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2018 02 February

Plastic Free…This Month

Boycott

There’s a new hashtag in town #plasticfreebruary. Not sure who is organising it but head on over to Twitter to join in and share your plastic free tips. I will be posting everyday @plasticSrubbish. I would love to tell you more about this project would but I am away from reliable internet access. So anyone knows any thing please let me know.

If you think this is rather short notice you might be interested to read about the other plastic free initiatives. There’s also a U.K. plastic free lent and June and a worldwide plasticfree July. Get planning.

Guest Post

Of course every month is plastic free for me. Which often means getting crafty. Sometimes when you want something plastic free you need to make it yourself. Out of wool. I’m rather new to this crafting lark, so delighted to have a guest post on this most natural of fibres.

Here’s a quick reminder

Fibres

Fibres are short fine hairs that can be twisted or spun into longer thread or yarn. This may be woven or knitted into fabric.
Fibres (and then yarns and ultimately fabrics) can be can be natural, synthetic (plastic) or chemically produced hybrid called regenerated fibres. Read more about them here

You can read Jan’s post on natural yarns HERE

And you can see all our handicrafty posts here. Read how to make makeup, cleaning and personal hygiene products, to sew and cook all #plasticfree HERE

Write

If you are interested in writing a guest post you can find some guidelines HERE

Sign Up

Remove all plastic from tea bags to ensure they are fully bio-degradable/compostable.
Why is this important?
Unilever owns PG Tips, the UK’s most popular cup of tea. Let’s call on them to remove ALL plastics from tea bags – it is usually polypropylene. Teabags won’t completely biodegrade if they have plastic in them.

SIGN HERE

Over 2 million avoidable single-use plastic items were used by the Parliament in 2017.
It’s time for MPs to get their house in order.
Join our new campaign and challenge your MP to support a Plastic Free Parliament.

SIGN HERE

Get ready for

Valentines Day 14th

It’s the big one of course! Valentine’s Day approaches.  We have got plastic free candles to set the mood, flowers without the wrap, chocolates,  sweets and cards. Even a few ideas for trash free gifts.
If your plastic-free sweetie is also a minimalist, there are some nice alternative ideas!
And if all this does the trick, some plastic reduced condoms you can compost.
Too much info?
Head on over here to get loved up!

Keep well

Got the sniffles? That’s not so sexy. Try a reusable inhalers and eucalyptus oil. Breath easily and cut the trash.
Stop chapped lips with this home made lip balm. It really works! With refillable tubes or metal tins.

Pancake Day

February 28 is Shrove Tuesday and you are going to make pancakes. Check out these plastic-free cakes fried in a plastic-free non stick pan. Yum!

Garden

While it is still a bit cold to be out there, thoughts now turn to the garden and the seeds that need to be sown for the coming year.
You need to start planning ahead for plastic free seedlings.
You can buy plastic-free seeds and find instructions on how to make your own paper seedling pots here Plus other great plastic free garden related products.

Planning Next Month

The life #plasticless needs forward planing

Plastic Free Lent
Lent 2017 begins on Wednesday, March 1 and ends on Thursday, April 13
Last year some folk are took part in a plastic free Lent. I would love to tell you more about this project but I don’t know a great deal myself. It is organised by people in Bristol (I am pretty sure of that) and has run for a couple of years now. It has a great FB page.
Here’s some blurb “Welcome to the Lent Plastic Challenge. A group for all those who are ready to challenge themselves and take on the pesky single-use plastics that pile up in our modern life.
To support your challenge, each week we will have different theme. So you can start off in the first week with one item and build up gradually”
Hooray for them.

Mothers Day March 

Now the madness that is Valentines Day is out of the way you can start thinking about Mothers Day and here are some excellent ideas on what to get the old dear and how to wrap it up.

The Rest Of The Year 

Read more about our plasticfree year HERE

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Fair Share Fabric Project

In 2015 I pledged to  use no more than my fair global share of fibres. I was trying to determine what is a reasonable amount of clothing. After all one mans over consumption is after all another’s nothing to wear.

How Much

However there can be little doubt that we in the UK are consuming fibres in a hugely unsustainable way.
Heres how many textile fibres are produced annually: Total fibres, both natural & synthetic, around 8.5 million tonnes Rough calculations suggest that the average amount of fibres per annum, per person in the world, works out at 11.74 kg.
We in the UK are using 55kg of fabric per person and 35kg of that is on clothes. We are obviously taking more than our share of fabrics produced.
If everyone on the planet was to have 35kg of clothes each year, production would have to triple.

Synthetic Versus Natural Fibres

One of the much touted benefits of plastic is that it reduces pressure on natural resources. Nowhere is this more true than in fabric and fibres.Producing natural fibres is certainly resource intensive. And synthetic fabrics have moved on since the early days of crimpolene and can now convincingly replace anything from wool to silk. They used to make the sheerest of stockings to the thickest and woolliest of fleece jackets. Dirty old fishing nets can be recycled into saucy bikinis.

And at a fraction of the price. So much so that synthetics now make up 60% of the market.

While using synthetic fibres means that less space is needed to grow cotton or flax, less pesticides are used and vegans can be pleased that less sheep need shearing and silk worms dont need to die for us.

But of course synthetics come with their own very real and severe environmental costs. Not least is that every time a synthetic fabric is washed it releases hundreds of tiny little plastic fibres these are washed out into the sea with grave consequences.

Some Will Have To Go Without?

If everyone on the planet was to have 35kg of clothes each year, production would have to triple.
This is unsustainable.
To replace all the synthetics with natural fibres would also have a huge environmental impact but synthetics need to be phased out.
So if we cannot produce more, we have to consume less. Or accept a huge global inequality where some have more clothes than they can possibly wear while others have a few rags.

Well not on my watch

Global Rationing
If we cannot produce more, we have to consume less. the purpose of this project is to see if I can live within my global share of natural fibres as produced at the current rate. And cut synthetics.

This is how the equation works for me:
We cannot exceed current levels of production:
We cannot expect others to want less than we have:
We cannot swamp the market with synthetics:
Therefore I have to live with my global share of natural fibres.

Global share 11.74 kg per person
of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres.
The rest is synthetics.
As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to 3.8 kg of natural fibres.
Just so you know a kingsize double duvet cover from Ikea weighs in at 991 grams and a Marks & Spencer short-sleeved tee-shirt is 156 grams.

But can it be done? Cautious reply after 2 and a half years is yes it can.

You can read more on the subject and check my figures and sources here.

Whats Sustainable Clothing?
Plastic-free, fair-trade, ethically made and lots more.You can read my clothing manifesto here
You can read more on the subject and check

Second Hand Clothes
Can I buy second hand clothes to supplement my allowance? No. I can buy second-hand but it has to count as part of my allowance.

By Year Synopsis 

2017

The counting Has started….

