Ways you can ditch single-use plastic

Last updated at 05:24
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We've all heard the news - plastic products are not doing our planet much good. In fact it's causing more problems than we know how to handle!

One research scientist, Roland Geyer, estimates that we've created 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic since 1950.

The problem with plastic is it doesn't just disappear when we throw it away. It takes a very long time to break down - it could take hundreds to thousands of years for different plastics to disintegrate.

So what can we do to help?

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Reducing your plastic use makes for a greener, cleaner planet!

The good news is that there are lots of ways to reduce your plastic use.

We've put together some of our top recommendations to reduce the plastic waste in your life!

Because reducing the amount of plastic we use means we're making a happier planet!

Say no to plastic bags
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Why not use re-useable bags instead?

Many people think of those bags for life you get in supermarkets - but be creative - it can be any bag really!

Your backpack, your satchel, your handbag, your bum bag, your nose bag... OK, we made that last one up - that one's for horses!

Before you head out for the day, remember to leave some space in your bag or even take a bag you can pack away so you don't need to get a new one at the shops.

Say no to throwaway bottles
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We know it might seem easier to just pick up a bottle of soda or water in the shops when you're feeling thirsty.

But it's better for the planet (and cheaper) if you fill up a re-useable bottle instead!

According to Recycle Now, we use 35.8 million plastic bottles in the UK every day, but we only recycle 19.8 million of them.

That means 16 million plastic bottles are going to landfill, every single day.

Before you head out, fill up a re-useable bottle with water or your favourite drink. Then you don't need to buy a new plastic bottle every time!

Also you can get some really cool customisable bottles - why not get one with a unicorn on it?

They do exist, we promise! (The unicorn bottles we mean...)

Say no to plastic toothbrushes
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Plastic toothbrushes are so 2013 - have you not heard of the latest toothbrush to hit the market?

Well, truthfully, wooden toothbrushes have been around for a long time! But they are making a big comeback.

Wooden toothbrushes are seen as a great alternative toothbrush to plastic as they're less wasteful, and easily biodegrade.

But while you're brushing those teeth to a gleaming shine, why not sack off the plastic toothpaste tube as well?

Did you know you can now get toothpaste in jars?! We're not kidding!

The future is here, friends, and it comes in wood and glass.

Say no to plastic shampoo bottles
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This one might take a while to get your head around, but did you know that before we used bottles of soapy shower gel there was something that was just called... soap?

We're not making this up - bars of soap used to be all the rage back in your granny's day.

But like the humble wooden toothbrush, bars of soap are making a comeback.

You can wash your tummy, your feet, your face - anywhere you like with soap!

And now, you can wash your hair with soap too!

More and more cosmetic companies are producing soap bars for your hair as people ditch the plastic.

Do you think you could give hair soap a go?

Say no to plastic packets
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People in the UK are crisp fiends - fiends we tell you!

Salt and vinegar, cheese and onion, prawn cocktail, roast chicken - whatever the flavour we can't get enough.

According to a report by Mintel, 90% of adults eat crisp-like snacks everyday.

But crisps tend to come in plastic packets, and most (if not all) of these packets cannot be recycled.

So what are the alternatives?

Making your own snacks might take a bit longer - but it can save you money and save on plastic waste.

You can make your own popcorn, or maybe even learn how to make your own crisps from potatoes?

Some people like to bake apple slices, or vegetables like carrots and parsnips to create healthier versions of crisps.

You can take them around in containers that you can re-use again and again.

There are loads of ideas online, why not find something you'd like to try?

Say no to wet wipes
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Yes, face wipes. Who would have thought they would be made out of plastic?

Wet wipes are indeed a menace - it's thought that 93% of blocked sewage pipes are caused by wet wipes.

They're the scourge of plumbers everywhere.

But never fear, the solution is simple.

Many people choose to use hand cloths and towels instead that they can wash and reuse.

Have you got any suggestions about how to reduce plastic use at home? We'd love to hear them! Comment below with your suggestions.

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