How to reduce single-use plastic in your kitchen?
In this blog we're going to explore how single-use plastic in your kitchen is damaging the environment, and what you can do to counter it.
Food packaging, takeaway boxes, kitchen utensils… Most of these are made from plastic – a material which only gets recycled in 9% of cases - the rest ends up polluting our planet with microscopic plastic particles.
We’ve grown to rely heavily on plastic in nearly every facet of our lives. It’s therefore not surprising that our planet is thought to harbour 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste - 79% of the total ever produced.
As already seen, very little plastic is recycled. In part, this is because only a small proportion of single-use plastic types are recyclable (7 out of 50). Those that are recyclable can only be recycled once before the quality degrades to such an extent that it can no longer be recycled.
Throughout its life and after disposal, plastic releases microscopic plastic particles (microplastics) into the environment, our oceans, and food chain. While our knowledge of microplastics is still evolving, studies unequivocally agree that they pose very real health risks. So now is the time to take action.
Five ways to reduce single-use plastic in your sustainable kitchen
1. Reduce how often you order takeaway meals
Lockdown has reinvigorated the UK's takeaway culture. Sadly, these meals-on-demand typically come packaged in large amounts of plastic. You'll be surprised how much plastic you could reduce by dropping just one take away every month.
When you do have a takeaway, make every effort to reuse the plastic food containers. We tend to use these containers with their lids as mini greenhouses when germinating seeds - simply add drainage and breathing holes.
2. Buy more produce from the farmer’s market
Supermarket produce is usually packaged in a lot of single-use plastic.
Venture to the local farmer’s market instead to support local growers whilst concurrently reducing the amount of plastic in your sustainable kitchen.
3. Replace clingfilm with Beeswax wraps.
Every year in the UK, we use 745,000 miles of clingfilm to wrap perishable goods. While it's good for our sandwiches, it isn't good for the environment as it takes hundreds of years to degrade, and in the process it leaches chemical nasties into groundwater and our oceans.
Try natural beeswax wraps as a plastic-free and fully compostable alternative to clingfilm. They also look pretty cool in the kitchen too.
4. Use old jars for food storage
Instead of plastic Tupperware, you can simply reuse old jars from pasta sauces, jams and other foods as a storage containers.
This saves both money and the environment!
5. Swap out your kitchen sponge and cleaning cloths
Most kitchen sponges or microfibre cloths from our kitchens are made from plastic.
Switch to alternatives made from natural materials to stop washing microplastics down the drain!