How I’m ditching unwanted plastics

I’ve been cutting down on single use plastic for about 6 months now and I’ve got to say I’m really enjoying it (and the slightly smug angelic feeling I get from it!).  

The whole family is on board – the kids think they’ve personally saved half the world’s turtles – and we’re making great progress.  As well as our own progress though I’m loving hearing from others how this blog (and my constantly rambling on) has changed their habits and I love that people seem interested to talk to me about it.  As dull as I think I’m being, people keep asking me questions and often firing items at me to see if I have a reduced plastic option.

So, here is my no thrills list of things that just a year ago, I regularly bought in (or made of) plastic that I now get plastic free.  It’s longer than I’d expected!

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Mouthwash
  • Cotton Buds
  • Deodorant
  • Face Cream
  • Body Moisturizer
  • Hair Styling products
  • Tampons
  • Toilet roll
  • Bathroom cleaning products
  • Kitchen cleaning products
  • Kitchen paper
  • Washing up liquid
  • Washing powder
  • Dishwasher tabs
  • Dishwasher salt
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Tomatoe ketchup
  • Olive oil
  • Meat
  • Vegetables
  • Salad
  • Almond flour
  • Almonds
  • Macadamias
  • Brazil nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pecan nuts
  • Pine nuts
  • (ok, we eat a lot of nuts)
  • Popping corn
  • Black pepper
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Drinking squash
  • Take away coffee
  • Ice Creams
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Tonic water

I’ve not given up any items listed above – I just get them differently.  Some come in glass, some come in paper or cardboard and some come from the refill stores near me.  The meat I get from a butcher straight into my own container and I’ve had to grow the salad.  There is definitely a cost impact for most of it but it’s not always in the direction you think.  Soap bars are so much cheaper than liquid soap, laundry powder is cheaper than laundry tabs and the shampoo and conditioner I now use are a quarter of the price of what I paid before.  As for face cream – I’ve gone from spending £120 a go to £20 and it’s not only not in plastic, it’s got less chemicals in and actually works better.

There are also things that I’ve ditched.  No more washing up sponge – we use the cloth and the brush and a metal scourer when needed.  I hardly ever use cling film now – using, washing and reusing foil wrap instead before recycling it rather than throwing away but I (rather sadly) have bees wax wraps on my Christmas list already.


When my make up is gone, it will be replaced by a refill brand or Zao which comes in bamboo rather than plastic.  My water jug broke and we now have a bamboo one.  I NEVER (ok, really really rarely and then the kids make me feel like I personally butchered a seal) get a new plastic bag and I absolutely never ever get a plastic straw – these things now make me want to cry.

In short, we’re getting there.  And it’s really not that hard – you could so easily do the same, or just a part of it.  If half the people reading this did just a few bits from this list, well, it makes a difference and don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t.  A turtle that chokes on a plastic bag does believe that every single bag matters.

So, as you do your shopping this week, make a change that makes a difference and give yourself a little of that smug feeling.



4 thoughts on “How I’m ditching unwanted plastics”


Hi, great post and very interesting list of products with plastic in them – never knew!
Could you provide a list of the alternatives that you now use in their place as I had a look around my supermarket and there weren’t any alternatives, i.e. dIshwasher salt was only in a plastic bag.
Not sure if I can cut out every instance of plastic but I’m willing to make a start.

    Helen Wright

    Hi, apologies for the late reply. I’m very lucky where I live in that we have a few excellent refill stores that do dry food into your own containers or paper bags plus shampoo etc. The dishwasher salt and washing powder though I just get from a supermarket. I haven’t found one that doesn’t do them yet although I’ll admit that I was surprised when I noticed it as I really had never spotted them before. I’m even getting PG Tips loose tea leaves now completely plastic free from the supermarket. There are some things I’m getting online such as bicarb and citric acid (both used for cleaning) but you have to be careful when ordering that as getting a plastic free alternative through the post wrapped in yards of plastic bubble wrap and in a plastic bag is quite heart breaking! Good luck x

    Helen Wright

    I’ve started adding some of the products to my website now so if you’re still struggling, take a look at the Products section. It’s still a little buggy at the moment (I’m working with developers to get the filters fixed or removed) and I have loads more products to add but it’s a good start and growing fast. I hope it helps.


If you want to buy bicarb and citric acid, I think Wilko sells them. They’re in cardboard boxes and I’m expecting that they don’t have plastic inside. Bicarb is with the cleaning supplies and I think citric acid is with the washing powder etc. Possibly more expensive than online, but perfect if anyone wants somewhere on the high street 🙂

Loving the blog, just found it today 🙂

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