2016

I used
3.835 natural fibres
318g synthetic fibres
Total 45g regenerated fibres
So I am over on natural fibres but way under on synthetics. Read more.
However in 2015  I bought 3.15 kg of natural fibre products and 3.2 kg of synthetic fibres. – so I had a 65g surplus of natural fibres to use up.

2015

I bought 3.15 kg of natural fibre products and 3.2 kg of synthetic fibres. See them here.

2014 & What I started with

Rationing might not seem so much of a burden if I already had a hundred outfits and enough sheets to stock a small hotel. I dont. You can see my original wardrobe here

Bought
knickers
2 pairs of trousers
1 nightie
1 Bra

Had

Tops, Cardigans & Jackets
4 no Long Sleeve Tops – cotton
1 grey – 2010
1 striped – 2009
1 blue – 2011
1 red – 2014 year
Ranging from 5 to 3 years old except the red which was bought last year.

6 no T Shirts & Vests – cotton (10)
1 grey – had for ever.
Marks & Sparks 2014 156g each – no hangers
1 black
1 navy
1 pale grey
1 vest – years plus
2 no Other (12)
wool tunic that I made from woolen fabric I have had for years. I have been wearing that for 18 months? Possibly longer.
Cotton shirt bought in India 2011

2 no Warmer wear & Coats (14)
1 synthetic jacket pre 2011
1 nylon raincoat pre 2011

4 no. Bottoms (18)
Shorts Summer 2014 Synthetic Fibres
Trackie bums cotton don’t know how old – over a year.
Thin long trews hot thin cotton bought Summer 2014
Thick long trews cold corduroy Autumn 2014 Marks & Spencers

1 no Skirts & Dresses (19)
Linen dress made for Observer Awards 2014

Underwear & Sleep
Knickers (20)
I have counted knickers as one because for some reason I feel shy about telling you how many pairs of pants I own!?
Philippino pirate pants
M&S sometime last year
France 2014 a pack of knickers
2 no Bras (21)
1 reasonable bought spring 2014 synthetic fibres
1 utterly awful that I only wear when the reasonable one is in the wash. At least 2 years old
4 no Socks (25)
2 thin pairs of socks – new before we left – gift.
2 thick pairs of sock – made by my mum.

5 no Sleep & Swim (32)

  • 1 nightgowns warm
  • 1 nightgown cool 2014 M&S
  • 1 Merino long johns 3 years at least
  • 2 bikinis years old– all synthetic
  • Towelling dressing gown
  • thin cotton dressing gown

7 no Outerwear Hats & Shawls (39)
1 wool hat 2013
1 straw hat 2014
1 wool scarf gift 2013
3 pairs of gloves
1 no shawl

2 no Work in progress (41)
Spotty dress work in progress bought from charity shop
Sleeveless long vest / sleeveless tunic most cotton bought in Malaysia 2011

4 no In storage (The cupboard we don’t talk about) (46)
Coats
1 smart – wool years old
1 very warm sheepskin second hand ages ago
2 waterproof  walking coat- synthetic years old
1 raincoat – synthetic cant even remember when

Other fabrics

back packers flannel

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Plastic Free Alternatives

Want to live plastic free…. or at least massively reduce your plastic footprint? Here are a whole load of plastic free products sourced and used by us as part of our boycott.  While we are happy to try out new products if sent to us, we work for no one and say only what we believe to be true.

Live Free & Sneaky Plastics

Start here with some superfast ways to cut your plastic trash
Watch out for Sneaky Plastics –  in places you might not have known about.

Plastic Free Products

The easiest way to find a #plasticfree alternative in our huge database of products is to use the search function (#grandmothersuckeggs!) However we have also organised them by other criteria.

Disposables & Reusables & Refills

Welcome to the wonderful world of reusables delve into refills and when push comes to shove, be directed towards disposables.
Reusables
Refills
Disposables

Organised By

Category
Organised by type you can find everything from food to gardening to personal care.
Task  Want to know how to wash the pots, #plasticfree? Check out these posts organised by task!
A to Z organised… erm…alphabetically

Place
Towns organised alphabetically that have #plasticfree/ packaging free/ zerowaste shops.Find them here.

Buy

Bags & Packaging
Shopping plastic free means taking your OWN PACKAGING.Check out the plastic-free shopping kit here.
Which Shop
Use your local shops Reasons why here.
Buy British and cut those air miles. Some ideas HERE

Food Here is a list of food types category with purchase details

Loose Food
Find out if a shop near you sells bulk food loose. This is stuff that that normally comes plastic packaged. A list of towns with shops selling loose food.
Supermarkets & Chainstores  Yes you can get plastic free and zero waste stuff. Read up HERE.

Milk 
Delivered in glass bottles but double check before you order

Buy On Line

These shops sell plastic free products and send them out in plasticless packages. Find them HERE

Lifestyle 

Make It Yourself.
Sometimes you just have to make it yourself! With #plasticfree scissors.Find out how to craft your own clothes, cosmetics and other useful things
Composting – it’s the future of rubbish

Travel – how we travel the world plastic free.

The Directory

The Plastic Free U.K. Directory lists #plasticfree projects and businesses.  While there are many plastic free initiatives out there  they are often plasticfree by default rather than intention. The people featured here acknowledge the issues of plastic pollution and are taking  steps to address them.

Links

Links, People & Organisations

Get The Knowledge
Information about science, green issues and other related subjects that impact on the plastic debate can be found at Useful to know

Wrong Place?

Try another chapter….
Welcome a quick introduction to everything
About Plastic  everything you need to know about plastic and somethings you wish you didn’t
Bad Plastic – why you need to cut your plastic consumption
Cut plastic – how to cut unnecessary plastic out of your life & meet the other people doing it.
Links & Projects –links to other plastic free people, the U.K. directory and out other projects
Us & The Boycott –About us the blog and the boycott rules
Site Map

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Tea; leaves, pots and strainers

These days most of us automatically reach for the teabags but is that really the best choice? Certainly not from a plastic free zero waste point of veiw.

Nasty Bags

Whats in your tea bag? Paper and tea you wish but actually no.
Firstly is your bag made from paper? Are you sure? Because when you think about it if it really was made from paper why doesn’t it go all soggy when you submerge it in boiling water?

Well it could be because the actual bag that you thought was paper, does in fact contain plastic and so are only between 70-80% biodegradable.
Then there is the sealing. Wikipedia claims “Heat-sealed tea bag paper usually has a heat-sealable thermoplasti
OR the paper may have been treated with Epichlorohydrin to make it stronger
Andthose bags are so white because they have been bleached with chlorine.

Plastic Free Tea Bags
There are plastic / chlorine free bags out there but they are very expensive and often come individually packed in plastic bags.
You can read more HERE.

How To Use Loose Tea 

So to conclude most teabags are rather nasty, containing both chemicals and plastic. The few that don’t are fearfully expensive and come plastic packaged.
In short, loose tea is a better option. There now follows a guide on how to buy and use loose tea to make the perfect cuppa.

