Ways to reduce your plastic use

Ways to reduce your plastic use

Sometimes a new technology or product revolutionizes the way we consume and the way we live. Plastic changed everything. In the 1960s this low cost and durable product suddenly invaded every aspect of life. I don’t think any of the women or men filling their shopping in plastic bags mid-century, would have imagined the colossal effect that plastic would eventually have on the world. I certainly wasn’t thinking about it in the 90s when I opened my school lunch and unwrapped almost every item from little glad wrapped straight-jackets.

But there is little excuse these days for excessive use of the stuff that is literally choking our oceans and the creatures that live in it. And we have to get smarter, not just at the supermarket, when consuming because plastic has seeped into almost every corner of a household. Here are some creative ways to cut back on the plastic!

Areas we can reduce our plastic:


Yes, the smallest members of the household are massive drivers of consumption. One minute there are no kids and the next you’re scrolling through Facebook and all you see is pictures of babies! When that time comes, chances are you’ll find yourself lusting after the latest toys and baby gadgets - have you even seen a Shusher?.

Our house was a strictly wooden-toy-zone, but every time I took my daughter to a kids group the poor starved-of-plastic child would go running for the most garish, lights flashing like a pokie machine, toy available. So we purchase our plastic toys second hand off Marketplace and toy libraries are brilliant because you can return and swap them without adding to landfill.


Gifting at Chistmas and Birthdays can involve a lot wrapping and packaging that, quite frankly, is torn up and binned faster than you can say ‘Does this come with a receipt?'.

At Christmas we bake or make jams and sauces and bottle them in glass. We use material to wrap gifts which goes down a treat with recipients - who wouldn’t want a lovely piece of muslin as well as a whiskey chocolate sauce?


We just love a bar of soap. It’s so much more luxurious than anything that comes out of a bottle. They come wrapped in paper and it’s much easier to find something that doesn’t contain lots of additives that can be harmful for your skin.

You can also make shampoo and body scrub out of things most of us have in the pantry. Hello coffee exfoliator!


Big business needs to do better but we as consumers also have a social responsibility to drive change with our purchase power and if we pursue good practices in our own lives then we are more likely to teach our kids how they can live a life unwrapped.


Author: Bianca Richardson-Read
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