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The Plastic Challenge Tip Swap

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Plastic Challenger conundrum?

Post your questions or eureka moments here

Can you answer these questions or relate to these stories?

  • Freezing berries and stews

    23rd August 2016 Emma
    I freeze berries from my garden and stews. I have in the past used plastic which you can suck the air out to keep the food better. I've tried parchment wrapped in tin foil, not great. Does anyone know about an alternative that works?
    Category - In the kitchen

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    • 18th October 2016 Amanda Keetley
      Have you tried freezing them on a baking tray with parchment first, and then decanting them into glass jars? We now use glass jars for freezing leftovers, soup and stock (being sure to leave a gap for it to expand) and i am sure they would also work for berries? Also gives you the chance to reuse your old jam jars, etc rather than recycle...
    • 24th April 2017 Jennie Lang
      I use jam jars - seems to work OK. I've only ever had one crack. You can also buy freezable glass containers (e.g. pyrex) although they often have plastic lids.
  • Toxins from plastic leeching into food

    23rd June 2016 Linda Molvik
    This isn't really a tip but I really need to share this! Many years ago, I studied nutritional therapy. We were told that toxins leech from plastic into our food and for a long time (before this challenge), I decanted everything I bought in plastic into other non plastic containers immediately on arriving home from the supermarket. There was one experiment quoted at the time-and I should have researched this again before going off half cocked-about breast cancer tissue growing more quickly in experiments using plastic. Petri dishes than glass ones. must do more research and will post again. Others may want to have a look at this too. Meantime, on with the challenge!
    Category - Other tips

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    • 24th April 2017 Jennie Lang
      Breast Cancer UK campaign on plastics and breast cancer - their website has useful info on the research and science behind this.
  • Toilet roll

    10th June 2016 Shona
    Has anyone found unwrapped toilet roll that you can order online? I live in Bedfordshire and haven't been able to find a shop, also nowhere that sells cereal or pasta in bulk bins so any ideas for them would be great!
    Category - In the bathroom

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    • 12th June 2016 Kevin
      Not seen any wrapped in paper for a long time - but we now use our toilet roll wrap plastic as a bin when we go camping which saves using old shopping bags which we get many fewer of these days. If that isn't enough to salve your conscience you could write to some of the supermarkets and toilet roll manufacturers and ask them to go back to paper wrappers.
    • 13th June 2016 Hannah
      I've not found unwrapped loo roll (except at our local organic shop) but I have found Suma/Ecoleaf loo roll which is wrapped in biodegradable potato starch wrapping.
    • 13th June 2016 Sarah
      I can't offer help with the toilet paper conundrum as I too would like to do the same. However, I can buy certain cereals that aren't in plastic: certain brands of oats, Shredded wheat and weetabix come in paper wrappers within the box. Not much help but thought it worth a mention. Otherwise you could try buying bulk from somewhere like Suma and see if anyone nearby/friends/family want to chip in and share the spoils?
    • 29th March 2017 Torie Smith
      I don't know about lose toilet rolls but Suma toilet roll comes in compostable packaging http://www.planetorganic.com/suma-ecol-toilet-tissue-4-pack-4-pack/9402/
    • 29th March 2017 Helene Marks
      I've recently bought toilet rolls wrapped in paper from 'Who gives a Crap'(seriously!) online. On the upside they are made from bamboo, and half the profits go to WaterAid. However, they are expensive, more than the brand leader, and I don't rate the quality much - a bit small and thin.
    • 13th April 2017 Lorraine Norman
      Haven't tried them myself yet but think that Greencane paper sell toilet rolls in paper packaging.
  • Berries

    4th June 2016 Chloe Davies
    I have realised just how many fresh berries I eat, and to make it worse, the Cornish strawberries have just come into season! And they are delicious. Has anyone found ways of getting around those plastic punnets!
    Category - Snacks, drinks and meals

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    • 9th June 2016 Jean
      Could you go and pick your own berries? You might not be in Cornwall so will have to make do with a local pick your own farm, but they'll taste great because of the effort put in! I have the same problem.
    • 9th June 2016 Chris
      Try using a local PYO centre?
    • 12th June 2016 Kevin
      Save some punnetts, then go PYO with them. Plant your own berry bushes, too. We have been carefully protecting some wild gooseberries - pinkish ones which are particularly delicious.
    • 23rd August 2016 Emma hirst
      Go to a farmers market / green grocer. Take your own punnet and fill that, or give your old clean one to the farmer/green grocer, so they can re-use.
  • Degradable plastic bags?

    26th May 2016 Hannah
    Whilst on the hunt for recycled plastic black bin liners, all I could find were "degradable plastic" ones. I bought them thinking they were like the plant-based corn starch bags, but in hind sight I'm wondering if they are simply plastic which degrades faster and so will still mean micro-plastic getting into the ecosystem? Any thoughts?
    Category - In the kitchen

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    • 30th May 2016 Emilie
      Hello! I recently just read about this, as far as I know 'biodegradable' is just as bad/if not a bit worse than regular plastic bags, as they just break down into micro plastics quicker but don't 'disappear' as natural/corn starch bags would :/
    • 31st May 2016 Claire
      I put 'biodegradable' compost bags in my compost bin over 18 months ago. Whilst the bag's contents are now lovely rich compost, the bags themselves are almost completely intact. Now using recycled ones instead. Far easier than picking bits of plastic bag out of your compost.
    • 31st May 2016 Karen Allan
      Yes, you need to get Biodegradeable. Biobags are good.
    • 2nd June 2016 kate
      Plastics can be described as compostable, degradable and or biodegradable. Which may seem clear but can be misleading. Many biodegradable plastics do not actually biodegrade.

      Dgradable bags are normal plastic bags with a biological degradtion iniator added that makes them degrade or fall apart more quickly. They only degrade into plastic but because the initiator is bio based they have in the past been labelled bio degradable. They were told off for doing so as this is not biodegrading as it os normally understood.

      Read up on it here. http://plasticisrubbish.com/2015/06/11/degradable-biodegradable-or-compostable/
    • 12th June 2016 Kevin
      A couple of years ago a lot of plastic bags for apples etc said they were compostable and i tried a few in the compost. They passed through the wormery unchanged in year one and in year two the printing suffered but the bags were still plastic bags after which i pulled them out and binned them. I notice they have gone from the shops I use now so perhaps they realised they didn't work. I'm currently experimenting with compostable cup tops which i occasionally get at work in the canteen but for this month i'm just going to avoid buying soup to take out!
    • 13th June 2016 Hannah
      Okay - so I found more info on this: These d2W plastics are the bin bags I have been buying recently (and the reason I posed the question) and basically have a self destruct element and after x months (decided by the manufacturer) they start to degrade, and at the final stage become a biodegradable substance. Sounds too good to be true, but Chris Packham endorses it so maybe it is?! Check it out: http://www.symphonyenvironmental.com/d2w/
  • Supermarket bags

    5th May 2016 Irene Jones
    I think that all supermarkets plastic bags should either be banned or they should charge a lot more for them 5p is not enough.
    Category - On the go

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    • 20th May 2016 Margaret Nelmes
      The supermarkets shouldn't be selling plastic bags at all. As an alternative to the 5p bags, they are selling plastic shopping bags rather than cloth ones. The thicker plastic lasts a bit longer than the ordinary plastic bags, but cloth bags can last for years. I find folding cloth bags particularly useful. You can keep them in your handbag or another shopping bag and take them with you whenever you go near shops, just in case.
  • Loose tea bulk buy tips