Buy

First you will need to source some loose tea.

U.K. wide

PG Tips are selling tea in a cardboard box. In supermarkets! Way to go PG.

This photo is thanks to the lovely Plastic Is Rubbish FB group who came up with these reccomendations. They are a great source of personal experience and up to date information.

PG Tips is “Unilever is a British-Dutch transnational consumer goods company co-headquartered in London, United Kingdom and Rotterdam, Netherlands. Its products include food, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. Wikipedia”

Whittards are. U.K. wide chain that will sell you tea loose.this from twitter
“Hi there, yes if you visit our store with your own container, we can fill it with either tea or coffee.”
They have over 50 shops. You can find one https://www.whittard.co.uk
NB you will have to take your own plastic free or , better still, reusable packaging. See below for links.

“The company was founded in 1886 by Walter Whittard. It expanded in the 1980s and 1990s, and was bought by the Icelandic Baugur Group in 2005 for around £21 million.”

Locally

There are tea merchants who specialize in fine teas. Health food shops also are good for a go.
You can find a list of tea and coffee merchants here.

Loose Food A to Z

Find out if a shop near you sells bulk food loose. This is stuff that that normally comes plastic packaged ie rice, pasta and salt. And yes these shops do exist in the U.K. There’s just not many of them.
Heres alist of towns with shops selling loose food.

You might need to take your own bags.

Pots, Strainers & Balls to you Mrs!

Next you will need a teapot and, unless you fancy taking up fortune telling, something to stop the leaves getting in your cup. You can get great teapots from charity shops. I favor the stainless steel 70s version, good for traveling in the van with. You can get all metal tea strainers if you look. Try the market, Ebay or  Amazon. I am not a big fan of tea strainers. They dribble and you need a saucer to put them on. And you have the icky job of removing the tea leaves from the pot afterwards, a soggy business at the best of times. No, I like these mesh balls. You put the tea in them then put them in the pot. At the end you empty them in the compost bin without worrying about nasty plastic mesh. Easy as!  You can even get some teapots that have integrated diffusers built in.

You can find a full list of loose tea merchants here. If you know of any please leave details in the comments.

Just One Cup?

If you are brewing up for the WI, a teapot is fine but what when you want a quick cuppa for one?
You can get cotton bags that you can fill to make your own reusable teabags but really who can be bothered with that kind of faff.

I have found that a steel mesh single cup infuser works perfectly. It sits on your mug, you fill it with loose tea, let the brew, brew then remove. Really no effort at all and very easy to empty into the compost bin after. Mine was given as a gift but I have found something similar on Amazon

Brewing Up

So now we are good to go. Put the leaves in the pot (or the mesh ball first) add boiling water and let it brew.

and again…

Don’t be so quick to empty the pot. You ca muse those leaves again to make a fresh pot. Even keep them in the fridge and reuse the next day.

When the tea gets a bit weak you can ad a pinch more.

Honestly. I learnt this from the Chinese tea shop where they sell 50 year old tea for a hundreds of dollars a gram. Yes apparently tea, like wine, does improve with age. Who knew?

Milk?

If you take milk, you will need to get yourself a milk man who delivers milk in glass bottles and possibly a milk jug!

More

Find other sneaky plastics here….

Buy Teapots & Strainers

Being committed to local shopping I prefer to buy that way whenever possible. I would encourage you to do the same. One of the joys of living plastic free is mooching round the local shops seeing what you can source.

If you can’t buy local, please do check the links in the posts.  They link direct  to the suppliers.  Do consider buying from them and support their online businesses.

If you can’t do that then I have put together and Amazon catalogue. Yes I know…

Amazon is a very dirty word at the moment and I thought long and hard before suggesting them.  Heres why I went ahead….. No we are not entirely happy with Amazons recent history. However these links are for 3rd party sellers, we have always found the Amazon service to be good and their packaging usually compostable. In the absence of anything else we feel we can recommend them.

Kitchen Craft Stainless Steel Double Handled Tea Strainer- boxed Tea Ball Infuser 2" 18/8 Stainless Steel. Tea Ball/Strainer Mesh Tea Infuser Tea filter Reusable
Kitchen Craft Stainless Steel Double Handle…
£5.50
Tea Ball Infuser 2″ 18/8 Stainless Steel.
£0.71
Tea Ball/Strainer Mesh Tea Infuser Tea filt…
£1.52 – £2.19
Kitchen Craft Le'Xpress Tea Strainer, Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Spoon Tea Leaves Herb Mesh Ball Infuser Filter Squeeze Strainer 2 Cup Glass Tea Pot with Infuser
Kitchen Craft Le’Xpress Tea Strainer, Stai…
£1.65
Stainless Steel Spoon Tea Leaves Herb Mesh …
£1.60
2 Cup Glass Tea Pot with Infuser
£21.63
Glass Stainless Steel Loose Tea Leaf Teapot With Infuser 750ml/500ml --- Size:L VonShef Modern Stainless Steel 600ml Glass Infusion Tea Pot Loose Tea Leaf Coffee Infuser Sabichi 750 ml Glass Teapot with Infuser
Glass Stainless Steel Loose Tea Leaf Teapot… VonShef Modern Stainless Steel 600ml Glass …
£4.99
Sabichi 750 ml Glass Teapot with Infuser
VonShef Satin Polish Stainless Steel Tea Pot with Infuser. Available in sizes Small, Medium & Large Designer White Ceramic Tumbler Brewing System
VonShef Satin Polish Stainless Steel Tea Po…
£6.99
Designer White Ceramic Tumbler Brewing System
£15.00

.

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Buy On Line Plastic Free

One of the real joys of buying #plasticfree is sourcing the stuff in local shops. The excitement when you see milk in glass bottle in the newsagents is beyond words.

But sometime you have to buy on line. And then you come up against the prickly problem of packaging

There is nothing that enrages plastic activist in me more than researching a product that claims to be plastic free and environmentally friendly, purchase online, wait eagerly only to find it comes plastic packed.

Plastic free and plastic reduced products are of course a great step forward in the battle against plastic. But when I am buying a product I want to know how the product is packaged. There is little point buying a wooden comb if it comes in a plastic bag.

If it comes via an online, postal service, onward packaging needs to be stated. I want to know how the product will be packed and the more information the better. Down to what kind of tape is used (whether it is plastic or not) and whether the invoice will be in a plastic bag on the front of the box.

Which is why I like he following companies who offer plastic free products but also consider the onward packaging.

N.B. But no matter what I say, check and double check for yourself. One mans plastic free is another’s little bit of sticky tape.

