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We're used to the 3 Rs, reduce reuse and recycle but what about the plastic that you get but might not want, like the coffee cup lid in a cafe or a straw from a restaurant?

Well, thats where Refuse comes in. 

You don't have to accept that plastic, you can ask not to have that lid and not to have that straw. These companies are usually more than happy to deal with your request and your helping out the environment at the same time. 

But this applies to all sorts, you don't have to have the plastic bag for vegetables at the supermarket or the packaging that the bananas come in. You can bring your own containers to put them in. The growing trend of leaving the unnecessary plastic with the companies also encourages them to find alternative packing methods to deal with the inconvenience and cost of disposal.



Are the alternatives actually better?

We get asked a lot...we've done some reading, and it seems that many of the alternatives to plastic aren't actually better for the planet, they're worse!

Some of this is definitely true, inorganic cotton for example, is a very water intensive crop, often it has lots of pesticides on it and overall, including the transport and energy of producing the material isn't great for the environment.

Great, so which one do you use? It's easy to get depressed or tired of trying to figure out which material is best, after all we don't want to swap one problem for another. What's the best thing to do about it though?

Live simpler.

That container that you’re going to get, or the top that you really want. A lot of the impacts of plastic and other things like climate change can be tackled by changing just a few of your daily habits, look for a second hand top, we find some awesome stuff in our local stores!
The container? Can you borrow one, or make one from other material?

We know some lovely ladies at Morsbags.com who make their bags out of old pillow cases and sheets.

The idea, is that we all just become a little more mindful of our actions. Everything we do has an impact no matter what, so we just have to make sure it’s a small as it can be.

A great reference for advice on consumer items, clothing at least, is from Patagonia. Here is a link which can take you to a number of pages detailing the different materials. They also, along with some others, produce a bag which you can wash plastic based clothing, and so reduces the number of fibres which end up in the ocean.

The best things to do-

Buy quality and buy second hand, items built well, built to last, will do just that. They will release less plastic pollution on breakdown, will take longer to do it and you only have to buy them once. If you need two, there is twice the impact.

Check out 10 easy ways to reduce your plastic footprint, illustrated by one of our own artists Rachel Porter!


I can't make a difference

Everyday choices to help save wildlife, the planet and subsequently...us.


Think for a moment about your daily routine. Your alarm rings what feels like 2 hours early, sounding the most heinous call known to man. Debating whether pulling yourself from the warm, tranquil den you have made is really worth it, you eventually decide life must go on and arise.


After a quick shower, breakfast and teeth brushed, you head out the door ready to face the day. Your day has only just begun, so surely you haven’t had any serious impacts on the natural world just yet?


Well, let’s look at your day so far in a bit more detail....


What kind of bottle was your shampoo kept in? The material your toothbrush is made from? You may need a new one soon. Your cereal might have come from inside a plastic bag and the tea bag you used for your go mug has micro plastic adhesive. Perhaps even the packaging your lunch is wrapped in?

This isn't meant to deter anyone, it's meant to show that no matter who you are you can make some changes.

The key is to make those changes sustainable in the long term.

Start to make some smaller changes, usually you realise you can make more, especially when you know your saving the planet :)