    13th August 2015 Clare B.
    I'm switching from tea bags to loose tea as I've just found out that almost all tea bags aren't just paper but contain plastic!!! So not only are they wrapped in plastic, in a box that is also wrapped in plastic there is plastic in the bags too! I'm disgusted so have bought a little metal tea egg for loose tea but have yet to source the bulk loose tea. Any recommendations for online stores that sell bulk loose tea, preferably not in plastic.
    Category - Snacks, drinks and meals

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    • 10th November 2015 Dave O
      I made the switch, too. I was puzzled by the disks of plastic gauze in my compost until I realised they were the plastic layer inside my tea bags. All of the big supermarkets stock one or two brands of loose tea, in small packets, but it's hard to find among the rows of tea bags. I drink a lot of tea, and loose tea seems to last for ages, so I haven't had to look for a bulk supplier.
    • 2nd January 2016 Louise
      I buy bulk tea bags online from Traidcraft (called 'Everyday One Cup' bags although I find one bag plenty strong enough for a teapot serving 2-3). See http://www.traidcraftshop.co.uk/c-39-fair-trade-tea.aspx
      I put all used teabags in my compost heap (and I drink a lot of tea!) and have never been left with plastic or anything that doesn't rot down successfully, so I guess these bags are completely made from paper/cotton. And their Fairtrade too. What's not to like? They come in a large plastic bag of 440 but the bag is quite strong and I re-use many times it for storing all sorts of foodstuffs. Alternatively you can buy cardboard boxes of these teabags in multiples of 6x100. Traidcraft also sell loose tea (single boxes or multiples of 6) which I use occasionally. Sometimes I also buy Clipper teas (organic/fairtrade) and have never found any problem with their teabags not rotting down fully in the compost, so again presumably paper/cotton.
    • 28th April 2016 Louisa Trunks
      Wholefoods in cheltenham have a great range on loose leaf tea that you buy in paper bags
    • 6th May 2016 andrea
      I compost my tea bags (Clipper Fair Trade) and they seem to disappear so am presuming they are paper based. I do know that the expensive brands like Teapigs don't breakdown in the compost
    • 31st May 2016 Karen Allan
      Organic tea bags such as Clipper should be OK - paper and unbleached.
    • 1st June 2016 WiseOceans
      Not online but you can buy loose tea from the bulk bins in Whittards. Just take your container and they will fill it up. Sometimes you have to explain it a bit but they've always been happy to weight the container and then put the tea in.
    • 8th June 2016 Helen
      I believe L oose tea bulk buy available from "my cup of tea" and used to be available from "whittards" in solid pressed blocks
    • 3rd September 2016 Jacqui
      Betty's in york will sell loose tea and coffee in brown paper packages. Try little Betty's, Stonegate, YORK
  • Dish brush replacement

    24th June 2015 louise
    Anyone know of a non plastic dish brush replacement?
    Category - In the kitchen

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    • 13th August 2015 Clare B.
      Hi Louise, there are a few options at savesomegreen.co.uk - I recently bought a bamboo toothbrush from them, coconut scouring pads and a metal loose tea egg. The packaging was all paper or card (or none at all) including the postage packaging. Postage was free too. They have a wooden handle coconut fibre dish brush and a palm frond brush. There is also an option in the shop of the MSC website.
    • 4th January 2016 rach
      i had seen wooden brushes on amazon but i think that was for veg, they might also work for plates etc not sure :]
    • 28th April 2016 Louisa Trunks
      Yes you can get wooden dishbrushes on anazon. Its about £10 for one brush with 3 replacable heads
    • 29th April 2016 dahlia
      they sell some that are made out of bamboo. toothbrushes too!
    • 6th May 2016 Sarah
      I know this is an old post but I use natural loofahs - cut them up so they last longer, and when they are no longer good for cleaning and scrubbing they go in the compost bin :)
    • 6th May 2016 andrea
      Utility in Brighton sell wooden dish brushes
    • 7th May 2016 Ann
      Stacks on wooden dishwash brushes with bristle heads at Amazon.
    • 12th May 2016 Adele Drummond
      http://www.myriadonline.co.uk/products.php?id=6295&name=Everyday Dish Brush
    • 28th May 2016 Claire
      I have a wooden one (not sure about the bristles) from Robert Dyas for 99p. Bought it on its own, not wrapped in packaging!
    • 30th May 2016 Emilie
      Hi Louise,

      There are some biodegradable brushes and similar items here; http://savesomegreen.co.uk/shop/
    • 31st May 2016 Gill
      Hi have you tried doing an Internet search for wooden dish mop unbleached - there's lots of alternatives.
    • 2nd June 2016 kate armstrong
      Fanatstic range of brushes here http://plasticisrubbish.com/2008/08/12/home-grown-scrubbers/
    • 12th June 2016 Kevin
      We use an unbleached cotton dishcloth and no brush.
    • 14th August 2016 Sarah
      Hi Louise,

      I guess by now you have resolved this question, but just in case... I have a loofah at home which works (apparently you can buy them on amazon too)
    • 15th August 2016 Fabian
      Here in Germany you can buy wooden dish brushes equipped with hair from horses instead of plastic bristles. Not sure if they are available elsewhere (I buy them in organic stores) but I think they should.
    • 27th January 2017 Jo
      Michael's loofah brushes are great. I get ours from a local eco cooperative shop, 'True Food' in Reading. There is a website http://www.ethicalsuperstore.com/products/micheal-s-originals/
    • 13th April 2017 Lorraine Norman
      Save Some Green do a coconut hair washing up brush
  • Rice! Noodles! Rice Noodles!

    9th June 2015 Russell
    We didn't realise quite how much Asian food we ate - we're having much difficulty dealing without rice and / or noodles; they all come in plastic. Anyone got any useful tips?
    Category - Snacks, drinks and meals

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    • 15th June 2015 Em Weston
      Lidl sell rice and cous cous in boxes, so do some supermarkets in the bulk aisle. I'm unsure about noodles though.
    • 16th June 2015 Joan
      Noodles are so easy to cook, and in their dry form very light. Buy from Chinese Asian stores. Bring water to bubbling (boiling) in a small pan and add a cake of noodles from the pack, pressing it down into the water with a wooden spoon. Depending on the type of noodle bring back to the boil, then put on your pan lid and turn down the heat to low (or with some noodles, take off the heat) and allow to soften in the water for the stated time on the pack - rarely longer than 5 minutes. Drain in a strainer and you're ready to serve, perhaps with a little soya sauce or roasted sesame oil. YUM!
      Rice is easy to cook too! In its dry state it isn't heavy to carry home several servings, which can be cooked together, then the extra can be kept in the fridge in a covered container for 5 days. So much cheaper too! Allow 2 to 4oz per serving or 4 fl.oz. = 125ml = 1/2 Cup. I prefer to wash the rice in the pan swishing it around in the water, and straining the water away through your fingers - or you may just prefer a sieve. Then add the same volume of fresh water to the rice in the pan, put on the lid and bring to the boil. As soon as it bubbles strongly (boils, you will hear it bubbling), turn down the heat to very low or it will boil over and make a mess of the cooker. For white long grain rice cook on low for 20 minutes, (brown long grain rice takes a bit longer at 25 minutes), then turn off the heat for another 5 minutes. This is important as it allows the rice to fluff up and like this it will not stick to the bottom of the pan - a big help when it comes to washing up! Enjoy!
    • 13th July 2015 sarah marshall
      I took a container to pay and weigh and I filled up with rice there not sure re noodles though
    • 20th May 2016 Margaret Nelmes
      I know of two shops in my area that sell loose rice, cereals,fruit, nuts, etc. I asked the owner of one shop if I could bring my own container and he said yes because he could put it on the scales and turn the knob to zero, then add the contents. These shops are often known as 'scoop' shops.They provide plastic bags, but you could take reusable plastic containers with you. They may also sell loose tea.
    • 31st May 2016 Ali
      If you have the space, What about buying larger bags of rice from Asian supermarkets rather than the smaller sizes you get in uk supermarkets?
    • 9th June 2016 Jean
      The rice is easy (not sure about noodles as don't eat them)! You will probably have to buy a bag of it but big supermarkets sell it in massive bags which in the long term would probably be better. Maybe could source a whole food store that will transfer to a non-plastic container. Rice is the easiest and quickest thing to make. I make it myself even if I do (rarely) buy a carryout. Maybe you could learn to make your own Asian food; some of it is quick and easier to make than you might think.
    • 23rd August 2016 Emma hirst
      Suma. We buy direct from suma, in bulk. Some things come in plastic but when you phone in your orderly you can ask for only paper bags.
  • Milk