These guys are super keen plastic free suppliers

Anything But Plastic Online Shop

Anything But Plastic sells alternatives to plastic products in order to reduce everyday plastic consumption and help tackle plastic pollution ...
Read More

Cleaning Liquid Refills

ECOVER  do all of these products and you can get your plastic bottle refilled. To find where Ecover have a refill ...
Read More

Fabric Offset Warehouse

Offset Warehouse is a social enterprise which brings together a huge range of hand-picked eco fabrics and haberdashery, ideal for ...
Read More

Greencane Tissues/ Paper Products

A while ago a company called Greencane sent me some tissues through the post. Not just tissues but toilet paper and kitchen ...
Read More

Handwash

I know a lot of people like a liquid hand wash. Personally I prefer soap but whatever. So this hand ...
Read More

Hodmedods – British Grown Beans, Grains & Pulses

Did you now you can get homegrown British beans, lentils (soon) and even Quinoa. Many of them organically grown…. Introducing ...
Read More

Loose Food On Line

One of the joys of living plastic free is mooching round the local shops seeing what you can source. You ...
Read More

Nottingham The Roasting House – coffee

We're a micro coffee roastery based in Nottingham. We roast all of our coffee in very small batches to order ...
Read More

Soap hard/bar

I use soap to wash my body (I don't like using soap on my face so I cleanse with oil and ...
Read More

I haven’t personally used these companies but they look good….

Loose food Online

Plasticfree pantry is a UK based online shop sells pantry staples including
flour
herbs and spices
Nuts
Dried fruit
Pasta rice and grains
baking ingredients
beans and pulses
Drinks

All loose and plastic free. Well not completely loose. Duh. They have to packaging it somehow so they reuse paper bags, glass jars and compostable plastic.
They will also use your own clean and produce bags. Read more about produce bags here HERE

The onward packaging consists of cardboard boxes and shredded paper is used to protect the goods.
Packaging tape is heavy duty paper. If you want to try, you can buy some HERE
N.B. They reuse boxes so some might come with existing plastic tape.

Visit the website HERE.

personal, General & Household

Sin Plastico
We are a plastic free and zero waste store. That means, we ask our makers and distributers to send us everything in bulk or with the less packaging as possible.
We do use Kraft and corrugate cardboard to wrap and fill the boxes. And even our tape is made of paper and vegetal glue.

They are based in Spain but ship to the UK. They have a great range. Check it out HERE

Based in the UK Is Boobalu with a great range of stuff

You will receive your order either in reused, recyclable or biodegradable packaging. Green mail bags are biodegradable and pink mail bags are recyclable. You can also choose plastic free packaging at the checkout page.


Less Plastic

always either reuse cardboard boxes that have come to us or our friends and neighbours, or use brown paper wrapping with brown paper tape. We pad our parcels with recycled/reused paper or newspaper. Also have you seen our infographic trying to inspire other online businesses to do the same? Visit the WEBSITE

And Keep

Please have a look at www.andkeep.com. Eco-friendly, sustainable and reusable products. Postal packaging is always recycled. I’m a public speaker on plastic Pollution too and passionate about helping people to make more mindful purchasing decisions while helping them on a plastic-Free or zero waste journey. All packaging is paper or cardboard.

Read more HERE

Ingreens

A great selection of stuff can be found HERE
We have asked all of our suppliers to refrain from using plastic when packing our items. In the factory world, poly bags, bubble wrap and stylofoam are commonplace. Understandably the items need to remain intact, yet not at the cost of the environment. So far, all suppliers have accommodated our no plastic.

Your parcels:For months in the lead up to the launch we have been saving packaging and also asked neighbours and friends to donate theirs. We haven’t invested in any packaging yet, when we do, we can assure you it will be from a sustainable source. At the moment, your orders are packaged in a circular economic way, that you can continue.
We make the ‘padding’ from shredding junk mail and books are falling apart.
Paper Parcel tape:We don’t use sellotape we use paper based tape that can be recycled or can biodegrade.

Toys & Crafts

Myriadonline

for toys and craft supplies. Use cardboard and paper packaging including paper parcel tape.

A really lovely shop full of wooden toys and wool felt balls. Recommend you have a look HERE


Makeup

Nuturissmo
“where I get my makeup from, their packaging is all compostable and they sell things like kjer Weiss refillable makeup. Lots of plastic bottles on there too but overall they are a good company.”

I haven’t had time to research this site but it looks interesting and they do consider their packaging. So while not plastic free I have included them as make up is very tricky to find. See for your self HERE

And read more about makeup HERE

 

The P-f U.K. directory

The companies featured in the directory are aware of the issues surrounding plastic and may well post plastic free. Check out the write ups for more details or contact them direct.

Find them HERE

And many thanks to the lovely Plastic Is Rubbish FB group who came up with many of these reccomendations.

Other Online Products

Find by product. Most of the products featured on the blog have an online option to buy. It is always worth contacting businesses and asking if they can post you product plastic free. Offer to cover the costs of a cardboard box if needs be.
Look here for individual products.

We a try to link directly with a business we know and have used but we cannot always do this.
And sometimes cost considerations mean we want to offer a range of options in different price brackets. In these cases we try to find other more affordable on Amazon.

Amazon is a very dirty word at the moment and I thought long and hard before suggesting them. No we are not happy with Amazons recent history. However, we have always found their service to be good and their packaging usually cardboard and so compostable. Though of course this cannot be guaranteed. You can read more of our reasons in the post

Amazon catelogue here.

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Local Shops

I try to buy all that I can from independents by which I mean small businesses managed by their owners, that have a real shop, on a real high street. Local shops for local people. Here’s why…

A Tale Of Two Cities
In Huddersfield (yes, I know it’s a town and not a city), there are many local shops ranging from traditional grocers to Polish Delis by way of Asian, and Caribbean food stores. And, being as it is close to the countryside, farm shops and pick your own places. Add to that a covered market in the center, at least two local breweries, and our very own fair-trade coffee importers, Huddersfield is well supplied. Plus it is so small they are all within walking distance.

How different it is in Manchester that great sprawling conurbation and powerhouse of the North. In this huge and increasingly prosperous city there are whole areas with no shops at all. And lots more have only one “convenience store” selling mostly pre-prepared, processed, long-life food. There are surprisingly few high streets that still have shops where you can buy all you need to cook a balanced meal. Fast-food outlets, scented candles cafes and hairdressers yes! Butchers and bakers? Not so many left.
There are some of course. In the more affluent areas there are urban villages where you can get artisan bread and very expensive cheese and, (more useful and affordable), some frantically busy immigrant communities with numerous shops selling everything from yams to basmati.

But the rest is large housing estates studded with big supermarkets, chainstores and chain pubs. But so what? After all….

Supermarkets Are So Convenient
And they are much cheaper than local shops.
You can get all you need in one go, do your shopping all at once.
You can drive there… and park.
There is more choice
They are are open all hours so you can go after work.

All of which is true but consider what is being lost along the way. Supermarkets are killing the high street. Local shops are closing in their thousands because they cannot compete on the above terms. And all of those conveniences come at a price. It might not be apparent but it still costs you. There really is no such thing as a free lunch especially when its being brought to you by supermarkets.

