The War on Plastic How to Reduce Plastic Waste in the Kitchen

It’s no secret that as a planet, we have a big plastic problem on our hands. And with constant media coverage on how plastic waste is filling our oceans, harming our wildlife and polluting our water, it’s easy to feel helpless in fighting the battle against plastic pollution. However, the good news is we can make a difference as consumers. The choices we make in our supermarkets are hugely important in fighting the war on plastic. From humble fruit and vegetables to meat, to toiletries, we have the opportunity to make better choices in everything we buy. Our six part guide will help you reduce plastic waste in all areas of your home starting with your kitchen.
plastic pollution in water
Look for the green label

Most food items will display a label on their packaging to show whether or not the packaging can be recycled. You may look for these labels before you toss it in the bin at home, but what about when you‘re out shopping? Often we find once we’ve eaten the contents of an items packaging, the plastic waste left over cannot be recycled, and the damage is done. By checking a food items packaging when shopping you can avoid the guilt of sending needless waste to landfill.
recycling plastic bottle
Look for plastic alternatives

Many kitchen items needlessly use plastic where alternative materials are equally suitable. Wood for example is an excellent option for dish brushes, which are often made of plastic and disposed of after a week or two. Even if your wood dish brush makes its way to landfill or even the ocean after use, it will not cause harm or disruption to its environment like plastic will. Other great plastic alternatives are bamboo and coconut. Both bamboo and coconut dish brushes can easily be found online for reasonable prices.
wood dish brush
Cling film is another common kitchen item which needlessly relies on plastic to wrap and protect food. Next time you’re at the supermarket, ditch the cling film roll. There are many other plastic free and reusable options you can use to keep your food fresh! One great alternative is to use plates. Next time you want to keep something covered in the fridge, stick it in a bowl and cover with a plate. Tupperware is another great alternative that does in fact use plastic, yet can be reused thousands of times. Beeswax wraps can also be used to cover food in the fridge or wrap a sandwich up for lunch.
beeswax wrap
Cleaning products are a big culprit of plastic waste. We often look for cleaning products which will make the laborious task of cleaning easier, but this convenience often comes at a price. Antibacterial wipes for example are one of the most wasteful cleaning products on the market. Often the wipes are made of non degradable plastics and thoughtlessly tossed into the bin after just one use. Instead of relying on single use wipes to get your kitchen clean, use cotton cloths and rags to wipe up spills and clean your kitchen counters. A simple soap and water solution is proven to be just as effective of ridding your counters of harmful bacteria. However, if you prefer to use commercial cleaning products just make sure you choose bottles that are recyclable. Some companies now offer refillable bottles in recyclable packaging too!
cleaning products
Avoid pre-packaged where possible

Buying loose produce can not only work out cheaper, but illuminates the need for plastic packaging. If your supermarket does not supply paper bags to weigh and carry loose produce, bring your own! Better yet, ditch the supermarket all together for your fresh produce and head to your local market instead. Independent markets rarely offer pre packaged produce and should also be happy to let you fill your own, reusable containers with their fresh fruit and veg.
fruit market
Give up bottled water

Despite the horrific images of the millions upon millions of plastic bottles floating in our oceans and washed up on our beaches, bottled water is still a regular purchase for many of us, why? Because bottled water is convenient and tastes better. If you’re admittedly a fan of bottled water, swapping to a reusable water bottle could mean 150 less plastic bottles are used each year – yes, that’s just from you alone! If the taste of tap water is something you really can’t stand, you may want to invest in a water filter before making the switch. If you’re a fan of the sparkling kind, a water carbonator should give you that fizzy feeling without the need for plastic bottles. Just one, good quality carbonator could help to cut down plastic bottle consumption by over 1200 bottles!
plastic water bottles