    7th June 2015 Debbie
    Milk... What's better a 4 pint recyclable plastic container for the week, which then gets used to water the flowers and top up the cars before being recycled or should I hunt down glass pint bottles? Seems to me that although the bottles would be plastic free they're not actually a better Eco option. Or are they!? Any other ideas? TIA
    Category - Snacks, drinks and meals

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    • 8th June 2015 Andy
      We switched to glass bottles from our milkman. 3 days in and he started delivering plastic bottles instead.
      Like you I'm not sure. if the plastic ones are made from recycled plastic anyway does this count as an eco-option ? I'm concerned the chemicals used to clean the glass ones might do more harm than good.
    • 9th June 2015 sarah marshall
      we did sign up to a milk man for the challenge but I agree its hard to know whether overall glass bottles and delivery is better environmentally or not..I do prefer the glass but interested if anyone has any facts/figures
    • 6th May 2016 andrea
      Milk and More deliver in glass bottles which are reused, slightly more expensive than the plastic bottles but reduces the usage of plastic
    • 2nd June 2016 kate armstrong
      If refilled and it doesnt have to travel too far glass is better than plastic. There are some facts here http://goo.gl/XfkxF2. If you want a milkman check out this list http://plasticisrubbish.com/2012/06/18/pams-new-year-message/.
    • 23rd August 2016 Emma hirst
      Most places in Britain have a milk delivery person. You can look up on the Internet for delivery local to you.
  • Laundry

    7th June 2015 Debbie hillyer
    Washing liquids and conditioners!? Is this even possible to be plastic free?
    Category - In the cleaning cupboard

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    • 8th June 2015 Kate
      I'm only starting out in this myself, but I've seen that Ecover detergent bottles can be refilled. We're in quite a rural area & it's not worth the extra fuel to drive 40+ miles to do it, but online direct from them you can order 5 litre boxes to refill at home. I have only bought my first bottles of Ecover today so I can't vouch for it, but that's what I found out. This is REALLy hard isn't it! I need all the help, advice and support I can get.
    • 22nd June 2015 Jane Pryor
      Splosh.com do refills through the post so you don't even have to use fuel to save plastic.
    • 13th August 2015 Clare B.
      Have you tried eco balls? Mine are by Ecozone but I believe there are other brands. They come in a box (think the lid may have been plastic but this was many years ago) and the balls are in a plastic container but this is what thee balls go in the machine in so are reusable and refillable once the little balls inside are used up. You aren't supposed to need conditioner/softener with these, although I do still use a little (Ecover refills from a local shop) for towels and some clothes. Another option is to try making your own detergent and buying the ingredients in bulk thereby greatly reducing your plastic. There are lots of recipes if you search online.
    • 2nd January 2016 Louise
      Ecover do plastic bottles made of recycled ocean plastic.
      http://uk.ecover.com/en/why-ecover/ecover-ocean-plastic-bottle/
      Offers an alternative if you're too far from somewhere where you can get existing bottles refilled.
    • 24th May 2016 Iva
      You can buy shampoo and conditioner in bars in places like Lush. You can also buy metal tins to keep them in. They last for months (I have had the same shampoo bar for nearly a year because I have short hair).

      For washing up liquid Ecover washing up liquid bottles can be refilled. Check the health food shops in your area, there is always one that is an authorised Ecover refill station. It is really good washing up liquid that contains no chemicals. I used the same bottle for three years until recently when I moved to a developing country. Ecover also does lots of good household cleaners.

      Good luck with reducing plastic waste.
    • 1st June 2016 Charlotte Alanine
      I get the Ariel Bio powder in cardboard box for washing machine, if you mean dish liquids, then maybe there are alternatives online, can't help with the conditioner as I don't use any..
  • Tea & tea bags

    4th June 2015 Kate
    So if all the 'big brand' teabags contain plastic micromesh, do you know which brands of looseleaf tea have neither a plastic film outer, or a plastic film inner to the cardboard box?
    Category - Snacks, drinks and meals

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    • 6th June 2015 Jane
      I have just got my loose leaf green tea from Wholefoods where I scooped it into a brown paper bag provided and weighed it. : )
    • 12th June 2015 Sarah
      Shop around your local teashops if you have any, lots of them sell looseleaf tea in paper bags. Anteaques in Edinburgh sells their tea that way. Happy hunting!
    • 22nd June 2015 Jane Pryor
      I have bought my tea from Wholefoods where I measure it into a paper bag...They have many different loose products people can do this with.
    • 1st June 2016 WiseOceans
      You can buy loose tea using your own container in Whittards.
  • Storing veg without plastic

    31st May 2015 Jane
    Just found this page that lists ways to store veg without using plastic. Will come in useful for my next shopping trip. http://myplasticfreelife.com/2010/05/how-to-store-produce-without-plastic/
    Category - In the kitchen
  • Roast Chicken

    31st May 2015 Jane
    If I want to purchase a whole chicken from the butcher how can I wrap it, carry it home and store it in a safe and non-plastic way?
    Category - Shopping solutions

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    • 1st June 2015 amy doore
      How about newspaper. If its ok for chips I am sure it will be ok for meat that you are going to cook anyway. Other choice could be take your roasting tray and foil with you to put it in and then its ready to chuck in the oven. Good luck
    • 1st June 2015 kate armstrong
      I use biobag for meat then compost them http://plasticisrubbish.com/2009/02/26/plastic-free-meat-and-fish/
    • 1st June 2015 ClaireH280
      Lidded glass pyrex dish? Wrapped in butchers paper then inside a cloth bag?
    • 1st June 2015 julia Slade
      could ask butcher to wrap it in greaseproof paper and tie it firmly... or take a large plastic container ie cake box type
    • 5th June 2015 W. Swan
      A lightweight stainless steel dish with a lid?
    • 7th June 2015 Debbie
      Morrisons kindly wrapped my steak in the black paper they use on their counter. Could you take a card box and ask your butcher to line it with the counter paper? You'd have to go straight home and cook it though I'd have thought. Or if you don't mind plastics that are very reusable just take your own plastic tub with sealed lid. You could keep it in the fridge then too. Can't think of another way??
    • 5th April 2016 Steve
      Buy it live to take home and prepare it yourself? ;)

      or maybe greaseproof paper?
    • 5th May 2016 Tina
      Unbleached paper, wax paper or a simple large cotton cloth.
    • 12th May 2016 Adele Drummond
      Butcher paper?
    • 7th June 2016 Libby Darling
      I bought some chicken pieces on Monday from my butcher. I took a large reusable plastic box and even he was slightly bemused he was happy to pop the meat in there! Once I have used the meat I will wash the box and use it again next time. Its more about reducing single use plastics...a reusable box is allowed! good luck xLibby D
  • Toothpaste

