How to Cut Plastic Out of your Kitchen

Take a look around your kitchen and it won’t be long before you find something made from plastic. From food containers to plastic utensils, drinking straws to packaging; plastic is a common material in most kitchens. But while plastic might be convenient and a low-cost option for lots of kitchen staples, many people are trying to avoid using plastic in their homes.

For some, reducing the amount of plastic in the home is an environmental issue. Plastic is not biodegradable and the average length of time for a plastic bottle to degrade is 450 years.

For others, the reported health risks of plastic are the reason for cutting plastic products out of the home. Many believe that using plastics for food products results in harmful chemicals entering our bloodstream, with negative effects on our health.

Meanwhile, many are keen to save money at home by choosing re-usable products rather than endlessly buying more and more disposable plastics.

Whatever your reason for wanting to cut the amount of plastic in your kitchen, there are a number of easy ways to start:

Avoid plastic packaging

Visit any supermarket and you’ll see plastic packaging on almost every shelf. But there is usually an alternative to selecting products wrapped in plastic. For example, when buying fresh fruit and vegetables, choose the loose products, rather than those that have been packaged in a plastic wrap. Another option is to avoid supermarkets entirely and instead shop at your local market or greengrocer where you’re more likely to find loose products and alternatives such as paper bags.

If you can’t avoid buying things wrapped in plastic, you can cut the health risks by removing the packaging as soon as you get home and store the produce in non-plastic alternatives. If you’ve bought ready-meals or similar items that are packaged in plastic, always decant them into a glass or ceramic dish before cooking.

Get the kids on the case

Children’s cutlery, crockery and drinks beakers are often made from plastic. It may seem like a safer choice than glass or metal but once they are past the toddler years, there’s no reason why kids can’t use the same plates, glasses, knives and forks as the rest of the family. So encourage children to avoid the plastic versions emblazoned with cartoon characters and instead let your kids feel grown-up by using the same items as the adults.

Picnic and party wear

When it comes to picnics and parties, we like to make things easy. And for many that means using disposable cutlery, crockery and glasses – usually made from plastic. But just think, every time you buy these plastic products, you’re spending money you don’t need to and contributing to the negative effects of plastic on our planet. Instead of buying disposable items, simply use the everyday items you already own. Sure, it might mean doing the dishes one more time but the benefits are worth it.

Shopping bags

Finally, before you head off to the supermarket, make sure you have your reusable shopping bags with you. And if you find you forget, why not keep a handful in the car so that you never have to ask for a plastic bag at the supermarket?

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