Simple ways to reduce the amount of single-use plastic at home

GO GREEN: Pack your shopping in reusable cotton or string bags. Photo: Shutterstock
GO GREEN: Pack your shopping in reusable cotton or string bags. Photo: Shutterstock

Plastic Free July is a key initiative of the Plastic Free Foundation and runs throughout the month of its namesake. It's an important event each year, highlighting the major issue plastic has become not only in Australia, but around the world.

According to WWF Australia, on average we use 130 kilograms of plastic per person each year, with only nine per cent of that recycled.

In March this year, IPSOS research commissioned by BRITA Australia reported that almost two million Aussies consumed more single-use plastic during 2020, due to spending more time at home. This contributes significantly to Australia's annual plastic waste total, which was already at 3.5 million tonnes in 2018-2019.

Almost two million Aussies consumed more single-use plastic during 2020, due to spending more time at home.

Additional insights from BRITA found more than one million Australian households primarily drink bottled water at home. If all these households pledged not to do so for just one day, we would save more than 6.5 million single-use one-litre plastic bottles from being discarded in Australia.

To tackle the issue, BRITA Australia teamed up with Plastic Free July, with the goal to prevent 50,000 single-use plastic water bottles from being discarded. The water filter company is calling on Aussies to take the #FilterForGood pledge and give up using single-use plastic water bottles at home. Make your pledge at brita.com.au/filterforgood.

THE THREE R's: Remember to reduce, reuse and recycle for a better planet.

THE THREE R's: Remember to reduce, reuse and recycle for a better planet.

If you want to reduce your single-use plastic waste at home, here are some simple changes you can try;

  • Instead of plastic food wrap, try alternatives like beeswax wraps or reusable containers.
  • Make the switch to a BRITA filter jug at home or at the office, instead of single-use plastic bottles. Each cartridge can filter approximately 100 litres of tap water, eliminating the need for up to 100 one-litre single-use plastic bottles.
  • Did you know every plastic toothbrush you've ever used still exists? Try swapping yours for a sustainable bamboo toothbrush instead. Remember the bristles are usually still made from plastic though, so you'll need to cut them off before composting.
  • Plastic straws are one of the top pollutants of our beaches and oceans. Switch to stainless steel straws or paper options if the option is there. Better yet, don't use a straw at all.
  • Cut out plastic from your laundry routine and use powdered laundry detergent in a box rather than laundry liquid in plastic bottles.
  • Swap plastic bin liners for newspaper or certified compostable ones instead.
  • Avoid pre-packaged foods by choosing bulk or loose food; better yet, take in your own jars.
  • Using soap bars is cheaper and lasts longer than liquid soap in plastic containers.
  • When you are ordering takeaway food refuse plastic cutlery and use your own instead.