    31st May 2015 Jane
    I understand Lush do toothpaste tabs, but they contain no fluoride. I am concerned about the long term effects on our teeth if we don't have fluoride, particularly on my 4 children. Any advice, suggestions ?????
    Category - In the bathroom

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    • 1st June 2015 Atlanta Cook
      You may wish to read up on fluoride in toothpaste and drinking water before making a decision. In the USA communities have decided to ban fluoride from being added to their drinking water. I use a bamboo toothbrush and Mild Minty toothpaste by The Green People for my daughter.
    • 4th June 2015 Jane
      Thank you, I'll check out the Green People.
    • 7th June 2015 Angela
      I spoke to my dentist about these the other day and he said he had no concerns
    • 9th June 2015 sarah marshall
      I suppose you can compromise and do a.m tablets and eve or every other day toothpaste..or are there any mouth washes in glass?
  • Washing up liquid

    31st May 2015 Becky
    I've found plastic free dish washing brushes, and there's a plastic free scourer on the Plastic Challenge shop - however I'm struggling to find an alternative to washing up liquid. Any ideas anyone?
    Category - In the cleaning cupboard

    show/hideComments

    • 31st May 2015 Jane
      Splosh online do all cleaning products. You buy the bottles once and they send you concentrated refills in the post so you can reuse all your bottles. I have been using them for 2 years and they are all good cleaning products. The refills dissolve in hot water so no waste. They do come in small plastic containers which is the only downside.approx 90% reduction in waste, not 100 %.
    • 31st May 2015 Fiwart
      I have a collection of about 8 plastic washing up liquid bottles (Ecover) and get them refilled at our local organic food shop. I have also bought Ecover laundry liquid in bulk ( 15l in a box, plastic liner though!) and I use this to refill my bottles myself. I have used the same plastic bottles for several years now. I bought the bulk purchase through Sum.Still some plastic involved but much less which I think is going to be the conclusion that many people reach by the end of this month..
    • 1st June 2015 kate armstrong
      ecover do refills. Ive been using the same bottle for years now http://plasticisrubbish.com/2012/06/17/plastic-free-washing-up/
    • 1st June 2015 Atlanta Cook
      In Brighton we are lucky enough to have a couple of independent supermarkets that offer a refill service. Before this I used to buy 5 ltr bottles online from www.naturalcollection.com amongst other and refill your own at home.
    • 2nd June 2015 Anna Wyse
      Why not purchase in bulk from Ecover? You can refill your existing containers numerous times. Although it is from a large cardboard box with a collapsible thin plastic liner, it nevertheless reduces plastic on buying 12 bottles of Ecover separately!
    • 6th June 2015 Kitty Corrigan
      Splosh.com is an online retailer selling household detergents, including washing up liquid. You buy a starter box with containers and sachets of concentrated detergent, pop it in the bottle andsimply add hot water. Refills come through the post, so you save time going to a supermarket, and you don't have to carry home heavy bottles containing mainly water.
    • 9th June 2015 sarah marshall
      you can buy a bulk plastic container full and refill your bottle..saves bit plastic or some health places do ecover refills..prob need to look online??
    • 21st April 2016 Rebecca
      I've just found www.splosh.com - they sell their cleaning products as little concentrated dissolvable sachets which you drop into a bottle with hot water so you can reuse old cleaning bottles!
  • Our Office Food Shop!

    29th May 2015 Chloe
    Hello folks. Does anyone have any brilliant ideas to replace our plastic-riddled Sainsbury's shop? They wont even deliver without plastic bags :( Help desperately required! Thank you :)
    Category - In the office

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    • 31st May 2015 Lucy
      Can you try a farm delivery like Abel & Cole or Riverford?
      http://www.abelandcole.co.uk
      http://www.riverford.co.uk
    • 5th June 2015 w.swan
      Tesco home delivery give the option of having your groceries delivery without bags, or paying an extra 35p per delivery for having it in bags.
  • Where to buy cheese?

    29th May 2015 Pippa
    I'm a big cheese fan and having trouble trying to work out where to buy it plastic free - any tips much appreciated
    Category - Shopping solutions

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    • 29th May 2015 Jo
      Hi Pippa, I take containers with me when I go shopping, and ask the people at deli counters to put cheese and cold meats in there rather than in plastic bags.
    • 29th May 2015 Lucy
      Try a cheese shop or cheese counter in the supermarket. They will often use waxed paper to wrap the cheese. Or take your own Tupperware if they use plastic.
    • 1st June 2015 amy doore
      In my local Waitrose they have cheese paper at the deli counter. You have to ask for it but that's an option. Other wise you can take Tupperware boxes with you to the deli counter and ask them to put it in there. Good luck
    • 1st June 2015 Michaela
      If you buy cheese from the deli at a supermarket you can use your own paper to wrap it or bring a tupperware box.
    • 1st June 2015 Claireh280
      Some cheese comes waxed - Godminister is amazing! It is not cheap but it is so flavoursome that you don't need to use very much. They sell online or through Riverford. You could also buy cheese from the deli counter loose and ask them to wrap it in a piece of parchment paper for you (you'd have to take your own). Or take your own glass storage box for them to put it in?
    • 5th June 2015 w.swan
      You could take your own wrapping e.g greaseproof paper or foil to a deli counter and ask them to use that; also an opportunity to tell them why...
    • 9th June 2015 sarah marshall
      I took a container to a deli counter and they just put the cheese block in there..it prob arrived at the shop wrapped ..cheese rounds could be the answer if u can find enough friends to share with !1
    • 5th May 2016 Tina
      If you get it from a supermarket you can take your own container.
    • 31st May 2016 Gill
      Hi I take cut squares of grease proof paper to the supermarket deli counter and ask them to use this instead of the plastic wrapping. Only issue is they then have to use the sticky labels with the bar code on but I guess this is paper based. Haven't yet been refused !
    • 19th June 2016 Graeme Hodges
      Is there a farmer's market near you? They should give it to you in a paper bag, but take a reusable container just in case.
  • Plastic free Yoghurt

    28th May 2015 Michaela
    I love yoghurt but it always comes in plastic! Although the tub is often recyclable the lid usually isn't. Does anyone know a UK brand that uses card or glass instead? All the recipes I've found to make yoghurt online involve using live yoghurt in the first place and yoghurt makers are also made of plastic!
    Category - Plastic-free Products

    show/hideComments

    • 29th May 2015 Pippa
      They're quite expensive but a few shops are now stocking the River Cottage range http://www.browncoworganics.co.uk/browncow/River_Cottage_Yogurt_Panna-Cotta-p1.html
    • 29th May 2015 Lucy
      You can make your own in glass jars in your oven - you just need a pilot light or low temperature setting.
      Here are some online tutorials:
      http://tasty-yummies.com/2014/06/03/how-to-make-coconut-milk-yogurt/
      http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-yogurt-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-125070
    • 30th May 2015 Rachel
      I guess a Kilner type jar wrapped in hay box would work; if you can cook a casserole in a hay box, I'm sure you can keep a milk culture warm for 8 hours. I think I'll give it a go!
    • 1st June 2015 ClaireH280
      I think you can make yoghurt in a thermos flask. You'd have to google to find out. Would you consider a second hand yoghurt maker from ebay? At least it is recycling plastic that is already out there. This recipe doesn't need a yoghurt maker but does need a starter - however one small natural yoghurt and then you can use your home made yoghurt as the starter thereafter. That would be a huge reduction in plastic consumption compared to buying pots every time http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/2009/08/do-a-dance-for-yogurt-that-isnt-in-plastic-tubs.html I am wondering also about taking your own glass jars straight to a farm?
    • 6th June 2015 Debbie
      I'm going to contact Yeo Valley and see if they can help. I miss yogurt too!
    • 9th June 2015 David Sandbrook
      There are German and Austrian brands available in glass jars rom a limited number of specialist retailers, likely to be expensive.
    • 12th June 2015 Gill
      Personally, I'd bite the bullet and buy a small pot of live yoghurt and use it as your starter. Yoghurt can be made in a Thermos flask or even a slow cooker - no need for plastic pots. Once made decant it into a container for keeping (remembering to save a few large spoonfuls for your next batch), rinse the flask/cooker out and start again!
    • 27th January 2016 Pat
      Have you tried Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's recipe, made in a flask using yougurt from your last batch.
    • 5th May 2016 Tina
      It's extremely easy to make yogurt you just need a bowl and a warm place. Your starter culture is existing yogurt it's true, but once you've made a batch you just keep back some of the made yogurt and mix it into your fresh warmed milk for the next batch.
    • 12th May 2016 Adele Drummond
      You can make yoghurt in a stainless steel flask. no need for an actual yoghurt maker.
  • Celotape

