3. Choose paper or cloth-wrapped baking products.
  4. Make your own biscuits and crackers to avoid all that double packaging (here's a good cracker recipe) 
  5. Use beeswax wraps instead of cling wrap. (See here how to make your own cheaply)
  6. Try lining some with newspaper - not all your bins need a plastic liner.
  7. Refuse straws.
  8. Carry your own water bottle with you.
  9. Carry your own keep cup for take-away coffees.
  10. Take a plastic-wrap/packaging-free lunch out with you to avoid the need to purchase processed plastic-wrapped foods.

Home-made seedy crackers are super easy and quick - a great way to reduce the double-wrapped shop-bought versions. I think they are far more delicious too.
What have you been trying? 

What ideas have you got to help go plastic-free (particularly free from single-use plastics) this July?


  1. Hmmmm, not so much single use plastic but we are slowly replacing the items in the plastics/tupperware cupboard as they break with glass and stone - these will last a lifetime. We turn single use plastic into multiple use plastic by using plastic wrappers etc as freezer bags and freezer separators. buying in staples and cooking everything from scratch automatically reduces plastics by 50%. Plastic containers get used as pots and seedling pots.

  2. Hi, Morag. I like all of your ideas! We have stainless steel straws instead of plastic straws at our place and we can take these with us when we go out. We've been using them for a couple of years and they are great! I buy butter wrapped in paper and not in plastic tubs. We then use a glass butter dish to store that pat of butter we're using. And, I've found a little local bakery that sells milk in glass bottles. No more plastic milk bottles or tops! I make a lot of our food here at home but I'm keen to try your cracker recipe. Plastic is hard to avoid if you buy crackers! Meg

  3. I spent a couple of hours on this project yesterday.trying to find milk in glass bottles.we are omnivorous so asked the butcher to put my meat in a glass bowl. No problem he said then put it in a plastic bag in the bowl.😐will have to try the crackers!

  4. The plastic milk bottles really upset me. We use at least 2 a week. I always buy our milk in 3 litre containers to try and save a but surely most people would be happier buying their milk in glass bottles. Also what about councils who won't collect the rubbishy bins unless it is put in plastic bags. We have very little rubbish each week but it does concern me to have to use plastic.

  5. I do most of these now. However we still buy most of our bread at the local bakery (sliced) and we freeze it in the plastic bag as it makes that easy although I do re use those bags at least once. I am going to get (making might be too far down the list) some bees wax wraps though. I am so annoyed when I see so much fruit and veg in plastic containers - the other day I saw bananas in a plastic box at woolworths - WHY? Our bananas mostly come from our trees which is wonderful and I would never put theme in a bag anyway. I am getting ready to make a home made solar dehydrator - hopefully before all the bananas ripen on the latest bunch!
    We are not a vegetarian household either and I have been wondering how to get the butcher to come onboard as they use a plastic bag to pick the meat up. Interested to know what others have done?

    1. when i was a kid we dried bananas sliced on cake racks on the tin roof of the shed. it was our job to put them out and bring them in at nighttime so we didnt share with the possums! after the second day we turned the slices over and one more day on the roof they were perfect. easy solar no problems

    2. Drying surplus produce is fantastic! Wow- drying bananas on the roof. I've been drying mandarin peel for later use in cooking on my car dashboard - very quick.

  6. Make your own Ice Tea. Simply cut some lemon slice, add sugar to taste and your favorite tea, add boiling water, remove the tea when infused, let it cool down, put in the fridge till cold and drink when needed. You can vary endlessly to make mint tea, ginger tea or whatever other flavor takes your fancy. Tastier, healthier and cheaper than corporate ice tea and no plastic needed.

    1. That's great! I've been recently putting some dried rosella and ginger in my water and allowing it to steep through the day - so refreshing.

  7. We usually bring our own reusable bags when we go shopping and I always keep one in my purse as a spare. We Also rarely use cling wrap. I maybe use it twice a year. I too wish that we didn't have to put our recycling (we recycle everything we can) in a plastic bag. or else it won't be picked up. I always bring a water bottle with me and We never buy pre-wrapped veg unless they've been put on clearance in which case we have to buy them in the baggies the put them in. This is such a great idea for this month.

  8. Our plastic milk bottles get recycled. I use glass storage containers, but they have plastic lids. I don't use straws. I don't buy takeaway hot drinks. I don't use plastic bags for my fruit and vegetables at the supermarket... I use too many snap lock bags and always forget to bring a bag to the supermarket to bring my groceries home in...I go shopping once a week, so I don't get plastic bags very often, and most times only 3...I see that there are some easy changes I could make... Thanks for the tips 😊