Packets, pouches, pottles, bottles, bags, wrappers, tubes, containers… it’s easy for our rubbish and recycling bins to fill up with the mind-blowing array of disposable packaging that packs, wraps and holds the food and groceries that we buy on a regular basis.
The good news is that there are some really simple ways to make a dent in the amount of packaging waste that we bring home.
My four golden rules to reduce packaging waste:
- Switch it up: One of the easiest wins I’ve had when it comes to reducing my packaging waste, has been to switch up the format of the product I’m buying. I now buy a lot of products in bar, tablet or concentrate form. From toothpaste tablets to shampoo bars, concentrated cleaning products to dried vegetable stock – they’re products without lots of added water and are a great way to dramatically reduce the need for excess packaging.
- Bulk: I love to have a ‘bulk mentality’ when I make my purchase decisions. I don’t mean I buy things by the pallet load – something as simple as buying double length toilet paper will reduce the overall amount of plastic packaging I’m purchasing. I also like to upsize to larger pack sizes as a simple way to reduce overall packaging waste – going for the largest bag of rice, the biggest bottle of milk or a large bag of chips instead of the individually packaged ones.
- BYO: I’m constantly amazed at the products that I can purchase in my own reusable packaging. From taking my own bags for confectionary at the supermarket bulk bins, to purchasing pantry staples in glass jars at a refill store, from refilling flagons of beer and kombucha, to having our Friday night takeaways served into our own containers – there are so many ways that we can skip the need for packaging altogether! If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to refilling, check out this super handy guide from the amazing team at The Rubbish Trip.
- DIY: Bulk baking, growing my own windowsill herbs, and a SodaStream machine are all ways I avoid excess packaging waste in our household. They don’t take a heap of time and the great thing is that they save money too!
For me, reducing my packaging waste has been all about focusing on one product at a time. I’ll choose a product, see which of the golden rules I can easily apply, and then put it into action. Making a change feels good and it will motivate me to go on and make another change.
It doesn’t matter where you start, just choose one thing and give it a whirl, your rubbish bin will thank you for it.