Simple swaps to start your plastic free journey to zero waste

Being zero waste in the UK is really hard! Access to unpackaged loose food is limited, especially outside of the capital. A good first step is to try and reduce single use plastic as much as possible in your food shopping. Here's a post about why I am doing this.

There are the obvious things you can do like:
  • Buying loose fruit and veg instead of pre-packaged.
  • Asking for bakery and deli items to be put in your own containers. 
  • Cooking from scratch more - making your own oven chips from loose potatoes rather than a plastic bag. Baking your own cakes, bread and snacks. 

Here are a few more simple swaps that you can do to help reduce the single use plastic in a typical shop, especially when you have no loose or bulk buy shops nearby. 

Swap plastic bags of dishwasher salt for Lidl or Waitrose salt in a cardboard box.

Swap dishwasher tablets in plastic bags or individually wrapped for washing up liquid and salt or loose powder in a cardboard box available at Sainsburys or Waitrose.  

Swap pasta in plastic bags for Barilla Pasta available at Tesco, Morrisons and Ocado. Packaged in card with a small plastic window.

Swap heat sealed plastic tea bags for PG Tips Loose Leaf in a card box with no plastic. Available in all major supermarkets.

Swap plastic bags of rice for Uncle Bens boxed rice. Some sizes have a stupid plastic window on the side. Available in all major supermarkets. Or Sainsburys organic risotto rice is also boxed with a small window. 

Swap all things "Squeezy" (tomato sauce, jam, marmite, mayonaise etc) for old fashioned glass bottles. Available in most stores.

Swap laundry liquid in plastic bottles, or individually wrapped tablets, for loose powder in a cardboard box. All of the supermarkets and Co-ops have their own brand loose powder and some have Ecover.

Swap pet food foil pouches or non-recycable bags for cardboard boxes or paper bags.

Swap dishwasher rinse aid in plastic bottles for white vinegar in glass. Available at Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsburys and Waitrose.

Swap salt in plastic tubs, grinders or pots for cardboard boxed salt available at Lidl.

Baking? Swap chocolate chips in plastic bags for a paper wrapped bar and a rolling pin. :)

Breakfast cereal with plastic inner bags can be swapped for oats in paper bags available from Aldi and Lidl. These can also be used to make your own granola.

Apparently I am needed to feed small people (note to self - teach them to fend for themselves) so this list will have to end here, but please share your own swap ideas in the comments. There must be more out there.