Plastics and packaging

Find alternatives to single-use plastics

Using reusable alternatives to single-use plastics can reduce the amount of plastic waste you produce and save you money in the long run.

Here are six easy swaps you can do now

Be considerate when replacing one single-use material with another. For example, replacing a plastic straw with a paper one, only swaps one wasteful item for another. The real issue is that it only gets used once before being thrown away. How much better to use a reusable straw or have no straw at all if you don't really need it!

Reusable coffee cup 

 

Reduce unnecessary packaging

Reduce the amount of packaging in the home by choosing to buy in bulk and/or shop at locations that offer a refill service.

There are many products that are suitable for refill without compromising the quality and use of the product, for example, cleaning products, pasta, rice, dried fruit, baking ingredients and oils.

Dried fruits and seeds in bowls

The zero waste network is an online directory of shops offering products loose or in reusable packaging.

Making your own products, such as household cleaners, soap or make up is another way to reduce packaging. Often this can also save you money and is a good option if you are concerned about potentially harmful ingredients in certain products. Here are a few simple ideas from New Leaf Alresford to get you started.

Share your tried and tested methods with us on social media or email waste.prevention@hants.gov.uk.

 

Be cautious of 'biodegradable' or 'compostable' packaging

Packaging marked as ‘biodegradable’ or ‘compostable’ usually needs specialist facilities to break down. Currently, they are not considered suitable for home composting and cannot be processed via kerbside recycling or Household Waste Recycling Centres in Hampshire. If they cannot be avoided, consider reusing them as much as you can before disposing of them in your general household waste.

Buy it loose

Research shows that buying the correct amount of food such as fruit and veg loose, rather than pre-packaged, can significantly reduce the amount of food wasted in our homes, as well as reducing the need for plastic packaging. In fact, if all apples, bananas and potatoes were sold loose, and people bought just the amount they needed, it could save 60,000 tonnes of food waste and could reduce plastic packaging by 8,800 tonnes per year. A combined saving of more than 80,000 tonnes of CO2!

See more top tips and recipes for easy ways to reduce food waste in your kitchen.

Find out more

Find out what Central and Local Government, retailers and manufacturers are doing:
• reducing food waste through the Courtauld Commitment
• reducing plastic packaging through the Plastics Pact
• preventing problematic single-use items through bans, e.g. straws, stirrers and cotton buds

More ideas from Money Saving Expert for reducing plastic and saving money.