    26th May 2015 Lou
    Any alternatives to celotape...? I like to recycle (and make some pennies) through ebay which means posting and tape because I recycle envelopes. I thought of masking tape and I remember brown paper tape - but not that easy to get hold of now, any suggestions? I guess I could use string..and even staples. It is a good project and such a challenge - how much plastic has crept into our lives.?
    Category - In the office

    show/hideComments

    • 27th May 2015 kate
      The only tape that claims to be fully biodegradable is picture framers Kraft paper tape with biodegradable adhesive. It works really well and sticks to just about everything – so much so I also use it for labelling stuff. Sticks to glass for a surprisingly long time – even in damp conditions.

      fine out more here http://plasticisrubbish.com/2014/11/25/sticky-tape/
    • 27th May 2015 Tom
      You can get paper packaging tape from Nigel's Eco Store. http://www.nigelsecostore.com/cgi-bin/sh000001.pl?WD=tape&PN=Eco%2dPacking%2dTape%2ehtml#aNES_2dTape
    • 12th May 2016 Adele Drummond
      Clear cellulose tape or paper packing tape.
    • 26th April 2017 Jess
      You can buy eco packing tape online which is fully biodegradable and my local stationers sells 'gummed tape' which you wet with a sponge to activate the adhesive. It sticks really well for packages and can be composted after use. :)
  • Dog Poo Bags!!

    26th May 2015 Kate
    Has anyone else thought of an alternative to plastic dog poo bags?!
    Category - Miscellaneous

    show/hideComments

    • 26th May 2015 Emma
      Hi Kate,

      I found biodegradable dog poo bags at Nigel's Eco Store:

      http://www.nigelsecostore.com/cgi-bin/ss000001.pl?SS=dog+poo&ACTION.x=0&ACTION.y=0&PR=-1&TB=A&SHOP=

      I don't think they are truly biodegradable, but certainly better that the usual plastic bags.
    • 26th May 2015 Sarah Han-de-beaux
      Hi there, whilst it's not totally elegant you could revert to what I remember doing in the 90s...get yourself a pooper scooper device and pick it up using the scooper and then empty it directly to the poo bins. Like I say, not elegant but it's what I used to do when I was a kid with my dogs before plastic bags were the norm.
    • 27th May 2015 kate
      compostable cornstarch bags and a dog poo composter http://plasticisrubbish.com/2013/08/21/composting-pet-poop-and-waste/
    • 27th May 2015 Ed C
      Tesco sell small compost bags - could be an option!
    • 1st June 2015 ClaireH280
      I agree - cornstarch sandwich bags
    • 2nd June 2015 Judy
      I have made cat poo and wee bags by folding and stapling newspaper. you need 2 or three pages layered. It works well for the cat litter tray. I have made extra large newspaper bags to hold the smaller ones. Don't know what the bin men will think as they are used to the ubiquitous plastic bag!
    • 12th June 2015 Verena
      hi. i buy recyclable ones but I don t know up to what point is worthwhile as they all go to landfill. It is something that I have also thought about.
    • 15th June 2015 Em Weston
      Hi Kate, you can buy biodegradable ones for not that much more from Asda and other such places. However remember that putting these in the regular dog bins then completely eliminates the point of even using them as all public bins use heavy duty plastic bags in them. So remember to take it home to dispose of it.
    • 24th June 2015 Gill
      Hi

      I use Biobags - they are compostable. http://www.biobags.co.uk/

    • 31st May 2016 Gill
      Hi I get bio bags compostable dog waste bags but was recently given some naty by nature baby care disposal bags for nappies which were from boots so should be easily gotten hold of.
  • Milk?

    23rd May 2015 Paul Stratford
    So what is the best/greenest/eco way to buy milk?\r\nI am lucky enough to be able to get it direct from a local organic dairy who are happy to fill any vessel that I provide but if not, what is best, glass, recycleable plastic, cartons or bags?
    Category - Snacks, drinks and meals

    show/hideComments

    • 27th May 2015 Mike Wallis
      There are probably more local dairies around than you think. Following the MCS "plastics purge", I found a local dairy that uses glass bottles and gives local farmers a fair deal.
      We are thoroughly enjoying the "proper milk" experience and our plastics consumption has plummeted. I'm now determined to try and stop using disposable plastics completely.
    • 27th May 2015 kate
      find a milkman here. interactive postcode search http://plasticisrubbish.com/2012/06/18/pams-new-year-message/
    • 3rd June 2015 Annie
      I just bought some powdered milk that was almost plastic free - it just had a plastic lid!
    • 4th June 2015 Jane
      Am struggling with milk. My dairy don't put organic milk in glass bottles, only cartons. Problem is, price goes from £18 a month to £52 if I choose the cartons. !!!!
    • 5th June 2015 w.swan
      Glass. Sterilised cow's milk from Delamere in glass bottles is available from some shops and supermarkets.
    • 8th June 2016 Graeme Hodges
      I'm really struggling with milk - any ideas would be really welcomed! Thanks
  • Shampoo and conditioner

    23rd April 2015 Tom
    Shampoo and conditioner - as I use these more than once, does it count as single use?
    Category - In the bathroom

    show/hideComments

    • 5th May 2015 Kate
      Hi Tom,

      Plastic Challengers can decide for themselves how far they want to go single use plastic free. Technically, shampoo and conditioner bottles are used more than once, so it is up to you if you want to try and replace your bathroom products with plastic free alternatives. Good luck!
    • 16th May 2015 Annie
      Places like Lush do shampoo and conditioner bars so no packaging at all, they usually come wrapped in tissue paper!!
    • 26th May 2015 Sarah Han-de-Beaux
      Try out the lush products that are plastic free and really nice. I know the shop smells overpowering but just brave it and buy yourself all their goodies. For example: https://www.lush.co.uk/products/jungle
    • 26th May 2015 Julie
      Good question! I would say, as far as this challenge is concerned, yes it counts as single use. The bottle is packaging for that product - once the shampoo is gone the bottle is not designed to be used again (unless it's refillable) and it's thrown away, or recycled of course! What do other people think?
    • 28th May 2015 Claire Caffrey
      Yes, and unfortunately a lot of personal care products have microplastics in them. Check out this page http://storyofstuff.org/
    • 29th May 2015 Laura
      I would say yes as the bottle has only been filled once.
    • 3rd June 2015 Sam
      Just signed up to this but been trying to reduce plastic for awhile now. There are many coconut oil recipes for the bathroom like toothpaste and body scrub (which I use) Google it if you have time to make stuff x
  • Unwrapped toilet paper

