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Five ways students can help reduce plastic waste

Plastic waste

Students often find the thought of doing our part towards helping reduce plastic waste a bit daunting. However, I have rounded up 5 simple ways that we can play our part in saving the environment.

Reusable water bottles and flasks

One of the biggest contributors to plastic waste is single use water bottles and coffee cups. In 2018 Water Docs revealed that one million plastic bottles are purchased around the world every single minute. The Balance explains how only 27 percent of this is recycled.

An easy way to help combat this is to purchase reusable water bottles and flasks. There are many different brands and prices so everybody can find the perfect water bottle for them.

Chilly's Bottle
Chilly’s are a popular brand ranging from £20-£35, with different sizes and patterns for everyone. They even donate £10 of each purchase towards building bottle filling stations all over the world.
Primark bottle
If you’re struggling with funding student life this £4 water bottle from Primark might be more up your street. Despite it being cheaper than the rest, this bottle is still playing a part in saving the environment by being biodegradable.

Reusable straws

A second way us students can contribute to saving the planet is by replacing plastic straws with reusable ones. As well as helping the environment, this will make you the coolest kid at the party you’re off to.

Get Green Now released shocking statistics showing how 100,00 marine animals die a year from digesting plastic. So if you’re not doing it for yourself at least do it for the animals.

Amazon reusable straws
Amazon sell 12 packs of reusable straws for £8.99, which are perfect for sharing around when you’re having a few drinks with friends.
Cheap reusable straws are selling reusable straws for as little as 43p and they are really cute, so there is no excuse to still be using plastic straws.

Reusable bags

As well as reusable bags being better for the environment, they also can be an amazing fashion accessory. Whether it’s for popping to the shop or carrying books to university, there’s a bag for everyone.

Following the 5p charge on plastic bags there has been an 86% drop in sales as discovered by Forbes. This shows it’s definitely a change a lot of people are getting on board with.

However, Metro have found that for a bag for life to be considered better than a single use carrier bag it must have been used 12 times. We all know that feeling when you’re shopping and you realise the bag for life is at home. So although the thought is there, this isn’t really helping the planet.

A solution to this is cotton tote bags. They don’t contain plastic and you can get some really pretty ones too!

Amazon tote
For as little as £1.61 you can get this reusable netting bag from Amazon It’s incredibly practical but also so on trend at the minute.
Accessorize tote
There are all kinds of different canvas bags which are perfect for students to carry their shopping and uni supplies in, like this one from Accessorize at just £5.

Consider alternatives for your beauty routine

We all have our beauty hacks that we swear by, and although it might leave us looking flawless, some of these routines can be seriously damaging the Earths appearance.

Red have found that makeup wipes are to blame for 93% of blockages in water systems leading to the ocean. Tree Hugger emphasise this damage with statistics showing an estimated 35 makeup wipes are found on every kilometer of UK beaches.

Taking your makeup off is second nature, so why can’t using reusable cotton pads be too?

Cheeky wipes
Cheeky wipes sell a set for £20.95 which includes reusable makeup pads, coconut oil, a storage tub and a free muslin cloth. This is perfect if you want to splash out a little bit more and pamper yourself.
Amazon bamboo wipes
Amazon sell packs of 16 reusable bamboo makeup pads for £2.45. These can just be thrown in the washing machine with everything else when you need to clean them.

Reducing plastic packaging

Another way that can help lower plastic waste produced is by purchasing everyday items with less packaging.

The Bishy Weigh in York offer essentials to customers who are encouraged to bring their own containers in. Owner of the business Alice Hildred says: “It is critically important that we all try and do whatever we are able to, to reduce plastic waste. I believe that making reduced and zero-plastic versions of commonly used products more accessible and mainstream is one good way to help.”

Don’t worry if you don’t know how to go about this change though. Pop into The Bishy Weigh for a chat with the team about this issue.

“People are welcome to explore the shop, chat with the team, and consider which plastic-free swap (or swaps) suit their lifestyle and budget.”