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It’s Plastic Free July – here’s 11 ways to stop consuming plastic

Published: Thursday, 15 July, 2021

It’s Plastic Free July, the global movement that encourages people to do what they can to help save the environment from plastic pollution. More than 300 million people across the world have taken up the challenge to date.

To help you, we’ve compiled a list of eleven easy ways to reduce your plastic use.

And remember, it’s better to start out small than not at all.

1. Carry a reusable water bottle & coffee cup – Just 50% of plastic bottles are recycled and less than 0.5% of coffee cups. Using reusable bottles and coffee cups helps both the environment and your pocket. Visit Domestic Science in Nailsworth for sustainable water bottle and travel cup options.

2. Avoid pre-packaged food - Plastic free food options are usually available at local grocers, butchers and plastic free stores; meaning you can help the environment, support a small business, eat local and enjoy tastier produce all at the same time! Try Wotton’s plastic free shop Good Food on the Edge.

3. Buy in bulk - Buying in bulk cuts down your plastic consumption and is usually cheaper. Try Loose in Stroud.

4. Remember your shopping bags – On average a plastic bag is used for only 12 minutes – what a waste! Taking reusable bags is an easy habit to get into. If you forget them, be sure to reuse the plastic bags for as long as possible and if you have lots at home, most supermarkets offer a service where you can take them to be recycled. Visit Recycle Now to find your nearest carrier bag recycling point.

5. Avoid synthetic fabrics or buy second hand clothing – Buying clothes made of natural fibres such as cotton, linen and wool is not only better for the environment but will also last longer and be gentler on your skin. However, buying clothes made of natural fibres can be more expensive, so buying second hand clothing is a great alternative that reduces the demand for fast fashion and saves resources. Stroud district is full of charity and vintage shops such as Longfield Hospice, Oxfam and Time After Time.

6. Make or buy a reusable face mask –Making or buying your own reusable face mask will help reduce the amount of plastic going to landfill whilst also being cheaper than constantly buying disposable masks. Here is a tutorial on how to make your own mask.

7. Use food containers – Ditch the clingfilm and switch to food containers, preferably ones made of glass. Or store leftover food in a bowl covered with a plate. Check out Cornflower and Calico or Vintage Mary in Stroud’s Shambles Market for your kitchenware needs.

8. Stop using wipes – There are many alternatives out there for cleaning, make-up removal and babies, and they’re usually more cost effective too. If you do buy wipes make sure they are plastic free and biodegradable.

9. Look out for recycling reward schemes – Some containers can’t be recycled through council services; but they may be accepted by a recycling scheme – there’s lots of information on local options here. For example, Boots offer rewards points when empty beauty, health, wellness and dental products are returned.

10. Shop responsibly for your toiletries – Lots of companies are now starting to sell eco friendly alternatives to plastic packaged toiletries such as shampoo and conditioner bars, refillable deodorants and even plastic free bamboo plasters. Try Trippy Lippy Naturals for your beauty needs!

11. Quit Smoking – Cigarettes make up for a third of all collected litter. Cigarette filters contain microplastics which are a hazard to waterways, oceans and plants. If you needed another reason to quit, besides your health and the expense, this is it. Head to NHS for help and advice on how to quit.

One of Stroud District Council’s key priorities is the environment and creating a better place to live for everyone. This commitment has been demonstrated through our recent submission to the MJ Awards for Leadership in Responding to the Climate Emergency. Our comprehensive strategy and plan drives progress on our undertaking to be carbon neutral and ecologically resilient by 2030.

For lots more tips and tricks on how to live plastic free in Stroud district visit Action on Plastic, and download the Refill app to be connected with places to eat, drink and shop with less waste.

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