Cheaper

Lets talk money first. As many people point out local shops cost more than supermarkets which is true but shop locally and you get that money back in other ways. Shopping locally is investing in your community. According to the Guardian, research by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business 63p stayed in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business. And the American Express High Streets Ahead study found that houses near high streets full of prospering small traders increased in price more rapidly than those else where. It is in your self interest to shop locally. Source -Guardian Newspaper. Source –Guardian Newspaper.

Over Purchasing
It seems that bulk-buy convenience, supermarket shopping makes you buy too much. Once in those huge malls of food, the desire to get the weekly shop done all at once is irresistible. After all that’s what you drove all this way for. And judging by the huge trollies filled to overflowing at the checkout, it leads to a kind of stockpiling frenzy.
Research shows that people are buying more food than they need, lots of which gets thrown away. Of course they might have bought this at local shops but as we do most of our shopping at supermarkets I don’t think so. Supermarkets encourage this overspending with a range of sophisticated techniques.
Read this report on how supermarkets entice you into spending more  or this 

Food Waste
Too much food leads to food being wasted which costs millions.

You can get all you need in one go and do all your shopping all at once. Which it seems may not be such a great way to shop after all.

I can drive there
And the point of local shops is that you can walk there. If you only want a loaf of bread and your centralised supermarket is is some distance away, you have get the car out, negotiate the traffic, avoid the rush hour, circle round looking for a parking space and walk through miles of aisles to find what you want. Is that really so convenient, labour or time saving?

And you have to have a car which is another cost in itself. More importantly you are dependant on the car. And that can be a problem if the car is at the garage or you can’t afford the petrol. But worst of all this dependance on transport results in food deserts.

Food Deserts
The lack of local shops and centralizing the shopping experience into a few widely spaced super stores leads to the development of what is now termed food deserts.
J BAINES writing in 1973 (The Environment) first applied the term desert to the urban environment to describe a culturally sterile area so lacking in certain facilities that normal social interaction no longer took place “The large suburban estates that are a recent feature of the townscape are epitomized by the regular rows of similarly styled houses that have earned for themselves the title of suburban deserts.  They often lack the shops, churches, public houses, and social centers that allow a community life to develop”.
Food desert was first quoted, by S CUMMINS (British Medical Journal, 2002, Vol.325, p.436) when researching into life on Scottish housing estates. It is now used to refer to areas where people cannot access sources fresh and varied food.Food is imported into such places to be sold from large centralised trading places or supermarkets as we know them. They can then benefit from the economies of scale that make them so cheap. Competition forces most of the local shops to close leaving the community with perhaps one convenience store selling alchohol and a limited range of long life processed food. If you can’t get to the supermarket you are in trouble.

Reports indicate that food deserts are boring places to live but more importantly often socially exclusive and in poorer communities bad for your health! Some places people simply cannot access fresh reasonable priced food because they have no transport or cannot afford to travel.
And people in more affluent areas who can afford to travel are now dependent on the car to provide them with basic food stuffs. For the less mobile, the sick, the elderly and any one who cannot drive, life becomes more difficult.
All suffer from the lack of a community hub that a local, accessible high streets provide.

The Valley Centre shopping precinct. Most businesses are now boarded up. What a sad place right in the heart of Rawtenstall’s commercial area. Two twenty-four hour supermarkets have opened nearby.  Wikimedia

Choice
Or the illusion of choice? Supermarkets look like that they are giving you a huge amount of choice. Racks of crisps, rows of different shampoos even a whole range of cocoa. But is there really that much difference in the shampoos on offer apart from colour? And of course packaging. Packaging helps to sell products. How would you know that one kind of crisps was was different from the other if it wasn’t packed differently?
Because sometimes there really isn’t any other difference. Generic painkillers are just as effective as branded. They are the same product but packaged differently. Yet so effective is the branding that cheap painkillers sold in a cheap pack are considered less effective then the same tablets sold in a flashy box. I’ll just say that again the same product is considered, in consumer tests, to be less effective at dealing with pain. That is down to packaging and advertising. So much of that “choice” is illusion.

The Waste Of Choice

And so much choice means a lot of waste. Of course supermarkets do stock a wide range of products but again that comes with an environmental cost. All those exotic, out of season or organic fruits and veg are carefully packed in plastic for a reason. Plastic packing helps maintain product life. Shrink wrapped cucumbers do last longer.

The longer food will keep, the longer there is to sell it and the further they can transport it. Green beans out of season will be plastic packed to prolong not just shelf life but enable an increased travel time. All of which means more choice, with the high. environmental cost of plastic waste and product miles as a result. Eating locally and seasonally generally means less choice but tastier (many argue more nutritious), and more often unpackaged food.

But a huge reason to plastic-wrap food is to enable self service, the raison d’être of the Supermarket. Obviously you cannot have piles of unpacked steaks for consumers to rummage through, so shrink wrapped onto polystyrene trays they go and now the consumer can help themselves so cutting down on labour costs. Which makes your food cheaper.
Not surprisingly however heavily packaged supermarket food results in huge amounts of plastic waste. Which ultimately you pay for to dispose of. To have it taken away to landfill, burnt or in a very small number of cases recycled. All that costs you a lot in waste disposal costs. You are paying a high but hidden cost for all this convenience and choice.

And of course pre packaging determines the amount you buy. You may only want 10 biscuits but they come in packs of 20. Packaging food like this is also said to contribute to food waste. More money down the drain.

While independent shops are not guilt free in this respect they are less likely to sell plastic packed produce because they are serving you themselves. You go in and ask for 2 steaks and they pick them up and pack them for you. In which case you can supply your own plastic free packaging. And it is also far easier to ask a butcher you have a relationship with to use your own compostable bag in lieu of their plastic one. You can then go on to explain to shop keeper your objections to plastic packaging and he is more likely to listen.

Power To The Local People

Increasing our dependency on a few big suppliers of food we are putting the most important choice ever, how we take nourish ourself, into the hands of a few multi million dollar business. They help dictate how farmers farm, what price food should be, what is sold and when. If they stop feeding us we don’t eat. and while they may not ever threaten to starve us into submission, there can be doubt these huge businesses wield a massive amounts of power.Giving these unaccountable organisation  so much control over the very basics could easily become extremely inconvenient.
Shopping locally is using your consumer power to create a range of independent businesses who depend on you. They are answerable to you.
And you are supporting local business further down the supply chain. There is no doubt that supermarkets use their dominance in the market to bully suppliers.


