Now it’s time to look at the idea of a life in which plastic is no longer the order of the day. The EU recently voted that plastic should be reduced in the future to protect the environment. Certain disposable plastic products are even to be completely banned. These include, for example: Drinking straws, plastic cutlery, plastic plates, balloon rods, coffee stirrers, thin plastic bags, cotton swabs with plastic connections, packaging such as white boxes for take-away food. Plastic products for which there are still no good alternatives should at least be reduced. This applies in particular to food containers such as fruit and vegetable packaging, dessert and ice-cream sundaes or plastic containers for sandwiches. Until these laws are passed and implemented EU-wide, another 3-5 years can pass. The more people who try right now to use less plastic in everyday life, the better for all of us. So here are a few proposals that are easy to implement:
Coffee to Go in a thermo cup
In Germany alone, about 320,000 disposable cups are used per hour! Coffee to Go cups are usually made of cardboard on the outside, but are covered with a thin layer of plastic on the inside and the lid is almost always made of plastic. If it has to be coffee to go, let it be filled into a reusable thermo cup.
Take soap in one piece
Liquid soap is convenient and practical, but when the plastic dispenser is empty, it ends up in the trash. It is better to refill the soap dispenser. But even without plastic you can wash yourself excellently: simply with one piece of soap.
For all those who want to do without plastic in the mouth: There are several possibilities for plastic-free and plastic-reduced toothbrushes: Bamboo toothbrushes with bristles made of biodegradable nylon, or the Swak toothbrush made of bio-plastic and Miswak.
Dental floss also comes in good grades: Some are made from natural materials such as silk and beeswax, without any plastic.
Tap water instead of plastic bottles
Water in plastic bottles really doesn’t have to be there. And life without plastic is very simple here: tap water, preferably filtered. If you filter your tap water and switch to a drinking bottle, you save a lot of plastic waste – and at the same time you protect your health, because PET bottles often contain a lot of harmful substances.
Wooden cooking spoons
What’s wrong with grandma’s wooden cooking spoons and spatulas? Many people think that plastic is more hygienic, but plastic can – especially with cheap kitchen utensils – easily dissolve tiny particles and pollutants, which then end up in the food. Wood is less problematic in production and disposal, often lasts longer and does not emit any harmful substances.
Plastic-free (at least almost) shavers
Disposable razors cause the mountains of rubbish to grow unnecessarily. Even “normal” plastic wet razors produce garbage. But there are good alternatives: shavers made of durable wood or metal – although you still have to change the blade from time to time, there is considerably less plastic waste.
Using empty screw glasses
For example, screw jars can replace plastic wrap, aluminum foil, plastic bags, or cheap plastic cans. You can store food in them, transport your lunch, or use them as a storage system for your small stuff.
Milk and yogurt in a jar
Milk is usually bought in beverage cartons and yoghurt in plastic cups. But these dairy products are also available in almost all supermarkets in returnable jars and bottles.
Less packaging for shampoo & shower gel
Shower gel and shampoo are almost without exception packed in plastic bottles. Unfortunately, there are very few alternatives: Refill packs at least help to reduce plastic waste. Some manufacturers offer shower gel without plastic package. Natural soaps for body and hair are better and completely plastic-free. Plastic-free shops offer shower gels and shampoos for self filling as well as solid soaps.
Vegetables without packaging
It is absurd that fresh foods like fruit and vegetables are often shrink-wrapped or packaged in plastic. It is better for the environment and health if we buy fruit and vegetables loose or only pack them in paper. In well-assorted organic shops, at the greengrocer’s, at the weekly market or in regional organic boxes you can get the vegetables plastic-free.
Bread boxes made of stainless steel, glass and wood
Anyone who packs their food in bread cans for the road will save a lot of packaging waste and already do a lot better. There are many great alternatives to the “Tupper can”: Bread boxes made of stainless steel, glass and even wood are durable, free of harmful substances and simply beautiful.
Live without plastic bags
It is now clear to almost everyone that plastic bags are an environmental problem. Plastic bags are easy to replace in supermarkets or drugstores: The best alternatives are almost endless reusable fabric bags. You simply bring them with you when you go shopping.
Avoid ready meals
Most ready meals are not only filled with artificial additives and hidden sugar, but also wrapped in lots of plastic. Healthy and tasty is something else. So you’d better cook fresh.