5 non-negotiable plastic-free swaps you should be doing now, like right now

5 non-negotiable plastic-free swaps you should be doing now, like right now

Founder of eco marketplace Nash + Banks shares the five easy moves you can make to reduce your footprint.

Australians use a staggering amount of plastic each year, much of it single use. Designed to be discarded, this waste invariably ends up polluting our waterways and creating excess landfill.

As we become more aware of the impact our consumption has on our environment, many of us have begun taking a good hard look at our relationship with plastic and seeking alternatives that minimise our environmental impact.

As it stands, plastic is a key ingredient in everything from our utensils, to food packaging, to beauty products and chewing gum (yikes!). This means that the idea of going plastic-free can be overwhelming.

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Even so, it’s important to remember that every little action helps make a difference. Wherever and however you decide to start, remember that it’s not a competition, or about being perfect, just keep taking small steps until old habits are gone and replaced with new eco-friendly ones.

Here are some easy tips to help you start reducing your plastic use:

1. The kitchen

Specifically the pantry, accounts for a huge amount of single-use plastic. Keep a set of reusable fabric shopping bags handy in your car for food shopping and grab your fruit and veg “naked” to avoid using unnecessary plastic bags on fresh produce.

Bring your own containers when buying food at the deli, and shop with your own reusable containers for pantry staples like pasta, legumes and nuts at bulk food stores

2. Stop buying bottled water

This one is simple and will even save you money. Keep a refillable water bottle handy and stop contributing to the billions of single-use plastic water bottles that end up in landfill each year.

3. Razors

Literally billions of disposable razors are thrown away each year. And, because modern shaving cartridges contain so much rubber and plastic, they’re not recyclable either. A reusable safety razor is a one-off investment that will actually save you money in the long run and the blades are recyclable.

4. Cosmetics

The cosmetic industry produces a staggering amount of single-use packaging each year and each bottle or jar can take up to 1,000 years to break down.

Sustainable options are becoming more mainstream though so it’s easier to make eco friendly choices. Go for solid, packaging-free products for essentials like shampoo and face wash where you can. Many brands are also introducing circular packaging initiatives whereby you return empty jars for reuse.

5. Takeaway coffee

Takeaway coffee cups contain a waterproof (read: plastic) liner which means they’re not recyclable, so a reusable cup is an essential. Bringing your own coffee cup is no big deal these days, so keep one in your handbag, car and on your desk.

HuskeeCup is my pick as it features the organic husk that is a waste product of the coffee industry as a raw material. Huskee also has two circular models in place HuskeeSwap and HuskeeLoop to ensure that at the end of each HuskeeCup’s lifespan their old cups will be repurposed and remain out of landfill.

Niccii Kugler is the founder of Nash + Banks, a home for ethical and sustainable homeware and fashion products.


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