Remember your reusables!

The reported problems of plastic in our environment, from our soils to our seas, has shown us that it is more important than ever before to ditch plastic from our daily lives. The best way to do this is to swap single-use for reusable alternatives.

Remembering to grab items such as water bottles, coffee cups and shopping bags as we head out the door should be as important as picking up your wallet, keys or phone. There are plenty of other changes that you can make as well...

Remember your reusables

Water bottles

In the UK, we use 13 billion plastic bottles every year, that's all drinks, milk and toiletry bottles. Water bottles make up a staggering 60 per cent of this. Instead of buying bottled water, simply use a reusable drinks bottle instead. Whether you're heading out to work, the shops, school or just out to play, make sure you remember, reuse and refill your drinks bottle.

Refill

Thanks to a fantastic new initiative called Refill, topping up your bottle when out and about is being made even easier. Refill allows public places, such as cafés, pubs and restaurants, to register as Refill stations that will happily refill your bottle with free tap water. You can find your nearest Refill stations on the go by downloading the Refill app or keeping an eye out for Refill window stickers.

We need support in building the number of Refill stations listed in Hertfordshire. Find out how you can register your business - it only takes a minute and is free of charge.  

Tap water

Around 15 per cent of people in the UK only ever drink bottled water. By switching from bottled water to either tap or filtered water you will not only be drastically reducing the amount of plastic used, but saving money, too. Tap water doesn't carry the carbon footprint, either.

Remember your reusables on the go

Keep cups

Remember Your Coffee Cup The UK uses 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year, and only 1 in 400 of these can be recycled. If you enjoy hot drinks on the go, it’s time to invest in a reusable cup. Check out different cups available to buy and discounts that are offered for using your own cup.

Shopping bags

The 5p bag charge resulted in an 85 per cent drop in plastic bag use - let’s get that to 100 per cent. Leave your reusable bags in your car, handbag or by the door so you always remember to use them.

Lunchboxes

Making packed lunches for you or the whole family can not only help cut down the amount of waste you create, but it is often much healthier and cheaper than buying food on the go.

Cutlery

Sporks, chopsticks or just normal knives and forks - there are lots of different reusable cutlery choices to choose from. If you're planning on eating on the go, make sure you have a set ready to pop in your bag or pocket.

Straws

Straws suck! Remind restaurants and bars that you don’t want them in your drink when you place your order. There are plenty of reusable versions available made of metal, silicon, bamboo, hard plastic or even glass, for you to slip into your bag before heading out.

Remember your reusables at home

In the bathroom

Swap Plastic for Soap

Soap

Swap your shower gel bottle and hand pump for a bar of soap. Simple but effective and they'll last much longer, too.

Shampoo and conditioner bars

Ditch your old plastic bottles for these brilliant bars, which are a great alternative. They work just as well and many of the brands that create these bars are also cruelty free (meaning they don't test on animals) and use more natural ingredients.

Sanitary wear

Your average sanitary pad can contain the equivalent of four plastic carrier bags. Change up your monthly routine by learning more about having a plastic-free period.

Razors

Cut your single-use plastic consumption even further by switching your plastic disposable razor for a reusable razor. Whether you're male or female, there are plenty on the market to suit your needs.

In the kitchen

Same taste, less waste

Swap bagged fruit and veg for loose

Food such as fruit and vegetables can often be bought loose instead of wrapped in plastic. All supermarket tills have weighing scales so that you can pay for what you buy at the till without using any pesky plastic bags. If you prefer to have your food protected on your shop, bring your own bags or tubs with you to the supermarket.

Milk delivery

In the past 40 years, the number of people using glass bottles has dropped around 90 per cent. Let’s get back to the good old days - find your nearest milkman.

Cleaning

Make your own cleaning products. Most things can be cleaned easily by using a simple recipe of white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. No need to buy lots of trigger sprays and bleach bottles.

Food wrap

Ditch the cling film and invest in reusable food wrap or have a go at making your own reusable beeswax-coated wrap.

More information

Find out more about reducing, reusing and recycling in Dacorum.