5 easy ways to cut plastic from your... kitchen
Credit: Quince Creative
1. Dishwasher tablets
We often take it for granted that dishwasher tablets come in plastic boxes or, worse, unrecyclable plastic pouches. But take a few seconds to scan the supermarket shelves and you’ll see several brands (including mainstream, affordable options) which come in cardboard boxes. Make sure the tabs themselves are dissolvable and wrapper-free too!
Of course some brands will be better than others when it comes to cleaning performance, ingredients and air miles, but cutting out plastic packaging is a definite step in the right direction.
2. Buy loose vegetables
If only fruit and vegetables had some sort of natural skin to protect them…
Recent decades have seen a sad trend in favour of needlessly pre-bagged vegetables, especially in supermarkets.
But it is still often possible (and usually cheaper!) to get most of the basics in loose form. When buying large quantities, use a simple cotton or hemp bag. If more people insist on ditching plastic, shops are bound remove the wrapping from additional products. So dive in!
3. Ditch soap bottles!
Sometimes the old ways are the best. In recent years we seem to have stopped using traditional solid bars of soap in favour of plastic bottles. Not only are soap bottles very difficult to recycle, but they’re largely filled with water, which we’re paying for!
A bar of soap will usually last longer, and is still effective at combating viruses and bacteria.
4. Use glass jars to buy and store loose cereal and pasta
Cereals, pasta, and rice are some of the worst culprits when it comes to plastic packaging. High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), for example, is the type of soft plastic used inside many cereal boxes. It is hard to recycle, with many local councils not able to process it at all.
A great solution is to use old glass jars, or purpose-made storage jars, which can be refilled at an increasing number of local grocery stores and farm shops.
Artfully arranged in a cupboard or on a shelf, they also look great!
5. Stop using cling film!
Is it really worth bringing a sheet of plastic in to the world for hundreds of years just to cover some boiled vegetables in the fridge for a day or two?
Why not put leftovers in to a bowl, covering the top with a saucer or small plate? If the food needs to be sealed, grab some tupperware instead. Better yet, look for eco-friendly food containers and lunch boxes made of bamboo, metal or glass!
Room for improvement: laundry tabs
We think all packaging for laundry capsules could easily be made of cardboard. However (unlike laundry tabs), we struggle to find many options, with most products being sold online by small, specialist companies.
We don’t like the idea of sending delivery vans around towns and cities for the sake of delivering individual online orders, so we’re still on the lookout for a widespread product available in supermarkets.