Dairy farmers have faced an ongoing struggle, but things reached a crisis point this year following falling prices, with supermarkets selling milk cheaper than water and dairy processors cutting prices paid to farmers. It costs farmers around 30p–32p/litre to produce milk, but many have been earning little more than 20p/litre. Sustainable Food Trust

Dairy farmers have faced an ongoing struggle, but things reached a crisis point this year following falling prices, with supermarkets selling milk cheaper than water and dairy processors cutting prices paid to farmers. It costs farmers around 30p–32p/litre to produce milk, but many have been earning little more than 20p/litre. Sustainable Food Trust

After Hours Shopping

Back to time; I guess there are few who would deny that out of hours shopping is a boon. They might go on to say that taking time out of a Saturday morning to shop locally is a chore. Perhaps – but again there are benefits too. If we value where we live, want to see property hold its value, encourage community hubs and want there to be local shops – and most people say they do want all of the above – then obviously we have to invest some time and money in maintaining these resources. Is it really such hard work? More a matter of timetabling.

Slow Shopping

And rather than call it a chore we could try and learn to enjoy slow shopping. To relish a leisurely stroll round the shops. Believe me, this is not trying to find silver linings; shopping locally really is far more pleasant and satisfying than charging round the aisles, fuming at the wonky trolly and scanning your own basket on the way out.
As for waiting for a bus or driving and parking, if you have local shops you don’t need to do this. You can walk there. Which save you money, keeps you fit, makes your city
roads less congested and your planet greener.
Shopping locally is a healthier option in other ways. If you think you haven’t got time to shop properly than chances are you probably think you haven’t got time to cook properly either! And supermarkets cater to that belief by tempting you with a wide array of ready made, convenience foods from the humble tin of baked beans to puddings to pre-prepared salads. Masses of mass produced foods many of them laden with extra salt, sugar and chemicals, unpronounceable flavorings and additives. I used to smoke so I cant be be giving health advice to anyone but speaking from experience I know a damaging lifestyle choice when they see one. Eating ready made or even ready prepared is not a good idea. These meals are expensive and bad for you. Independent shops on the other hand tend to sell ingredients rather than meals. They sell meat and veg, cheese and bread. You buy and then you cook what you buy.

Shopping Locally On a Budget
I have a minuscule income. So I feel that every penny I spend needs to be spent wisely, it needs to be valued. I value my cash not just by what I can buy with it but the good it can do. If I pay a bit more to keep a local business in business it feels good. Consider this. If every adult in a town with a population of 10,000 adults spent £5.00 a week in a local shop that would be £2.6 million pounds more being spent with independent businesses in the town.”
And it needn’t cost more. Changing how you shop and eat, cuts bills and comes with added advantages. Local markets are always good value and a great community asset.
These three are well worth a visit Leed, Todmorden and Huddersfield.
Seasonal, local food tends to be cheaper and is certainly a greener option. You can even pick your own. Find a farm near you here. Cutting back on meat saves money and the environment. But if you do buy, buy from a local butcher. Cheese as a treat is healthier than cheese as a staple. And so on.

Valuing Time
Time is even more important and should always be spent as pleasantly as possible. The high street is slower shopping and I may even get wet walking to the market – but it is so much more pleasant. I like knowing the people who I buy my food from and that I can talk to them about my plastic free shopping needs. I like the greengrocers corny (!) jokes and that the butcher discusses sustainable farming with a passion.

Conclusion
Personally I feel it is worth making some time for and spending some money in local shops. I’m not saying I never use supermarkets but don’t only ever use supemarkets. Investing locally will pays dividends. They might not be immediately obvious as the pounds saved on the weekly shop but there are other savings and they are advantageous.

Loosing your Local Shops?
These guys can help Totally Locally is all about creating strong, vibrant towns and sustainable local economies. We use clever marketing tools, and unique ways of working that engage communities and get people talking and working together both locally and across the globe.”

Visit the website.

More

Bags & Packaging
Shopping plastic free means taking your OWN PACKAGING.Check out the plastic-free shopping kit here.
Which Shop

Buy British and cut those air miles. Some ideas HERE

Food Here is a list of food types category with purchase details

Loose Food
Find out if a shop near you sells bulk food loose. This is stuff that that normally comes plastic packaged. A list of towns with shops selling loose food.

Supermarkets & Chainstores  because sometimes you have to and Yes you can get plastic free and zero waste stuff. Read up HERE.</a


Milk 
Delivered in glass bottles but double check before you order

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Plastic Free Products

Back in October 2006 we gave up plastic, began sourcing biodegradable alternatives and blogging about it. Things were different then. I was one of the very first plasticfree bloggers, zero waste was barely talked about, even recycling was basic and very few collections existed for plastic.

Finding plastic free on packaged products and food was difficult. Which was why I started the blog. Whenever I found an alternative I wrote about it. My aim was to help others live plastic free and save them the hassle of reproducing my research.
Since then times have changed and for the better. Bamboo toothbrushes once only available from some sandal wearing shop in Germany are now available in Waitrose for heavens sake.

And if you cant fin it in Waitrose, there are several UK based online shops which offer a wide range of plastic free products sent out in plastic free packaging. Which is great but has implications for the blog.

Browse Shops Or Posts

As more shops and online services cater for the needs of the plastic free community it becomes harder to update the blog. Indeed I can barely keep up. So I would suggest you browse both the recommended online stores and and my posts in search of plastic free loveliness

So bearing all that in mind… lets find a plasticfree product.

How to Find A Plastic Free Product

Online Shops

These shops sell plastic free products and send them out in plasticless packages. Find them HERE

Database

The easiest way to find a #plasticfree alternative in our huge database of products is to use the search function (#grandmothersuckeggs!) However we have also organised them by other criteria.

Disposables & Reusables & Refills

Welcome to the wonderful world of reusables delve into refills and when push comes to shove, be directed towards disposables.
Reusables
Refills
Disposables

Organised By

Organised by type you can find everything from food to gardening to personal care.
Task  Want to know how to wash the pots, #plasticfree? Check out these posts organised by task!
A to Z organised… erm…alphabetically

By Category

Cleaning Up

It’s boring but it has to be done. How to keep your house sparkling and your laundry fresh with this guide to plastic free Cleaning up.

Disposables & Reusables & Refills

Welcome to the wonderful world of reusables delve into refills and when push comes to shove, be directed towards disposables.
Reusables
Refills
Disposables

Food & Drink

Food and Drink from alcohol to zucchinis, supermarkets to making this is  your guide to eating plastic free

Bags & Packaging – how to get your loose foods homes.
Loose food  shops selling loose, food that normally comes plastic packaged ie rice, pasta and salt.

How to start The three levels of plastic free food
Cookbook  – how to cook!

General & Home Made

General  stuff that multitasks or is difficult to categorise
Homemade sometimes if you want plastic free you just got to make it!

High Days & Celebrations

Index – with links to posts on 
Halloween, Christmas and other Special Days
Valentines Birthday / Mothers / chocolates and flowers kind of day
Wrapping and cards

And more…

Home/Garden/Office

Home and house related
Garden – come and hang out in our virtual potting shed  or have a go at  composting. 
Office – need a plastic free rubber? Give us a try!

