photo of hands holding ceramic coffee cup

#PlasticFreeFriday Living without plastic one day a week

Hello. I'm Rosie, plastics campaigner at Friends of the Earth. It's brilliant that you're joining me for #PlasticFreeFriday.

Living without plastic sounds easy enough. But when you start looking at cereals, sandwiches, oven-ready meals – you name it, they tend to be wrapped in plastic. Then there are the tiny bits of plastic in things like tea bags and cosmetics.

But I reckon we can make a start. Let's try ditching single-use plastic one day a week. Here are my 5 simple ways to get through Friday without plastic.

photo portrait of Rosie Cotgreave, plastics campaigner, Friends of the Earth
Two women at a cafe drinking coffee at a long wooden table.

#PlasticFreeFriday Tip 1

I always need a caffeine kick to start my day – but not in a takeaway cup. Hardly any of them get recycled.

So I'm thinking – why not enjoy my morning cappuccino in a nice café, drinking from a real mug? It might mean leaving home a little earlier, but then I could relax a bit and plan the day.

I don't always have time though. So I've got myself a re-usable mug. There are loads of different styles to choose from – and some coffee shops even give you a discount for bringing your own cup.

Two women at a cafe drinking coffee at a long wooden table.
photo of metal lunch box with rice, veg and banana

#PlasticFreeFriday Tip 2

Here's one of my favourites: a cool plastic-free lunch box.

It's so easy to save plastic waste – and cash – by bringing a packed lunch to work.

You can also use beeswax, instead of cling film, to wrap your lunchtime sarnies in. You can even get vegan wax wrap.

I also like to round up my colleagues on a Friday and head to a local café, where I can eat off a proper plate with real cutlery. It gives my eyes a screen break too.

photo of metal lunch box with rice, veg and banana
photo of metal water bottle hanging in tree

#PlasticFreeFriday Tip 3

I don't always drink enough water during the day – but I reckon a reusable bottle refilled from the tap is the way to go.

Some people don't like the taste of tap water. For me it's okay. The good news is, you can buy sticks of charcoal to purify your water. Pop one in your reusable bottle – no need for plastic filters.

Or combine your thirst with a bit of exercise. Take 10 minutes to stretch your legs, get some fresh air and find your nearest public water fountain.

photo of metal water bottle hanging in tree
Organic vegetables on sale at Brockley market

#PlasticFreeFriday Tip 4

I love Fridays.

And living without plastic doesn't mean you can't enjoy your Friday night dinner. But try skipping the supermarket this Friday – they tend to use a lot of plastic even in their fresh food aisles.

I'm thinking about my local bakery, greengrocer or butcher, where stuff is more likely to come loose. I could ask for paper wrapping – or none at all. Or save yourself the legwork with a fab organic veg box delivery.

Organic vegetables on sale at Brockley market
People drinking wine after work

#PlasticFreeFriday Tip 5

Friday evening after work and I'm out.

There are a few plastic pitfalls: plastic pint cups and plastic straws. Just say no.

And if they won't serve your drinks in real glasses, maybe it's time to find a new drinking hole. You could even ask the manager to do paper straws for cocktails – some pubs are starting to do this. Maybe they just need a bit of a pep talk.

People drinking wine after work

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