“Why do I need a plastic free kitchen?” I hear you ask.
Because, as my friend, David Attenborough explained so passionately to millions of horrified viewers in the final episode of the eye-opening series Blue Planet 2: plastic is killing our planet.
And as intelligent, conscientious consumers, we are the only ones who can do something about it.
The Trouble with Plastic
Since plastic is such a common part of our everyday life, it’s very easy to forget that its journey doesn’t end the second we’re finished with it.
In fact, for over eight million tonnes of plastic a year, it’s only just the beginning. It continues to make its way into our seas, killing marine life and threatening the rising rates of extinction of many aquatic species.
When plastic is not destroying creatures of the deep, it’s instead shifted off to landfills where it will take over 400 years to degrade. This is about 400 years too long for our precious planet.
The good news is that the world is finally waking up and taking note.
In January 2018 Iceland supermarket made a bold and celebrated move by committing to remove all plastic packaging from their own label products by 2023.
But this change is just one very small drop in the ocean. Until other mainstream shops follow suit, we must all take responsibility for our own corner of the planet.
The Hidden Plastic in Our Homes
Like me, you may think you are already doing your bit by recycling or reusing the majority of your disposable plastic. But I’ve come to realise that doing the obvious just isn’t enough.
What if I told you that you’ve likely forgotten the hidden plastics that we use in the kitchen everyday?
They’re everywhere you forget to look; from the plastic lining on lids of glass jars and food tins, to the bin bags we use for waste, to the bottles we drink from on the go.
It begs the question: is there ever going to be any easy way to escape the disposable culture?
Don’t panic. It’s possible to go plastic free if you are prepared to make a few habit changes.
6 Simple Tips For a Plastic Free Kitchen
Using these six fuss-free ideas, you can work towards eliminating unnecessary plastic from your kitchen.
1 – Say no to plastic bags
The most simple of all kitchen swaps is to shop with reusable cloth or paper bags. Obvious? Perhaps.
But how many times have you opted for a 5p carrier bag when you forgot to bring provisions?
Keep a tote bag stored in your handbag or backpack for access at all times.
2 – Age out plastic utensils
The next time you’re buying utensils opt for metal or wooden utensils rather than plastic.
These not only help the environment, but ensure no plastic toxins have access to your food!
The same goes for non-stick pans (the non-stick coating is actually a type of plastic) by using stainless steel or cast iron instead.
3 – Replace Plastic containers
When you’re old tupperware needs replacing look for some non-plastic simple food storage alternatives.
You can use glass mason jars for your pasta, herbs and spices or even better start collecting jars that food comes in and reuse them for all types of dry goods.
4 – No more cling film
There’s no need for single-use plastic food wrap any more.
Swap out cling film for reusable BeeBee Wraps for a fresh, modern and sustainable storage solution, or invest in some reusable stretchy silicone lids.
5 – Look for refillable products
Buy bulk refills (space permitting) and store in non-plastic containers.
Many bulk products come in eco-friendly packaging, so opt for this where possible.
6 – Avoid single-use packaging
And finally, avoid ready meals, bottled water, pre-prepared food and packaged vegetables.
Prioritise your health, the environment and your wallet by cooking from scratch and reducing food waste with loose fruit and veg.
A Plastic Free Kitchen Is Possible
The swaps are simple, but you’ll be amazed at how much waste you are reducing by going plastic free in the kitchen.
Awareness is the first step towards action.
Once you are aware of how your habits can impact the environment, with a little forward planning, it can be relatively simple to swap to a more sustainable kitchen.
It’s not complicated and it’s not expensive. If we all minimised our plastic consumption, it would almost certainly go towards reducing some of the devastating damage that we are doing to our planet.
So do something great today and aim to create a plastic free kitchen.