    15th April 2015 Daves
    I can't find unwrapped toilet paper anywhere. Has anyone found any?
    Category - In the bathroom

    show/hideComments

    • 15th May 2015 Sanjay Mitra
      Hi Daves
      That is a really tough one. It depends on how lucky you are with where you live! Fortunately, I visit Bristol from time to time and know one of those wholefoods/organic shops that sells individual rolls of toilet paper. Maybe you'll find one not too far from where you are. Gone are the days when Andrex was wrapped in paper! Good luck.
    • 15th May 2015 Jo
      I live in Exeter and didn't manage to find any unwrapped toilet paper but I did find paper wrapped in compostable packaging - I phoned up local, organic small business (like farm shops etc.) until I found it so I would say try the same in your local area. Hope that helps!
    • 18th May 2015 Jules Agate
      Sea Champion Charlotte Gee says on the 'Meet the Plastic Challengers" page that "You can get unpackaged loo roll from ScoopAway and The Better Food Company"
    • 24th May 2015 Woolbothy
      Folks over 50 will remember Andrex packed in paper. I'm sure I saw it in our P.Office shop the other day. I'll have a look on Monday and take a photo if it's still there.
    • 26th May 2015 Amy
      I was thinking of using SUMA loo roll as its wrapped in plastic free compostable film, is that allowed?
    • 26th May 2015 Fiwart
      You can get unpackaged loo roll from ScoopAway and The Better Food Company!That's according to Charlotte Gee, Bristol on the "plastic challengers " page of the mcs plastic challenge website
    • 29th May 2015 Laura
      If you buy in bulk there will be less plastic per roll.
    • 2nd June 2015 Sam
      If you are brave and don't mind washing you can buy reusable toilet wipes in the same way you can buy reusable nappies. Just Google it!
    • 3rd June 2015 Lucy
      plasticisrubbish.com have a list of plastic free products - it seems that plastic free loo roll is difficult to find but they did find one that is packaged in biodegradable wrapping: Eco Leaf Toilet Tissue - it comes in a 100% cornstarch compostable wrap called Bioplast
      http://plasticisrubbish.com/2009/04/14/you-know-what-s-coming/
    • 4th June 2015 kate
      Buy a box of cheap tissues in cardboard. Why cheap? Buy what you think is a cardboard box of paper tissues and you may well find, once you rip open the dispenser bit, the hole is reinforced with a plastic collar….grrrrr

      The cheapo Tesco range, lidless and Aldi come without plastic reinforcements.

      Otherwise you have to go for Eco Leaf Toilet Tissue. Supplied by the good folks at Suma ( a workers cooperative), it comes in a 100% cornstarch compostable wrap called Bioplast. Just so you know, Bioplast is certified to EN 13432 and confirms to the European OK Compost Standard.
      http://plasticisrubbish.com/2009/04/14/you-know-what-s-coming/

Plastic Challenge Tips

Got a tip? Share it here

Tips from the community:
 

  • Shopping tips

    24th April 2017 Jennie Lang
    We self scan (Tesco/Waitrose) which means we can put lose fruit & veg straight into our reusable bags. Also if you live in the London area Wholefoods have loose nuts, fruit, muesli, couscous etc
    Category - Other tips
  • It gets much easier!

    25th June 2016 J
    I have been trying to avoid consuming any plastic for a few months now. So far it's been impossible to do 100% but a 90% reduction now feels very easy! My main piece of advice is that it gets much, much easier. Lots of people taking on the plastic challenge will only experience a couple of weeks going plastic free which is definitely the hardest time, so please don't be disheartened, I hope you will carry on! Things like bringing your own bags, remembering to carry water, asking for 'no straw', throwing together a packed lunch from leftovers and stocking up on certain unpackaged foods from certain shops or markets when you are passing (rather than doing it all at once on a Saturday morning) - all these things just become second nature. You can also keep making those plastic substitutions for the more tricky items bit by bit, because it is definitely hard to do it all at once. In my household we are now happier, healthier and we spend less but we eat better. Lots of things I would have bought in the last few months, I didn't buy, and looking back I've realised I just didn't need. The best moment was when we got rid of all our bins, we now just have a little compartment for landfill waste in our recycling box. Maybe one day we won't need it at all, I hope so, because when you think about it there is no ultimate bin in the world...
    Category - Other tips
  • Keep your legs smooth!

    14th June 2016 Sanjay Mitra
    I don't normally remove leg hair, just thought I'd get that out the way first, but I did put a YouTube video together on making your own sugar paste. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSDdnZPbbfc No more wasteful plastic packaging when buying waxing stuff from the shop. Remember, apply against the hair direction then down (opposite to waxing - so I've read!). Ouch!
    Category - In the bathroom
  • Unblocking the sink

    11th June 2016 Gill
    Great tip from Google - works a treat and plastic free! In a dry sink, pour at least 1 cup of baking soda down the blocked drain, and ensure that the powder makes its way down the drain. Next, pour approximately 2 cups of boiling water in and wait several minutes. Add one more cup of baking soda in and immediately follow it with one cup of plain white vinegar.
    Category - In the cleaning cupboard

    show/hideComments

    • 18th June 2016 Graeme Hodges
      Can you buy baking soda with no plastic wrapping?
  • Growing seeds

    7th June 2016 Libby D
    For a few years now I have ditched buying plastic seed trays and swapped them for toilet roll seed pots - I save all of my toilet roll inners ,cut them in half, fill with compost and pop in a seed and hey presto a plant grows...no need to buy plastic pots. You can also plant these straight into the ground when they are ready to plant out doors!
    Category - Other tips

    show/hideComments

    • 23rd August 2016 EmmaHirst
      I use paper potter. You an get them from garden centres. They are made from wood and turn old newspapers into seed pots. They degrade beautifully in the ground when the plant is big enough.
  • Grow your own

    25th May 2016 Libby Darling
    I've been reducing plastics in my life for years now. For the past years I've been trying to grow as much veg in my garden, on window sills and basically anywhere I can fit a pot of compost. We make our own compost and leaf mould to grow in so reducing the need to buy compost in plastic bags and every year I discover and grow & harvest more...it's quite an trick to get it right but with practice it gets easier and its so much fun...hoping to be even more plastic packaging free this year...
    Category - In the kitchen

    show/hideComments

    • 3rd September 2016 Jacqui
      Great ideas, any tips on how to keep slugs at bay in a wildlife friendly way?
  • Window cleaner

    12th May 2016 Sam
    Find an old window cleaner bottle and fill it with homemade window cleaner. I'll be giving this recipe a go in June! Scroll all the way down... http://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/homemade-glass-cleaner-glass-cleaner-recipe/
    Category - In the cleaning cupboard
  • Hand soap

    12th May 2016 Irene
    A simple switch is replacing your liquid hand soap with good old fashioned bars of soap!
    Category - In the kitchen

    show/hideComments

    • 20th May 2016 Margaret Nelmes
      Old-fashioned soap is generally made of animal fat from an abbattoir. You can buy vegetable oil alternatives. How about The Body Shop soaps? Bars of soap often come wrapped so look for unwrapped ones and ask for a paper bag to put it in or take your own.
  • Oven cleaner

    12th May 2016 Rachel
    Hate cleaning? Simply use baking soda, water and vinegar - it's amazing how well this works! http://www.digitaltrends.com/home/oven-cleaning-trick-video/ And no plastic bottles in sight!
    Category - In the cleaning cupboard
  • Mouthwash

    12th May 2016 Katy
    To save using tonnes of plastic mouthwash bottles, buy a nice fancy glass bottle and make your own mouthwash - here's how: http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-mouthwash/
    Category - In the bathroom
  • Plant pots plastic free

    11th May 2016 Rowan
    Stop buying plastic plant pots and use coir plant pots instead! http://www.hairypotplants.co.uk/just-the-pot---grow-it-hairy-at-home-9-c.asp
    Category - Other tips
  • Restaurant (Brighton)

    6th May 2016 andrea
    Silo in North Laine Brighton are a ZERO waste restaurant/cafe. I have no relationship with them except as a customer so this is a genuine recommendation. Their coffee is very good and so are their evening meals. (Some of their chairs are reclaimed pallets and wooden packaging, take a cushion if you go for the evening. Check them out on Trip Advisor if you're not sure.
    Category - On the go
  • Why use bin bags?

