5 easy ways to quit plastic

You know you want to – but in a house already filled with plastic, how can you cull this environmental nightmare of a product from your daily life? The secret is to start small. Rather than quitting plastic in one ginormous sweep (and giving up because it’s all too hard) make small, incremental steps towards your goal, and enjoy the success it brings. If you’re not sure where to begin, start with these 4 easily accessible products – and be sure to pass on the tips to friends and family.

Reusable smoothie straws

If you’ve ever wondered how many plastic straws you go through in a year, don’t start counting now – it’s too depressing. Whether you’re handing them out when the grandkids visit, or popping them into a summer cooler for yourself, one-use plastic straws inevitably end up in the rubbish – but this can soon become a thing of the past. While paper straws might seem like a welcome alternative, many are wax or plastic coated and are only compostable in industrial situations. Better by far is to purchase reusable stainless steel straws which are indestructible, fun to use, and even come with their own brush cleaner. From wide straws for smoothies to cute little cocktail sippers, they can be purchased in sets from design stores or direct from Caliwoods.

Non-waxed paper bags

While a reusable lidded plastic box is always best for carrying a snack to work or on an outing, finding an environmentally-friendly container to hold baking, or other food-stuffs you want to gift, isn’t so easy. In the past you may have reached for zip-lock plastic bags. Or if you were trying your best to be environmentally-minded, a waxed paper bag. However, the disappointing news is that most waxed paper bags are lined with petroleum-based paraffin that is reluctant to break down in the compost or landfill. Now, you can rest easy with If You Care non-waxed paper bags. Available online, they are unbleached, chlorine-free and are untreated with wax or paraffin, meaning they are readily compostable. Robust enough to hold muffins, cake and biscuits, the unbleached, raw materials which go into the bags come from a renewable resource so you can gift your baking with a clear conscience.

Soda streams

If you’re like everyone else, it doesn’t pay to count up the number of soda bottles that come into and leave your house (even if they are recyclable). The answer to quitting the bulk of supermarket plastic purchases is to invest in a soda stream. These simple appliances have few moving parts which makes them super-long-lasting. They come with reusable plastic bottles and refillable CO2 gas bottles which can be swopped at most supermarkets or hardware stores. If you’re into thrift, check out your local op-shop for second hand soda streams – people enjoy these appliances so much they’re always ready to hand on their old model and buy the latest.


When growing your own food is so good for the environment, it seems a pity to raise your seedlings in plastic punnets and pots. If you want to oust plastic from your gardening routine, switch to Fertilpots. Unlike peat pots supplied by regular garden centres, which use non-renewable peat resources, Fertilpots are made from 80% non-peat ingredients. The 20% peat moss used in their production is sustainably sourced. When you decide to make the switch, why not suggest to your garden centre that they follow suit, because plastic is no longer a good look!