Kitchen waste is a big contributor to our overall waste stream, from food waste (totalling around 10 million tonnes in 20151) to disposable plates & cutlery, drink bottles & coffee cups, cling film, single-use plastic bags, and the list goes on. In addition, think about not only the distance some foods have travelled before reaching your local shelves, but also the packaging to keep them protected throughout their journey. With these images in mind, read on for our guide to setting up your own single-use plastic free kitchen, helping to alleviate some of the environmental stresses coming from your kitchen.
Plastic Free Cleaning
Keeping your kitchen clean need not produce single-use plastic waste. Swap out your plastic dish brush for an EcoCoconut Kitchen Dish Brush made with a FSC accredited timber handle and sustainably-farmed coconut husk bristles. For heavier duty cleaning, EcoCoconut’s Scourers are also made from coconut fibre (or coir as it is more commonly known) wrapped around a stainless steel wire. Both of these will biodegrade at the end of their kitchen cleaning life.
Try using a solid soap bar for washing hands, such as the Dr Bronner Pure Castile Soap Bar, to keep liquid soaps in plastic bottles out of the kitchen.
Plastic Free Shopping
With a little prep, you can return home from the grocery store without much plastic waste at all. Be sure to take a reusable shopping bag or two to avoid single-use plastic bags. We love the I’m With Greta Bag for its size and durability (we also enjoy carrying our message with us!), while Turtle Bags are also a handy size and look great. If you know your local market only offers single-use plastic bags for carrying loose produce, be sure to take some organic cotton produce bags to avoid these.
Plastic Free Eating & Drinking
Eating and storing food and drink without single-use plastic is a lot easier when you have a kit of plastic free kitchen essentials at the ready. Ditch the single-use coffee cup and flimsy plastic lid and upgrade yourself to a Stelton To-Go Cup. Add single-use plastic water bottles to your to-ditch list also, swapping in a Swell Reusable Drink Bottle that’ll keep your liquids cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours. If taking lunch on-the-go, don’t forget to pack a Bambu Reusable Utensil Set so you’re not caught having to opt for disposable plastic cutlery.
Keeping leftovers or pre-prepared lunches often calls for single-use cling film, but not when you have Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps on hand. Storing something hot, or just popping dinner aside for someone arriving home late? Use a Qwetch Stainless Steel Insulated Food Jar to keep your food warm for 5 hours (or cold for 7 hours), or a Stainless Steel Box. Reusable plastic containers also work well, as long as they are being used over and over again.
- WRAP restates UK food waste figures to support united global action. 22nd May 2018. The Waste and Resources Action Programme. Retrieved 31 July 2019 from: http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/wrap-restates-uk-food-waste-figures-support-united-global-action