Plastic food and drink packaging waste

10 ways to trash the plastic

We are increasingly faced with the challenges of pollution caused by unnecessary food packaging. Here are Joanna's top tips for reducing your plastic waste.

We are all aware of the ever-growing threat of plastic pollution to our planet’s ecosystems, with marine wildlife in particular suffering from an excess of non-degradable polymers forever destined to be floating around. And yet, food manufacturers often still persist in wrapping their produce in multiple layers of thick, hardwearing plastic, polystyrene and an outer coating of cellophane for good measure.

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However, it is still possible for us to tackle this problem by implementing small changes in our everyday lives and, when multiplied across the population, these individual actions can make a significant difference. With this in mind, Joanna Blythman has summarised a list of 10 things you and your household can do to reduce your plastic footprint.

10 ways to cut down on plastic waste:

1. Take your own bags and reusable boxes with you when you go shopping.

2. Shop in traditional stores that pack purchases more lightly.

3. Buy dry foods, minimally wrapped, from wholefood stores and then decant them into storage containers.

4. Buy milk in returnable glass bottles from farm shop vending machines.

5. Buy fewer packaged, processed foods.

6. Sign up for a veg box, which tends to be lightly packaged.

7. Avoid individually wrapped portions if possible.

8. Use loose tea leaves and coffee rather than teabags and coffee pods.

9. When you can, buy products with a single type of recyclable packaging.

10. Invest in a steel water bottle rather than regularly buying plastic bottles.

See our review of the best water bottles – on test.

A pile of plastic waste water bottles and packaging

Read more about how to reduce food packaging waste.

What else do you do to reduce your plastic waste? Leave a comment below…


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Good Food contributing editor Joanna is an award-winning food journalist who has written on the subject for 25 years. She is also a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4.