Living completely without plastic seems almost impossible - almost every supermarket shelf is shining with wrapping, and pretty much every online package comes covered in the stuff; It sneaks its way into beauty, hygiene, and cleaning products across our households.
A ‘plastic-free’ lifestyle means reducing the amount of plastic you buy and looking for more sustainable alternatives, but everyone’s definition of plastic-free is different. You don’t have to be ride-or-die straight away (although, after trying a few of these plastic-free swaps, it might not be long!)
Some key considerations for a plastic-free lifestyle are to make swaps that you actually enjoy, and this can feel daunting when you’re short on cash. But don’t worry, we’ve got you. In this blog, we’ll share some budget swaps you can make to live more plastic-free. From tips to reduce plastic in your self-care routine, to swaps you can make out and about.
What do we mean when we say plastic-free?
To understand what ‘plastic-free’ means, it’s important to understand what plastic is. Plastic is anything that is made of polymers. Some companies will put ‘plastic-free’ on their packaging, even if it contains bioplastics, because it’s free of petroleum-based plastic. The definition of plastic-free for us is no plastics at all - full stop.
What do I need to know before going plastic-free?
Going plastic-free might shake up your routine, so it’s important to be prepared for the changes. One of the key considerations to make before going plastic-free is the upfront cost of things to refill and reuse. You also don’t have to throw away products you already have - you should absolutely use them, and embrace the transitional period.
The first step on your journey to a plastic-free life is to make swaps with products that you use and replace often. A great swap that everyone can make is their toothbrush as on average, we go through 4 toothbrushes each year. This adds up to a lot of plastic in landfills. But you can get guilt-free pearly whites with our bamboo toothbrushes - they clean your teeth just as well and are very affordable.
Another easy swap is the way that you remove your makeup. The most convenient way of doing this is makeup wipes. But these are single-use, abrasive on your skin, and only tend to last for around a month once opened before drying out.
Reusable make-up remover pads are super gentle on your skin, and there’s no more stress about forgetting to rebuy wipes. You can use them with water, or with micellar water, to get your skin glowing again.
A quick swap, that will save you money in the long run!
When it comes to cleaning, plastic isn’t only in the packaging. So many micro-plastics are in the formulas of cleaning products, as well as other harmful chemicals, which then linger around your home.
Most cleaning products are 70% water, and cost loads in emissions to be transported to the UK. Our cleaning sachet sets eliminate this water cost and are a concentrate that you mix yourself. They're easy to use, smell amazing, and won’t break the bank!
Plastic-free swaps while out and about
Adopting plastic-free doesn’t just stop when we leave the house. Whether for work or a visit to your town centre, you can make these swaps to let everyone know you’re slaying the no-plastic scene.
You can save some serious cash on bottled water by buying a reusable water bottle. Some places, like Pret a Manger, advertise free water refills in stores when you have your own bottle - but we’ve found that if you ask politely, loads of other places will give you refills too.
If you’re a coffee drinker, then no fear - a reusable coffee cup actually gets you a discount on coffee in some coffee shops, as you’re not using their disposable cups. Plus, it saves those plastic lids from going into landfills. We love these rice husk coffee cups, which come in a mix of cute colours!
Supermarket shopping without the plastic
When looking for cheap products that are a plastic-free alternative, why not look at how you shop, too? It’s not feasible to avoid supermarkets, but there are loads of ways to reduce the plastic we produce while shopping.
It might seem basic, but you can use reusable shopping bags made of cotton or recycled materials as opposed to single-use plastic ones. These are a great way to save money - in the UK, bags cost at least 10p each, so investing in some you can use again and again means avoiding this repeatable cost.
Another spicy swap is to go for loose fruit and vegetables as opposed to pre-packaged ones. Loose veg is often cheaper, and if you’re buying the exact amount of veg that you need, you’ll be lessening food waste too!
Ready to make some budget-friendly plastic-free swaps?
We love to see it!
We get it, plastic-free can have more upfront costs, but later down the line when you’re not rushing to the shops for single-use face wipes you’ll realise you’ve saved money in the long run. Starter packs are great birthday presents from friends and family, so why not ask for something plastic-free this year?
In this blog, we’ve suggested some great toiletries swaps, as well as some easy plastic-free cleaning swaps you can make. We then made some budget-friendly on the go swaps including some cute coffee cups and water bottles and shared our best tips for navigating the supermarket aisles with your plastic-free lifestyle in mind.
If you follow any of our tips in this blog, leave us a comment or tag us on socials to show us - we love to hear from you! Happy plastic-free shopping!