At Trakke, we’re passionate about moving toward a plastic free production - our new Linen Travel Towel is made from 100% natural fibres, and the waxed canvas in our bags is a plastic free alternative to ubiquitous nylon and polyester fabric. Both are viable replacements for almost entirely plastic products, and especially the harmful microplastics that make up synthetic travel towels.
More than bags and towels, though, there are key steps everyone can take to reduce plastic waste. With so many recyclables still ending up in landfill, the real answer lies in reducing our consumption, and choosing the right products. It doesn't need to be difficult, though! Here's our list of easy steps you can take to make a big difference.
1. Ask yourself an important question
A recent study found that the most important thing to motivate positive behaviour is to ask yourself a simple question: “what can I do to improve this situation?”. Whether it’s climate change, or plastic reduction, a simple enquiry makes a dramatic difference.
So, ask yourself that same question, “what can I do to help reduce plastic pollution?”. The number of things that come to mind might surprise you!
2. Purchase a reusable tote-bag
Plastic shopping bags are a menace. Even buying a plastic “bag for life” isn’t a solution, as they need to be used eight times to make them more environmentally sound than a single use shopping bag, and they rarely last that long.
Our recommendation, buy a tote bag. Not just any tote bag, a tote bag you love, and will want to carry with you. We love our Finnieston tote. Its hybrid messenger strap means it can be worn over your shoulder when empty, keeping your hands free. It can be any tote bag though, just make sure you carry it with you!
3. Shop plastic Free
Buy loose fruit & vegetables
Whether it's opting to purchase loose fruit and veg in the supermarket (and eschewing the plastic bag to weigh them), or choosing to support your local greengrocer, buying loose food can save a bin bag full of plastic waste every single week.
Buy wine with corks, not screw-tops
Little known, but wine screw tops have plastic inserts that are difficult to remove, and often lead to landfill. They're also coated in hamful BPA. Sometimes the oldest ways are the best - look for a natural cork in your wine. As a bonus, you'll get to hear that satisfying "pop" when you open it.
Bring reusable containers when you shop
All supermarket and deli counters have the ability to tare their scales, so there's nothing to stop you bringing your own reusable containers for purchasing any deli counter items. Whether it's fish, cheese, or even loose olives, there's no need for that plastic wrapping!
4. Avoid plastic kitchenware and utensils
Carry reusable cutlery
Single use cutlery isn't just polluting, it's often fragile and frustrating to use. All it takes is packing a simple fork into a pocket on your backpack, or taking a small wooden spoon with you.
Use glass Tupperware
Often we're told to use tupperware instead of single-use containers, but what about the plastic in the tupperware itself? Well, surprisingly, glass tupperware isn't difficult to find! IKEA do an amazing range in multiple sizes, that even come with wooden lids and silicone seals.
Always carry a water bottle / coffee flask
The simplest step you can take: carry a water bottle, so you never need to waste money on pricey and polluting bottled water. More than that, if you purchase a good quality vacuum insulated flask, it can serve as a coffee container for your morning brew, before being rinsed out as a water flask later in the day.
5. Make your bathroom plastic free
Our guide on How to Pack a Plastic-Free Toiletry Bag goes into more detail, but the explosion in solid cosmetics means there's now a plastic free alternative for every toiletry item in the bathroom. Shampoo and conditioner? Yep! Toothpaste and deodorant? Absolutely! There's even solid cologne. Purchased with plastic free packaging, your recycling bin will thank you for it.
More than this, though, with amazing quality bamboo toothbrushes, solid metal razors, and biodegradable wet-wipes, you can go even further and try to cut out bathroom plastic altogether.
6. Look for hidden plastics in common items
Hidden plastics are frustratingly common, often disguised so that they're not immediately obvious. Did you know that chewing gum is a plastic product? Neither did we! How about glitter, and wet-wipes? Both entirely plastic.
Thankfully again there are alternatives. With natural chewing gum available that will compost rather than coat the pavement, bamboo based wet wipes that are genuinely flushable, and biodegradable glitter meaning you can glam it up without polluting the ocean, there seems to be an alternative to everything.
At worst, all you'll need to do is a little search to find it, and that's a bit of effort we think it's well worth making.