The room full of the most single-use plastic is probably our kitchen. From food packing to cleaning products to cooking utensils, it's pretty impossible to look around your kitchen and nor see plastic everywhere.
You may be feeling overwhelmed when trying to ditch the plastic, but it’s important to focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t. There are many simple plastic-free swaps you can make and habits you can change, which will make a massive dent in your plastic consumption.
Read on to find out our top tips on how to go plastic-free in the kitchen.
Start With A Survey
The simplest and most motivating place to start is by observing your plastic use over a set amount of time, say a day or a week. Write a list of what you use and, most importantly, what you throw away.
At this point, it doesn't matter how you record this; it's just an exercise to notice problem areas and things that can be easily changed.
Most of us have a lot of plastic in our kitchen when we start our eco journey - we live in a throwaway culture - so don't let guilt or anxiety creep in; it's just wonderful that you are here, now, making positive changes.
Don't Throw Anything Away
The first rule of a low impact journey is not to throw away anything that can be used.
Take a look around. Are there jars or takeaway boxes you could use for storage? Old tea towels you could use as cleaning cloths? Lots of half-empty bottles of cleaning products at the back of the cupboard? Using what you have takes such a strain off the sourcing and production of raw materials, along with the environmental impact and emissions that go with it.
Switch Your Dish Cloths
Most of the sponges and cloths we use in our kitchens are made from non-organic or plastic materials. This means that after their, often short, life, they are destined for landfill, as they are not recyclable or biodegradable.
The added issue is, as they slowly decompose - which takes centuries - they shed microplastics, ending up in our oceans and waterways and in ourselves! On top of that, they are commonly made with nasty chemicals, like petroleum, beach or sulphates.
You can switch to our compostable Swedish dishcloths, which can be used anywhere around the home. They are hygienic, reusable and fully biodegradable, as they are made from natural wood fibre and waste cotton—an incredible, eco-friendly alternative to the traditional synthetic sponge or microfibre cleaning cloth.
Lose Your Plastic Utensils
Unfortunately, most of the cooking utensils we use are made of plastic, which is usually the type that can't biodegrade or be recycled, so ends up in landfill with all the other single-use plastic.
The first thing to remember is not to throw out any plastic utensils you have until they are no longer usable. Then the perfect replacement is bamboo utensils, like these made by Bambu.
These utensils are made from sustainable and organic bamboo, which is naturally antimicrobial, and are finished with a food-safe oil - no chemicals, lacquers or adhesives. Strong and flexible with the added peace of mind that these utensils won't be leaching chemicals into the environment in landfill after their useful life. A great plastic-free kitchen swap.
No More Cling Film
We use enough cling film each year to wrap around the Earth 30 times in the UK. That's a lot of miles and metres of plastic waste.
A great alternative is wax wraps - they are durable, reusable and completely plastic-free. Although these may seem expensive compared to plastic wrap, don't forget they will last a very long time and will biodegrade when their useful life has ended.
Our food wraps are fully sustainable and reusable, free of toxic chemicals and made with 100% GOTS certified natural cotton, organic dyes, beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin. You can even use our beeswax food wraps in the freezer. Let's stop wrapping our beautiful planet in plastic and pick these stylish alternatives instead.
Buy Your Food Unwrapped
It's tough to buy any food without plastic wrapping from the supermarket - ever tried to find a plastic-free cucumber and you'll know what we mean.
But there are alternatives. Many smaller, local greengrocers or market stalls sell their fruit and veg loose - you can take our handy produce bags along to fill yourself. Getting your bread without wrapping from your local baker is another excellent way to circumvent extra plastic in your bin. Organic veg boxes are also a fantastic way to cut the amount of plastic arriving in your kitchen. Abel and Cole, and Riverford are both invested in ditching plastic and will deliver all over the country. Try searching for local veg box delivery schemes too.
Savvy shopping can really reduce the plastic you use.
Make Sure Your Tea Towels Aren't Plastic
It's a surprising fact that many tea towels are made from microfibres, a non-organic material that not only won't biodegrade but also sheds microplastics into the environment. Each time you wash these synthetic towels, the microfibres are released into our waterways and oceans, as they are too small to be filtered by our water treatment plants.
Consider our organic cotton tea towels, designed to be incredibly absorbent and durable too. They are made from 100% GOTS certified cotton and dyed with environmentally friendly OEKO TEX colours. Add to that; they are biodegradable and compostable. They make the perfect plastic-free choice.
There are so many simple ways to be more eco-friendly in 2022. Wild & Stone's mission is to create stylish, easy to adopt and usable alternatives to common plastic products around the home. We source all our products sustainably, from raw material to final delivery. Shop our wide range today.
Vegan diets have been linked to a range of health and environmental benefits. Want to get involved, or already taking part? In this article, we share our top Veganuary tips to help you master going vegan.