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How to Take Part in a Plastic Free Week

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

  1. Don’t buy anything in plastic packaging On average in the EU, 31kg of plastic packaging waste is produced per person per year. This adds up to 15.8 million tonnes of plastic packaging waste generated in the EU in one year. Just buying loose fruit and vegetables, using your own water bottle and removing other plastic wrapped food from your shopping can have a hugely beneficial impact on the environment.

  2. Use your own reusable cups and containers for takeaway food and drinks The amount of waste driven by plastic packaging is set to rise by a third by 2030 as take away coffee continues to rise in popularity and coffee shops continue to use disposable cups. Avoiding plastic cutlery, coffee cups and takeaway containers is essential to reduce plastic pollution rapidly.

  3. Avoid plastic straws, sauce sachets ect, in bars and restaurants There are 8.5 billion plastic straws thrown away every year and many bars and restaurants will automatically provide straws with drinks. A ban on plastic straws will be brought in from Parliament before 2040, however public pressure can help to reduce plastic waste in businesses before this.

  4. Seek out shops and markets that provide plastic free products Many commercial shops use plastic packaging for most products making it difficult to purchase shopping without producing waste. In Leeds North West there are some great local markets that will allow you to buy the best produce without the plastic. Find out about them here: Headingley Farmer's Market Otley Market Yeadon Market

  5. Watch out for Hidden Plastics There is plastic in a whole range of products that is very difficult to notice. Coffee cups, for example, are lined with plastic beneath the cardboard. This week gives you the chance to experiment with going plastic free and realise how much one person can contribute to improving our environment.

I’m looking forward to taking on this challenge, I’m sure there will be lots of points where I face a challenge I wasn’t expecting. Hopefully this will show that going plastic free is a simple step we can all take towards reducing the impact of plastic pollution on the environment.

I wish everyone the best of luck in their personal challenges and am looking forward to tackling this issue as a constituency.


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