How to stop using single-use plastic on days out

Avoiding single-use plastics on days out can be tough. Everywhere you turn there are plastic wrapped snacks, flimsy plastic cutlery, and plastic bottles of water. However, with a little forward planning, avoiding common, pesky single-use items can be a breeze. Start with the five, easy tips below:

Taking reusable bags with you on days out can help you to avoid plastic bags.

1. Always carry a reusable bottle.

Did you know the world’s population consumes 1 million plastic bottles every minute?

By carrying a reusable bottle with you you’re helping to reduce the amount of plastic bottles going into landfill. Most reusable bottles are insulated too, so you won’t end up with a warm drink like you would with a plastic bottle!

2. Ask for an email receipt.

The vast majority of receipts are printed on thermal paper, which is not recyclable and contains BPA & BPS. Thermal paper receipts are the shiny ones, which are fairly standard at most stores. By opting for an email receipt instead of a paper one, you’re helping to prevent these receipts going to landfill, and reducing the need for deforestation and production of receipt rolls to begin with. Plus, you’re much less likely to lose an email receipt so it’s more helpful for you too!

3. Carry a reusable cutlery set & tray.

Single use, on-the-go food and drink items are one of the biggest polluters of UK beaches, with plastic cutlery being one of the main contributors. By carrying a set of reusable cutlery with you and a tub or tray you’ll be able to avoid disposable items from food markets, takeaways and cafes. You can get collapsible tubs too, which don’t take up much room in your bag!

Carrying emergency snacks & a reusable cutlery set can help to avoid single-use plastics.

4. Take emergency snacks.

We’ve all been there… you get hungry while you’re out and the only snacks available are plastic wrapped ones like chocolate, crisps or a fruit pot. Prepare in advance and pack some small, emergency snacks to prevent this problem from arising. Using reusable silicone pouches is an amazing space saver, so they don’t take up room in your bag once you’ve eaten the snack.

5. Carry reusable bags.

Since the 5p bag charge was introduced in the UK, we’ve seen a big drop in the use of single use bags. However, there’s still more to do! Carry a variety of reusable bags around with you so you can always avoid plastic ones. As well as tote bags, investing in smaller produce bags can be super helpful for smaller items too, such as fruit & veg.

Thanks for reading! Do you have any tips for avoiding single-use plastics on days out? I’d love to know!

Pip x


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Elm was born out of passion for the environment and a desire for a more sustainable, way of life, without compromising on quality or time.

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