    6th May 2016 Ralph
    No need for bin bags. Put all bio-degradable matter in the compost. Wash out your plastic bin regularly with water when you empty it.
    Category - In the kitchen
  • Splosh.com

    21st April 2016 Rebecca
    I've just found www.splosh.com - they sell their cleaning products as little concentrated dissolvable sachets which you drop into a bottle with hot water so you can reuse old cleaning bottles!
    Category - In the cleaning cupboard
  • Super market veg bags

    6th April 2016 Y Williams
    Hi, I normally just place veg unbagged into my trolley etc. but if I need a small bag, I'm a little naughty and look for the mushroom bags that are usually made of paper for whatever I want :)
    Category - Shopping solutions

    show/hideComments

    • 6th May 2016 andrea
      I use Riverford Organic Veg delivery scheme. They either use paper based packaging or the little plastic they do use is returned to them and they recycle it. Their veg are fantastic quality too.
    • 21st April 2017 Beth
      Hi,

      I might get some funny looks in the supermarket when I do this but instead of using paper or plastic, I use knotted wraps. A lot of products I buy in Lush come in little material wraps which after a little wash are perfect for carrots, apples ect. Just wash an re-use!
  • Celotape

    8th February 2016 Tom
    You can get paper packaging tape from Nigel's Eco Store. http://www.nigelsecostore.com/cgi-bin/sh000001.pl?WD=tape&PN=Eco%2dPacking%2dTape%2ehtml#aNES_2dTape
    Category - In the office
  • Cereal bags = freezer bags!

    3rd January 2016 Kathryn Dutton
    The bags inside cereal packets also make good freezer bags
    Category - In the kitchen
  • Clotted cream

    26th June 2015 Kevin
    Here at MCS HQ we've just held a cream tea fundraiser - plastic free of course. The hardest part was the cream, but our very own data officer came to the rescue. Here's his recipe for making clotted cream, entirely plastic free: 1. Pour gold top milk into a wide think bottomed saucepan. Cover to keep out the dust and leave to stand in a cool place (NOT the fridge) for several hours until the cream has risen to the top. 2. Lift the pan carefully onto the stove so that the risen layer of cream is not disturbed or broken up. Warm through on the lowest possible heat. 3. Keep at this low heat for 40-50 mins until the top of the cream is crinkled and golden yellow. 4. Remove the pan from the stove, cover and leave to stand for several hours in a cool place...but NOT the fridge! 5. Then, using a slotted spoon, skim off the cream into a dish, allowing the milk to drain back into the pan. The milk can be used for pancakes or scones. Enjoy!
    Category - Snacks, drinks and meals
  • Toothy tabs too frothy

    24th June 2015 Gill
    Hi Had some comments from people using Lush toothy tabs saying they froth too much - I just snap them in half and use half a tab. It saves money too.
    Category - In the bathroom
  • Milk & More

    11th June 2015 Emily Smith
    Milk & More deliver fresh milk in a glass bottle to your home (just like the milk-man used to!) Check out their website to see if they can deliver to your address: http://www.milkandmore.co.uk/home
    Category - Snacks, drinks and meals

    show/hideComments

    • 14th June 2015 Margaret Dearman
      I have been using Tescos Every Day Value UHT milk because it appears to be in a cardboard carton with no plastic lid. It says it is made from paper and is widely recycled.
    • 9th May 2016 vanessa
      Why not just get your milk delivered by a Milkman - the old fashioned way. In gloucestershire we have Gloucestershire dairies, you may have a local company too?
    • 1st June 2016 Mark
      i use them too; excellent: milk deliveries Mon/Wed/Fri..web site not the best, range of other products limited, but efficient, and glad to remove such big plastic bottle from my life
  • Cleaning products

    10th June 2015 Jo
    Ecover do good refill cleaning products (such as washing-up liquid/washing powder etc.) which, if in powder or solid form, come in cardboard containers and they tend to be in bulk which is even better to reduce packaging of course. Or there's also the alternative of homemade recipes from trashisfortossers.com or myplasticlife.com (both really useful sites in general).
    Category - In the cleaning cupboard
  • Reuse your cereal bags!

    10th June 2015 Tamsin Carter
    When your cereal runs out, use the plastic bag as a sandwich bag!
    Category - In the kitchen

    show/hideComments

    • 28th May 2016 stefanie
      Im so glad you mention this! I forgot,, my mum used to do this in the 80s
  • Flapjack breakfast

    7th June 2015 Debbie hillyer
    Flapjacks for breakfast: I had to swap the sugar in the recipe. I found normal caster in paper or Demerara cubes in a card box. The recipe: 200g butter (I bought paper wrapped with a recycle symbol in Morrisons) 200g honey (I bought a locally made glass jar from a friend) 200g golden caster sugar 400g oats (I bought them in a box not a plastic bag) Put all but oats into hot pan melt the butter and sugar as you stir. Once melted stir in oats. Rub 8x12 baking tin with butter and spoon in the mixture. Cook for about 15 mins high oven, til golden. Leave to cool.
    Category - Snacks, drinks and meals
  • Toilet Roll

    4th June 2015 kate armstrong
    You can buy loose rolls at corner shops. Otherwise try Eco Leaf Toilet Tissue. Supplied by the good folks at Suma ( a workers cooperative), it comes in a 100% cornstarch compostable wrap called Bioplast. Just so you know, Bioplast is certified to EN 13432 and confirms to the European OK Compost Standard. Or you can use tissues the kind that come in a cardboard box - but you have to buy the cheap ones otherwise the hole is reinforced with plastic. You can find out more here http://plasticisrubbish.com/2015/06/04/how-to-got-to-the-loo-plastic-free/
    Category - In the bathroom
  • Store Cheese in the fridge without plastic

    3rd June 2015 V Smith
    An old fashioned cheese dish is awesome and will keep cheese fresh for a couple of weeks without going hard: they are simmilar to butter dishes but with a small hole in the lid.
    Category - In the kitchen
  • Cotton Buds..Q Tips..Ear Buds

    3rd June 2015 Lucy
    I've switched to bamboo cotton buds: http://www.boobalou.co.uk/product/go-bamboo-bamboo-cotton-buds/#.VW7gz8_BwXA They were listed on the plastic free product list on www.plasticisrubbish.com... - apparently the cotton bud features large on the pollution chart. During Beachwatch 2004, they made up 87% of sewage related debris found on our beaches! In 2006 they were the second most common item of litter washed up on our beaches... time for a change I think!
    Category - In the bathroom

    show/hideComments

    • 5th June 2015 W.Swan
      Are cotton buds truly essential at all?
    • 6th May 2016 Loz
      I think Sainsbury sell bamboo cotton buds - going to check.
    • 1st June 2016 Clare Cavers
      http://www.cottonbudproject.org.uk lists paper-stemmed brands of cotton buds & some are own brands so you know where to get them. Some come in plastic tubs but a couple are in cardboard boxes.
  • Pasta

    3rd June 2015 Annie
    I finally found plastic free pasta without having to make it myself! Sainsbury's sell plasic free cannelonni and lasagne sheets.
    Category - Snacks, drinks and meals
  • recycle all the way

    2nd June 2015 Sondra
    1 Tshirt=5 bottles. And many more--your clothes can also save bottles from polluting the oceans! Try recycled material garments. Starting with sportswear companies like Patagonia, Nike, The North Face and brands like Waste2Wear that produce anything from homeware, fashionable clothes, bags to medical scrubs.
    Category - Miscellaneous
  • Toothbrush trouble?