Wo/m/animal People & Animals

Fabrics & Wardrobe Index
Personal Care Products
animals & pets

Buy shops
Loose Food Fill
Supermarkets & Chainstores 
West Yorkshire

The Directory

The Plastic Free U.K. Directory lists #plasticfree projects and businesses.  While there are many plastic free initiatives out there  they are often plasticfree by default rather than intention. The people featured here acknowledge the issues of plastic pollution and are taking  steps to address them.

Lifestyle

By Task
Want to know how to wash up plastic free? Can’t be bothered looking through the A-Z index?
Check out these work sheets.
Make Index
Composting – It’s the future
Travel
Back on the Road
How to back pack plastic free

Why Bother With The Posts Then?

Do check the posts as
there are some products there as yet uncatered for,
you get some mighty fine writing
personal reviews of the products.
And often a homemade alternative is offered because there is no doubt that a lot of plastic free stuff is very expensive.

So while solid shampoo from Lush, you might live near a store or you find the smell overwhelming. In which case you will be glad to know that in my experience soap is just as good and watered down Ecover also does the trick. You can easily and cheaply make your own deodorant. Bicarb is not nice to clean your teeth with.

Making Your Own?
Also if you are concerned about waste, glass jars might be better than plastic in some ways but if they are not refillable thats a lot of rubbish. No such thing as a free green lunch sadly.

Love Local
And there are often links to local shops. I really believe that if we loose local shops we will loose a great deal so I do try to promote on ground places

Useful To Know
Interesting facts, definitions and are the alternatives really any good? Read more

Join In

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Soap hard/bar

I use soap to
wash my body (I don’t like using soap on my face so I cleanse with oil and water.)
Instead of shampoo.
washing the bath and other household cleaning chores.

Which Soap?

Buying plastic free soap can be tricky. Even those that come in boxes might be plastic wrapped. Try the squeeze test. If the box crackles there is plastic inside!
Dove comes in a box plastic free but has some nasty ingredients and is not so good for washing hair

Ethical Soap

Should be easy enough but buying soap can be an ethical minefield. Here are some of the things you might not want in your soap.
sodium tallowate  is from animal fat usually from cows
Sodium lauryl sulfate (commonly known as SLS)  .
Synthetic fragrance  – which may contain DEO a phthalate used as a solvent and fixative. Despite the general bad press about phthalates this one is considered safe.
Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil (PKO). I’ve use of this product has impacted adversely on the habitat of the orangutang  a now endangered species. You can find out more about it and why we minimise our use of palm oil, here .

You can read more about dirty soap HERE

And of course we like to support locally made products.

Here are our favourite ethical soaps

Made IN Yorkshire

Friendly Soap is Yorkshire soap and packaged plastic free. Here is some info from their WEBSITE

“Ethics come before profits at Friendly Soap. From start to finish, no stone is left unturned in the quest to produce zero-impact soap. Sustainability and ethical integrity are top of the list, bringing you fabulous natural soap that benefits the planet, its animals… and you.

made using the ancient cold-process method of soap making, which creates a biodegradable soap with zero by-products.
Energy consumption is kept to an absolute minimum
every bar of soap is poured, cut, stamped and packed by hand, here in the U.K.
contain only the finest natural ingredients. Guaranteed cruelty-free and vegan, and free from Parabens, SLS, Pthalates or Triclosan.
They are sold locally in some outlets or you can buy them in plastic free packaging online.

Nationwide

Another ethical soap that is sold loose in most health food shops is Suma soap which are
“made in the UK, vegan and do not contain parabens, triclosan or phthalates.
Our range is free from artificial preservatives, colours and fragrances (we use essential oils to scent our products) and we guarantee our products have not been the subject of animal testing by Suma or our suppliers.

Suma handmade soap is made using the traditional cold process method of soap making, which generates zero by-product. Suma soaps are poured, cut, stamped, and packed by hand – using as little energy as possible.

Suma bodycare products do not contain methylisothiazolinone or phosphates and are GMO free.”
Read more HERE

Plastic Free Online

And this in reply to a tweet from Friendly Soaps
Hi Kate, Thanks for getting in touch. All orders are sent out from our website plastic-free. We use card and paper tape where ever possible. Our soaps can also be found in a lot of health food grocery shops around the UK. We look forward to reading any article you may write.

Etsy
There are a lot of artisan soap makers producing high quality sustainable soaps.

Homemade
Or you could make your own. Read this from Jen of Make Do And Mend Life
Here are some recipes for making Castille Soap

More

Liquid Soap
I know that some of you don’t like bar soap so here’s a liquid #plasticfree refill that you dissolve in water HERE

Read all our other soapy posts HERE

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Food and Drink Plastic-free product Index

So you want to cut your plastic in your food. Well the trick is to buy loose, unpackaged products and take your own bags, boxes and wrappings. Easy peasy. Well maybe! Finding loose food and people prepared to use your own packaging can be a challenge but it can be done. Eating fresh is fairly easy it gets more tricky when you want dried pasta or rice. But I can proudly say we got almost everything covered. Visit the links for more details.

Bags & Packaging

Shopping plastic free means taking your  OWN PACKAGING. Check out the plastic-free shopping kit here.

Local Shops

Try your local shops first. One of the joys of living plastic free is mooching round the local shops seeing what you can source. You might be suprised. Asian Supermarkets and Polish Delis are particularly good.

And of course you are putting back into and improving your own community. Read more HERE

Supermarkets & Chainstores 

Because sometimes we have to shop there and yes you can get plastic free and zero waste stuff. Read up about them plus eating for a week, plastic-free, only from supermarkets  a case study.

Veg & Fruit Boxes

If you still can’t find them loose in the shops you might want to consider getting a veg box delivered. many schemes are plastic aware. Take a look here

Milk 

Find a rounds that delivers in glass bottles here but double check before you order

Loose Food A to Z

Find out if a shop near you sells bulk food loose. This is stuff that that normally comes plastic packaged ie rice, pasta and salt. And yes these shops do exist in the U.K. There’s just not many of them.

Heres a list of towns with shops selling loose food.

Online

This is an interesting option that allows you to buy basic foods on line plastic free.
You can even use your own produce bags. Read more
HERE

Ask A Local

A great source of info is the Plastic Is Rubbish FB support group. We have people everywhere who,are ready to help. Join up join in.

More Food

Here are all our food finds

Drink
Alcohol 
Milk delivered in glass
Water including carbonated and water abroad.
Fizzy drinks / sodas How to make your own pop and mixers

Hot Drinks
Tea & Tea Bags – did you know that tea bags contained plastic?heres a guide to those that dont.
Fruit Tea Where to buy
Coffee In huddersfield Buy your own beans loose
Tea & Coffee Merchants Suppliers of loose leaf an beans.
Cocoa Alas no more
Drinking chocolate A work in progress.

