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We’re coming to the end of Plastic-Free July – similar to Dry July but for saving the environment, rather than your liver.

If you’ve managed to maintain a plastic-free or, at least reduced, lifestyle for the whole month, congratulations, you’re a better human than me. If you’ve fallen off the sustainable wagon, no worries, you can always hop back on!

  • Why your reusable shopping bag isn’t better than a single-use plastic one
  • Single-use plastic bags banned from July 1, Government confirms
To make things easier, here’s three easy, realistic swaps you can continue to carry in your daily routine to reduce your single-use plastic waste even when July is over.

BYO container

Taking your own container to buy food is one of the easiest swaps you can make to save the planet, plus it’s often more secure and convenient than the shitty, flimsy containers provided. Take a lockable Sistema to the supermarket deli to buy potato salad, or to the self-serve sushi shop. Keep a couple at your desk for work lunch, or along with your reusable shopping bags in the car. You can even get tiny tiny ones for sauces!

Saying no to single-use straws and cutlery

In a similar vein, keep a set of reusable cutlery in your handbag or car – just make sure you wash them between uses! This saves you from buying those plastic forks at cafes that break as soon as you use them, and inevitably end up in landfill. You can even keep a set of reusable chopsticks with you if that tends to fit with your lunchtime cuisine! Reusable straws are also a great option, especially if you’ve had the horror of a paper straw disintegrating into our drink when trying to be eco-friendly.

Ditch the face wipes

If you’ve been to a Kiwi summer festival or two, or just find yourself a bit lazy at the end of a night out, you’ll be familiar with the amount of face wipes you can go through in a few days. But if you haven’t given them a second thought, you might be shocked to know it takes make-up wipes up to 100 years to break down in landfill, often creating those gross sewer-blocking fatbergs. Try swapping them for reusable organic cotton cloths or bamboo wipes that you can simply rinse with some water and throw in with the rest of your washing.

Original story is credited to Sarah Templeton on NewsHub

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