13 Tips To Go Plastic-Free In The Kitchen
Plastic is a plague, it finds ways to sneak into every aspect of our lives and every room in our homes. From our work, when we're on the move and our homes, plastic is truly everywhere!
Nowhere is plastic more prevalent that in the kitchen, with common plastic pollutants like cling wrap and plastic food packaging accounting for millions of tonnes of plastic waste used annually.
Plastic pollution and it’s impact is well documented, and it’s not set to slow down. There’s never been a better time to start tackling plastic pollution at its source, there's never been a better place to start that your home.
If much like us all this plastic waste scares you and you want to do something about it, look no further. With the 13 handy tips in this blogpost you can go plastic-free in the kitchen which will pave the way to giving plastic the boot from your house.
Tip #1 Going plastic-free starts outside the kitchen
A peek inside most people's fridges would most likely have zero-wasters wincing at the sight of the sheer amount of plastic food packaging. 500,000 tonnes of plastic food packaging are used annually in the UK alone. Recycling isn’t the answer either with only ⅓ of plastic packaging being recycled in the UK, instead opt for plastic-free and bulk goods when available.
Find out if there’s a bulkstore near you by visiting this site.
Tip #2 Swap plastic sponges for plants
Nature has an answer to most things, plastic sponges are no exception. You can get rid of those gross old plastic sponges that shed microplastics with every wash and replace them with natural loofah plant sponges.
Loofah sponges come from the loofah gourd plant which can be easily grown and even eaten in its young fruiting form, as the plant matures it can be peeled and dried to make a super versatile sponge!
Tip #3 Store food in jars
We have an obsession with glass jars at Soseas HQ, but it’s not without reason. Glass jars are super versatile and very cheap, they can be used to store homemade pickles and preserves, make a great alternative to plastic tupperware and can be used to store dry foods to keep them fresher for longer.
But don’t be thinking you have to spend a small fortune and buy all new mason or kilner jars, used coffee, jam and preserve jars can be cleaned and reused for a thrifty alternative!
Tip #4 Toss out toxic cling wrap
If you haven’t already you can read our post on exactly why you should ditch toxic cling wrap and what you can replace it with but we’ll recap here.
Many clingfilms are toxic, they can release chemicals known as dioxins, BPA and phtalathes, which, whilst in low levels are entirely harmless, the effects of these toxins accumulating over time is yet to be understood. Add to that the volume sheer waste that has arisen from cling film usage 1.2 billion meters a year to be exact (in the UK alone) and it’s clear this plastic pollutant needs the boot.
Swap to a natural alternative like beeswax wraps. You can check out our all natural organic cotton beeswax wraps here. They can be used to wrap sandwiches, cover bowls, wrap loose fruit and veg and will keep your food fresher for longer than cling film!
Tip #5 Ditch disposable cutlery
Some types of plastic are particulary pointless, disposable cutlery is one such item and the EU agrees. The EU wants to issue restrictions on plastic pollutants such as cutlery which account for 85% of all plastic litter found on beaches.
Instead opt for trusty stainless steel cutlery, or if you’re looking for a lightweight portable alternative try one of these portable bamboo cutlery sets.
Tip #6 Toss out old tupperware!
Tip #6 comes with a disclaimer, one that holds true to our whole approach of going plastic-free. Replace your plastic items only when they have reached their useful lifespan. Going plastic-free goes hand in hand with reducing waste and one of the key principles of reducing waste is to reuse what you have first.
When your tupperware is past it’s best and no longer serves it’s purpose, replace it with a plastic-free and more importantly BPA-free alternative. Great alternatives come in the form of metal tiffins like these, or bamboo bento boxes like these.
Tip #7 kick out that kitchen roll
But kitchen roll is paper? Whilst this is true it is also a culprit of producing plastic pollution in the form of unnecessary plastic packaging. Add to this the unsustainable nature of it’s production and single-use life span and clearly it should be avoided.
A great alternative is hidden in your wardrobe, old tshirts that are worn out can be turned into old rags that can be reused, making them a great alternative to plastic clad paper rolls.
Tip #8 Use plants to scrub and scoure
image: quathyza on Instagram
Did you know that every time you do a load of dishes you’re shedding plastic microfibres into your dishwater, these then go into the sink and eventually make their way into our watercourses.
Coconut brushes and wood handled natural bristle brushes are the way to go!
Tip #8 Try solid dish soap
Most dish soaps come packaged in plastic and are made with a whole host of chemicals. Solid dish soap bars are a great alternative that come plastic-free and are often made with natural chemicals.
Check out some great natural dish soap bars here.
Tip #9 Pass on plastic straws
Plastic straws suck! A slogan we felt was so true we put it on the linen carry case that comes free with every pack of Soseas steel straws.
500 milion plastic straws are used daily in the use alone, the vast majority of which will end up in landfill or worse plaguing the environment. Swap to something more sustainable, we created a handy guide here to find out which straw is best for you.
Tip #10 Swap pop for DIY soda makers
If you’re a fan of fizzy drinks opt for a DIY drinks carbonator such as a soda stream instead of buying cans and plastic bottles of pop. Not only is making your own homemade sodas a healthier alternative but making your own will save on loads of plastic trash and waste.
Tip #11 Utensils
“When it comes to spoons, spatulas, cutlery and everything else you use to cook and eat, opt for wooden or metal utensils. But don’t go to your kitchen right now and chuck out all your plastic utensils. Keep on using the plastic items you already have, and then when they reach the end of their life, look at replacing them with plastic-free alternatives”, says plastics campaigner Emma Priestland.
Tip #12 Purchase reusable produce bags
Plastic carrier bags are a curse! They have an average useful lifespan of 12 minutes but persist in the environment for 100s of years where they pose a real hazard to wildlife.
Reusable produce bags made from cotton, hemp or rayon make a great alternative and are all bidoegradable.
They can be picked up on Amazon from here.
Tip #13 Get creative with mason jars
Part 2 to our jar tips (can you tell we LOVE jars), is to get creative with mason jars. Mason jars can be converted into a versatile tool with a variety of lids.
Mason jar lids can be bought to turn them into hand pumps, shakers, pouring canning and more!
So there we have it, 13 tips you can easily implement in your kitchen to reduce your plastic consumption and waste. Hopefully with these tips you can have a more sustainable kitchen and give plastic the boot from your home.
If you want more tips on going zero-waste, plastic-free and how to live a more sustainable life sign up to the newsletter using the form below and you’ll receive weekly content straight to your inbox as well as exclusive discounts on deals on Soseas eco-friendly products!
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