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Cutting carbon

Five easy ways to cut down on plastic

Smart and simple ways to reduce the amount of plastic you use in everyday life.

Ever since Blue Planet II, we’ve all become much more aware of the global problem of plastic pollution. Thanks, Sir David. The good news is that it’s becoming easier than ever to cut down on the amount of plastic you use. Here are five easy life hacks to help you do your bit to save the oceans (and often your bank balance, too).

1. Cut the cling film

Cling film is one of the easiest plastics to cut out of our life - you won’t even miss it! Kick it back old school style and take your sarnies to work in a lunch box. We’re talking tupperware, or (Bulb favourite) a stainless steel bento box. One Green Bottle have got a good one.

Beeswax wraps are an easy alternative to cling film.

And as for keeping food fresh in the fridge, try a beeswax wrap. Carly and Fran from the Beeswax Wrap Co in Stroud make ‘clingy’ cotton cloths that do the job just as well. And they’re are natural, reusable and biodegradable on top.

2. Make a zero-plastic drinks kit

Swapping from single-use plastic water bottles to a reusable one is a no-brainer. Bulb recommends Chilly’s - they keep liquids cold for 12 hours. So great for a gin and tonic too. Refilling on the go is now easier than ever thanks to Refill app (see more in our blog Five green apps that are really useful too).

A KeepCup is never far away in the Bulb office

Add a KeepCup to your drinks kit and say goodbye to single-use coffee cups too. Our fellow B Corp have been in the game for nearly twenty years. There’s no better reusable coffee cup out there. And when it comes to straws, you know what to do.

3. Cut out plastic bottles in the bathroom

We’ve all got used to liquid soap and shower gel. But it’s easy to switch from bottled stuff to good, old-fashioned bars of soap. And you can do the same when it comes to shampoo. Ditch the bottles full of ingredients you can’t pronounce for a shampoo bar. They're pretty common now (we promise) - we like Friendly Soap's version. Package-free shampoo bars pack a serious plastic saving punch too - think of all the plastic bottles saved!

The Friendly Soap shampoo bar

It’s getting easier and easier to avoid plastic bottles in the bathroom altogether. Glass containers work just as well for moisturiser and deodorants too.

4. Shop loose, and refill

The 5p charge for using a plastic bag at the supermarket has been a big success. In its first year, it was estimated that the behaviour change encouraged by the charge saved six billion plastic bags. The next step is to avoid plastic-wrapped food wherever you can. Go for the loose fruit and veg.

Is it just us, or do veggies look better without the plastic?

Another growing trend is refilling. More and more shops and ‘zero-waste supermarkets’ allow you to bring your own containers where you stock up on everything from cereals to spices to detergents. The Zero Waster has made it really easy to find a refilling shop near you - just browse their list.

5. Find a milkman

Do you remember when we used to get milk in a reusable glass bottle delivered directly to the doorstep? Why did we ever give that up? We’re happy to see that milkmen are making a comeback.

Bulb's been excited about the return of the milkman for a while

And now thanks to this awesome tool, you can find your nearest in a flash.

Do you have a top plastic-cutting tip? We’d love to know about it. Stop by the Community or tweet to share it with us!