Food
Bakery, Buns & Biscuits
Beans & Pulses dried that is. For fresh see fruit and veg.
Deli Counter
Dried fruit & Nuts
Dairy
Fast food
Frozen Food
Fruit and Veg a guide to buying, picking and growing.
Groceries
Herbs, spices, salt & peper
Oils & Spreads


 
Meat & Fish 

Sweets & Chocolate
Snacks and nibbles

More Info

Buy Other Stuff On Line

Find more online products HERE

Another great source of info is the Plastic Is Rubbish FB support group

Food Related

 

By Recipe

How to cook plastic free The Cookbook

Some post…

Category: 3.1 Food & Drink

Other Products

Find the  plastic free products you want and the purchase details will be in the post.  You can search by search, or via these menus……
By Category Everything from food to watering cans to clothes

By Task Want to know how to wash the pots, throw a party or sew #plasticfree. Check out these posts organised by task!

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How to do it plastic-free

Is our new category that takes the search work out of anti plastic blogging. It works like this. You want to know how to wash up plastic free?

Cant be bothered scrolling through the A-Z plastic free index for squezy and scrubbers and other  individual items?

Then go straight to HOW TO….

How to make it yourself plastic-free

There comes a point when living plastic-free  means making stuff. Sometime you just cannot buy what you want and so ...
Read More

How to Refill

Imagine a world where you returned your empty milk bottles to be refilled and took your washing up liquid bottle ...
Read More

How to go to the loo plastic free

There comes a time in every plastivists life when there really is no alternative – what you want only comes ...
Read More

Scour, Scrub & Wipe

Although I use natural cleaning products like soap, bicarbonate of soda and occasionally Ecover cleaning products, I prefer not to ...
Read More

Tea; leaves, pots and strainers

These days most of us automatically reach for the teabags but is that really the best choice? Certainly not from ...
Read More

Buy On Line Plastic Free

One of the real joys of buying #plasticfree is sourcing the stuff in local shops. The excitement when you see ...
Read More

How to wrap gifts plastic-free

Which wrap should you choose? Well we prefer reusables over all else so here are some wraps you can use ...
Read More

How to party…plastic free….

Organising a big bash? Nipping off out to buy some paper plates? WAIT!!! Given the choice between washing up and disposable ...
Read More

Sew

This is an introduction to why you might want to and how you can start sewing plastic free. If you ...
Read More

Disposables compostable

Sometime you need a disposable - wether its a compostable bag for the butcher, biodegradable paper cups for the office ...
Read More

Exfoliate

Microbeads.... the newest way to exfoliate. These tiny particles, or microbeads, scrub away at the skin supposedly leaving it wonderfully ...
Read More

Cut Your Plastic

Because oil derived plastics are cheap, plentiful and versatile we use them for just about everything including one use throwaway ...
Read More

Travel

Crossing land borders in South East Asia has been unusually stressful this trip thanks to the big bag of  white ...
Read More

How to wash the pots plastic free…..

By Hand...Sigh Washing up liquid and I use Ecover  in a refillable plastic bottle. I know the bottle is plastic but ...
Read More

Personal Care

People are always asking me how I stay so young and lovely looking with no plastic in my bathroom cabinet ...
Read More

Clean your teeth

Cleaning your teeth involves so much plastic what with the tooth brushes and tubes of toothpaste. And even plastic in ...
Read More

How to drink plastic free

Paper Cup? Nooooo plastic lined! Consider bringing your own. Here are some funky options. Plastic Pints Grim! Try a steel ...
Read More

How to buy food plastic free

If you want to  shop plastic-free then you need to take your own packaging. Seems like a lot of bother? ...
Read More

Plastic In Menstrual Products

Those disposable pads and tampons? Not cotton wool as you might have thought but plastic. Sigh! Why? Along with cotton ...
Read More

How To Make Personal Care Products

It is so easy to make your own personal care products and the advantages are huge;  you get to control ...
Read More

How To Buy Flowers Plastic Free

You don't even want to know how many plastic wrapped roses we are going to get through on this one ...
Read More
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Loose Food On Line

One of the joys of living plastic free is mooching round the local shops seeing what you can source. You might be suprised. Asian Supermarkets and Polish Delis are particularly good. Of course you may have to take your own OWN PACKAGING. Check out the plastic-free shopping kit here..
Supermarkets too  – sometimes we have to shop there and they do have some plastic free and zero waste stuff. Read up about them here plus eating for a week, plastic-free, only from supermarkets  a case study.
However It’s gets more tricky when you want dried pasta or rice.

Loose Food?

As the plastic movement grows more shops are selling naked food; stuff that that normally comes plastic packaged ie rice, pasta and salt. Heres a list of towns with shops selling loose food.

Buy Online

But loose food shops are still few and far between, not everyone has local shops and supermarkets love plastic packaging.

Don’t despair if there is nowhere near you selling rubbish free food, you might be interested in this option. It is possible to buy food online loose and plasticfree. You can even use your own cotton produce bags for some things.

Veg & Fruit Boxes

If you still can’t find them loose in the shops you might want to consider getting a veg box delivered. many schemes are plastic aware. Take a look here

Coffee

Coffee roasters pack their beans in compostable #plasticfree packaging and post out in cardboard boxes helpin you to enjoy your daily grind Read more here

Quinoa,Pulses & Beans

Hodmedods – do British Grown Beans, Grains & Pulses and Quinoa in mostly #plasticfree packaging available online @homedod Visit the website HERE.

Everything Else

Plasticfree Pantry

Plasticfree pantry is a UK based online shop sells pantry staples including
flour
herbs and spices
Nuts
Dried fruit
Pasta rice and grains
baking ingredients
beans and pulses
Drinks

All loose and plastic free. Well not completely loose. Duh. They have to packaging it somehow so they reuse paper bags, glass jars and compostable plastic.
They will also use your own clean and produce bags. Read more about produce bags here HERE

The onward packaging consists of cardboard boxes and shredded paper is used to protect the goods.
Packaging tape is heavy duty paper. If you want to try, you can buy some HERE
N.B. They reuse boxes so some might come with existing plastic tape.

Visit the website HERE.

GoodFayre

And then there is this company who will according to an message, also use your own produce bags if you ask. The following was taken from their website.

We can supply Bulk Wholefoods in plastic free packaging,
Order by Quantity to get the quantity you want.
Your grocieies will come wrapped in paper bags. Though the store
Prices are all per 100g
When ordering enter your quantity per 100g
eg: If you would like to order 100g enter 1 in the quantity field, If you would like to order 1KG enter 10 in the quantity field.

Packaging:

We reuse and recycle all our packing materials, so nothing is brought new and we are recycling materials that have been sent to us from suppliers. Where possible we’re happy to send your parcel plastic free, if you’d like this just let us know when you place your order and we’ll do our best

Visit the website HERE.

British Beans

Hodmedods – do British Grown Beans, Grains & Pulses and Quinoa in mostly #plasticfree packaging available online @homedod Visit the website HERE.

More Food

You can see the rest of our our food finds HERE

Buy other stuff On Line
These shops sell plastic free products and send them out in plasticless packages. Find them HERE