    1st June 2015 Atlanta Cook
    The Bamboo Toothbrush company make lovely toothbrushes at a reasonable price. My 10 year old daughter loves hers more than her princess electric one granny bought her :o)
    Category - In the bathroom

    show/hideComments

    • 1st June 2015 Amy
      Just got a Bamboo Toothbrush and they are amazing! So are the Lush toothy tabs, they taste like refresher sweeties...
    • 8th May 2016 Lizzy
      savesomegreen.co.uk do a range of bamboo toothbrushes at good prices and can be bought in bulk
    • 13th May 2016 Katy
      Brush Bamboo also do bamboo toothbrushes!

      http://brushbamboo.co.uk/
  • Morsbags

    1st June 2015 Rosalyn
    Easy to make pattern and video for fabric shopping bags.
    Category - Shopping solutions
  • The plastic clean-up

    31st May 2015 Jane
    Here is a little reminder why we are all doing this challenge. I hope you find the video inspiring! http://themindunleashed.org/2015/05/huge-ocean-cleaning-system-is-planned-to-be-launched-in-2016.html
    Category - Miscellaneous
  • Freezer food storage ideas

    31st May 2015 Jane
    Here is a good list for freezer storage ideas. http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/food/food-storage
    Category - In the kitchen
  • Coffee habit

    29th May 2015 Lucy
    I use a Keepcup when I get takeout coffee - http://www.keepcup.com
    Category - On the go
  • More tips

    29th May 2015 Lucy
    Trash is for Tossers is a great place for tips: http://www.trashisfortossers.com I've made a Plastic Challenge pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/LucePrints/plastic-challenge/
    Category - Miscellaneous
  • Alternatives to supermarket plastic bags for fruit & veg

    29th May 2015 Lucy
    I've been using Onya bags when buying loose fruit & veg, nuts, rice etc. They are tulle bags (each can easily carry 2 kilos of produce). They are incredibly lightweight ,so they don't weigh anything on the scales and they are see-through, so shop assistants know exactly what's inside. http://www.onyabags.co.uk/onya-weigh-fruit-and-veg-reusable-bags-lime
    Category - Shopping solutions
  • Shaving soap bar

    29th May 2015 Ryan
    I've been using a bar of shaving soap for the last year or 2. I find it works better than foam out of a can and i get less shaving rash. It hardly takes any more time than a can. Sadly the bar i bought came with a small amount of plastic (couldn't see it when it was boxed) but a google search will show loads of bars without any plastics. I doubt you'll switch back once you try it. Not only saving plastic but also the metal and propellant of a can.
    Category - In the bathroom
  • Tips!

    28th May 2015 Jane Blum
    My friends blog, beautiful photographs and little tips on how to be Plastic a Lot Less :) http://being-pall.com
    Category - Miscellaneous
  • Plastic Free Products

    27th May 2015 kate
    loads of #plasticfree products here to help cut plastic during #plasticchallenge http://plasticisrubbish.com/2014/05/27/this-years-fantastic-plastic-free-finds/ …
    Category - Miscellaneous
  • A great resource for plastic-free alternatives

    26th May 2015 Esther Hughes
    myplasticfreelife.com
    Category - Miscellaneous
  • Eco lunch boxes!

    26th May 2015 Ben Plummer
    ecolunchboxes.com. Really good website for plastic free lunch stuff
    Category - On the go
  • Bathroom products

    26th May 2015 Kate
    I've just bought all sorts of plastic free products from Lush - moisturiser, deoderant, soap, shampoo and conditioner - all in bar form and wrapped in tissue paper. No more plastic bottes in my bathroom! I also found toothpaste tabs in paper packaging and cleanser in a little plastic pot made out of recycled plastic bottle tops. The great thing is they will reuse the pot once I've finished with it. Get yourself down to Lush!
    Category - In the bathroom

    show/hideComments

    • 27th May 2015 Helen
      I used to Love Lush products until I recently used the Beer shampoo and found it had Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate in it!!!
      this is a Milder but still nasty alternative to Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS). Larger molecules mean it is less readily absorbed by skin. Negative effects:
      Causes irritation to eyes, skin and respiratory systems. Ingestion may produce gastrointestinal irritation, nausea and diarrhea. Forms carcinogenic nitrosamine compounds if mixed with nitrosating agents.
      Source: http://web.archive.org/web/20061207111343/http://www.chemistrystore.com/ChemicalMSDS/Ammonium+Lauryl+Sulfate.pdf
    • 28th May 2015 claire caffrey
      Remember some cosmetics have microplastics in them...check outhttp://storyofstuff.org/

      I wash my face with water and have a bar of soap in case I fall in any muddy puddles!
  • Alternative to crisp packets

    21st May 2015 Charlotte
    Homemade popcorn! It's tasty and healthier than crisps, but works just as well as a snack. You can keep it fresh in a tupperware.
    Category - Snacks, drinks and meals

    show/hideComments

    • 4th June 2015 Jane
      Where do you get your popcorn not wrapped in plastic? Haven't managed to find any yet.
  • Vegetables

    15th May 2015 Andy
    For ages now I've been buying vegetables loose in the supermarket to avoid the plastic bags. If you need to, put them all in a cloth bag and then empty this onto the belt when you get to the checkout.
    Category - Shopping solutions

    show/hideComments

    • 21st May 2015 Julia
      I have a few small mesh bags from Again and Again for fruit and veg.
    • 22nd May 2015 Hannah
      Using the self scan and pack option at big supermarkets is great - you can just pack all the loose fruit and veg as you go along. But I find that organic veg is often the worst offender when it comes to over-packaging in plastic which is frustrating because I want to buy it :-(
    • 26th May 2015 Chrissi
      most supermarkets supply paper bags for buying mushrooms in - why not use those ?
    • 29th May 2015 Lucy
      Or try Onya bags - http://www.onyabags.co.uk/products/onya-weigh
    • 6th June 2015 Debbie
      Loaded mine into a card box today for the first time in my life... Got some very weird looks! Haha Although it's been difficult this is one plastic free tip that is here to stay i think. No more plastic wrapped veg and fruit for me 😊
  • Make your own bags

    14th May 2015 Becky
    Make your own shopping bag out of reused fabric.
    Category - Shopping solutions
  • No ready meals

    19th April 2015 Hannah Furnell
    Make more of your own food rather than buying ready meals.
    Category - Snacks, drinks and meals
  • Reusable container

    19th April 2015 Stephen Carter
    Take your own reusable container to meat and fish counters to avoid the single use plastic bags.
    Category - Shopping solutions
  • Fruit juice!

    18th April 2015 Stephanie Barnicoat
    Make home made fruit juice!
    Category - Snacks, drinks and meals
  • Make your own packed lunches

    15th April 2015 Ed Santry
    Make your own packed lunches rather than nipping out to buy pre-packed sandwiches.
    Category - On the go

    show/hideComments

    • 24th May 2015 Woolbothy
      YES! and save lots of money! Try buying a metal Thermos mug for your coffee too and save more cash...

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