New Zealanders are eager to find more ways to reduce their plastic use, a new survey has found.
With the New Year comes new habits, and the survey showed New Zealanders are crying out for better alternatives to plastic waste in 2019.
Commissioned by New Zealand company Ethique, the world’s first zero-waste beauty brand, the survey of more than 1000 people, found that 95 per cent of consumers had changed their shopping habits over the past two years to reduce the amount of plastic they use.
While some changes could be attributed to the recent single-use plastic bag ban, many Kiwi consumers wanted to know what more they could do, with 75 per cent of respondents saying they would like to see more options for plastic-free household, beauty and food products available to purchase.
With this in mind, we thought we’d share some practical ideas for those who want less plastic in their lives in the New Year.
Top tips for achieving that New Year resolution to reduce your plastic use:
Line your bin, with newspaper – create a super easy bin liner out of old newspaper. Park the kids up during the holidays, give them each a pile of old newspapers and get creating. In no time you’ll have a stash of these for 2019. You could also use no liner and simply wash your bin out, but be careful to ensure waste is contained before it's collected.
Bulk buy – buying in larger quantities (and decanting into your own containers) means you’ll use less plastic overall, than if you were to buy in smaller portions. This especially goes for dry goods and other non-perishables.
Make the most of making your own – it’s not always possible, but when you’ve got the time (and energy), there are many more benefits to making your own food than just knowing what goes into it. With processed food comes packaging - a home-made version cuts out the added ingredients and the added packaging too.
Get creative and repurpose – that old bread bag is a perfect lunch bag or can be used for picking up after the dog. And the finished jar of pickles? Start a collection of jars for a plastic-free dry goods section of your pantry. A bonus, the pesky pantry moth can’t get into a glass jar! Spare pillow cases also make great produce bags and save you having to purchase them.
Take your own containers to your favorite takeaway joint or to the supermarket – transport your pad Thai, curry or poke bowl in something you’re going to use again next time. Some supermarkets now allow you to BYO container to fill with deli items which would otherwise go into something plastic.
Switch to a beauty bar – your liquid beauty products such as shampoo and conditioner are almost always found in a plastic bottle, but what if we told you it doesn’t need to be this way? Ethiquebeautybars contain all the same ingredients as your regular salon-quality beauty product, without the water, and therefore no need for the need for the plastic bottle. The solid bars come in fully recyclable cardboard, which can also be composted at home or dug into the garden. They do the same things as liquid products, just using the water in your shower instead!
If you started by swapping just your shampoo and conditioner bottles for a bar, a typical household of four, may save up to 32 plastic bottles unnecessarily going into landfill each year!*
*Based on an average sized shampoo and conditioner bottle lasting one person for three months.