#StayWild

30 Days Wild might have come to a close, but I'll still be trying to #StayWild and cut down on plastic.

So it’s come to the end of 30 Days Wild, but it won’t be the complete end of my plastic-free pledge. It’s been tough and there’s been lot’s of things I’ve missed, but I’m hopeful that it will become easier and that as a consumer we can encourage companies to provide plastic-free alternatives.

I’ve learnt that it all starts with changing your habits. Once you start changing your habits you’ll automatically go to pick up that tote bag or reusable bottle, and it will become your new norm. On the 1st July, I went to brew my loose leaf tea and only remembered when I started drinking my cuppa that I could have used a normal teabag - it was the 1st after all. But it hadn’t taken long for that new habit to sink in.

Just Say No (thank you)

I’ve also learnt to use another ‘R’ with the general ‘Reduce, Re-use, Recycle’ motto – Refuse. Refuse to accept a plastic bag, refuse to buy item with an unnecessary amount of plastic packaging, refuse the straw in your drink. Just Say No (thank you).

Although I am now looking forward to eating a glorious amount of Crunchies, there will be a few plastic-free alternatives I’ll be sticking to.

My favourite plastic-free products...

Shampoo bars

I really do think these are worth splashing out on as they can last three times longer than a regular bottle of shampoo. I'd still like to treat myself to a regular shampoo and condition as a treat, and I recon one bottle could last me the year using it like that.

Solid soap

Going back to solid soap made me wonder why I was using liquid hand soap and shower gel in the first place? There's nothing wrong with a solid bar, and at under £1 my favourite is Dove, cheap and cheerful and gives a soft lather without feeling soapy.

Toothy tabs

This alternative for toothpaste comes from Lush and although it's pricey I love them. Although in a plastic bottle it is fully recyclable, and the charcoal tabs are naturally whitening.

After these tabs are finished, I'm going to give Georganics natural toothpastes a go.

Loose fruit and veg

After really looking for plastic alternatives at the supermarket it's made me so aware of unnecessary packaging, fruit and veg being one of the main suspects. There's just no need for it.

Why not get yourself some reusable veg bags to take shopping with you, or try a local farmers market. Many greengrocers and butchers are happy for you to bring your own Tupperwear for them to fill for you.

My advice to newbies...

Don't do Meal Deals

I'm a sucker for convinience, and would regularly stop off at my local shop for a quick lunch. Meal Deals are often cheaper than buying the products seperately so I'd find myself purchasing a drink to go with my sandwich just to bring the price down. After my Q&A session with Vicki, Gibraltar Point Marine Specialist, I learnt that 'a meal deal fan can buy between 200 and 250 plastic bottles a year'.

After going a month without a Meal Deal, I haven't missed it one bit. It's all about prep, and once you get into the habit of making your lunches beforehand it's easy.

Say no to plastic straws

@ecofriendsmovement

© @ecofriendsmovement on Instgram

 

I've been refusing plastic straws for a while now and trying to encourage friends to do the same too! I've found it much easier now as single-use plastics have been more relevant thanks to Blue Planet 2.

Many business's in and around Lincoln have said goodbye to plastic straws and made the switch to environmentally friendly paper straws instead.

Ask for alternatives

Don't be afraid to ask if there is an alternative to plastic available. I went to a bakery which kindly wrapped my brownie in tin foil instead of a plastic bag, and after asking about the packaging of my loose-leaf tea I was given a compostable alternative.

By asking, we're showing businesses that the demand is there, and if they don't have an alternative available, maybe they'll think about stocking one in the future.

Things to look out for...

Yorkshire Tea

Although they first announced they were going to cut out plastic in their teabags this year, Yorkshire Tea have since announced their new plastic-free bags will be available by the end of 2019.

They also announced on June 25 that they have signed WRAP's UK Plastics Pact! This is great news from one of my favourite tea brands.

Plastic-free aisles

Plastic Free TM

After the first plastic-free aisle opened at a supermarket in Amsterdam earlier this year, pressure has been put on Theresa May for the UK to follow suit.

Although the elimination of single-use plastics could take the government until 2042, keep an eye out for compostable alternatives with this logo so we can start tackling the problem now.

Local shops who have taken the plastic-free pledge…

Gibraltar Point cafe

Gibraltar Point

Our Gibraltar Point Visitor Centre now offers fully compostable takeaway cups made from Vegware, as well as ditching the plastic straws in return for a paper alternative.

Gibraltar Point

Imperial Teas

KiteNest

Plastic-free Pantry

Pavement Coffee Co

Morrisons

If you’re thinking about giving plastic-free a go, now is the best time to try! We’re currently at the start of Plastic-Free July, and there is so much support available out there for people just starting their journey.

Here are some of the places I look to for inspiration on Instagram, give them a follow for daily inspo: