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How to remove 800 pieces of plastic from your life, per year

Plastics 920x540

To help stem the flow of single-use plastics entering landfill, this July we're being challenged to go #PlasticFree. But what practical steps can you take to cut the plastics?

Brunel’s Bridget Boylan has been exploring this question for the past nine months, looking at areas of her life where the little changes can make a big difference. So far, she’s been able to remove a remarkable 800 pieces of plastic from her life per year by swapping out just 16 everyday items – a feat she first revealed at TedXBrunel back in February.

 

Below, Bridget shares with us how she did it. These swaps can not only slash your plastic footprint, but save money too!

 Bridget's Favourite Swaps

Shampoo-Panel

Clingfilm-Panel

Tissues-Panel

Toothbrush-Panel

toothpaste panel

 All of Bridget's swaps so far

Area

Product

Brand / from

To

Supplier

Saving in plastic items per year 

General

Plastic shopping bag

Supermarkets / shops

Cotton bag

Various

100

 

Plastic water bottles

Supermarkets / shops

Glass and aluminium bottles

Butler

50

 

Take-away paper cups

Coffee shops

Plastic reusable and collapsible cup

Pokito

20

 

Plastic straws

Supermarkets / shops

None or metal and paper straws

Various

30

 

Pocket handkerchiefs

Kleenex multipacks

Cotton handkerchiefs

Market stall

120

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bathroom

Shower gel

Radox

Bar of Soap

Various

4

 

Shampoo

John Frieda

Hard bar format

Lush

6

 

Conditioner

John Frieda

Hard bar format

Lush

6

 

Deodorant

Davidoff

Hard bar format

Lush

2

 

Toothpaste

Colgate

Make my own

Me

6

 

Plastic toothbrush

Various

Bamboo toothbrush

Waitrose

4

 

Plastic cotton buds

Boots

Paper cotton buds

Boots

365

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday

Sun Tan Lotion

Nivea

Hard bar format

Lush

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen

Cling film

Various

Cotton Bees Wax Wraps

Various

2

 

Orange Juice

Tropicana

Squeeze 2 fresh oranges daily

Various

52

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work

Plastic pens

Various

Wooden Pencils

Various

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

775

Reported by:

Tim Pilgrim, Media Relations
+44 (0)1895 268965
tim.pilgrim@brunel.ac.uk