Plastic is gross. Here are five easy ways to reduce the amount you use

If you’d like to join the increasing number of people fighting the good fight in cutting back on their plastic waste, then read on.

We share five easy but effective ways that will help us to reduce our consumption of plastic and reverse the unprecedented growth of landfill sites the world over. As small as these actions may seem, if everyone makes a minor effort to reduce their plastic consumption, the positive effects we'd see in the world around us will be major.

1. Be savvy with skin care

The tiny balls that feature in exfoliation creams are called microbeads and these are wreaking havoc in our waters and killing fish in their droves. For an effective exfoliating alternative, consider muslin cloths, or exfoliants that explicitly stipulate that they do not use microbeads. Our skin care brands of choice are Kinvara and Aveda; both are leading the way as far as sustainable skincare products and packaging goes.

2. Say no to plastic freebies

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Whether it’s outside of a train station, or in your local bank, those branded pens, keyrings and novelty glasses are headed in one place and one place only - the landfill. Say no and the brands will get the message.

Related: 'If the bees die, so do we': The apocalyptic reality of bee extinction

3. BYO

Plastic bags, bottles and coffee cups are not your friends. All of these items are ruining the world's seas and oceans and killing their wildlife, so the best option is to BYO it all the way. Here at IMAGE HQ we've made a conscious effort to ban all take-away coffee-cups in the office, with every employee getting their own black, bespoke KeepCup. This has worked brilliantly and IMAGE Publications is now delighted to announce itself as Ireland's first takeaway coffee cup-free publishing house.

Invest in a cute tote bag, a stainless steel flask or keepcup that you feel proud of, and rock that environmentally-friendly swag with sass.

4. When out and about...

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Have your drink without a straw and when possible, do not take the plastic cutlery, where at all possible. Biodegradable straws and cutlery are popping up all around Ireland, but if you want to get really serious about your waste reduction efforts, invest in some discreet travel cutlery, or steel/bamboo straws. They’re all the rage in California, you know.

Stainless steel straws with silicone tip on littlegreenshop.ie

5. Keep Your Containers

Sometimes plastic packaging can’t be avoided, and you can hardly ask your takeaway driver to deliver your chana masala in a hemp bag. But as a compromise, instead of throwing these containers out after you’re done, reuse them as a lunchbox for work, or to store leftovers in the fridge. You'll send a heap on tupperware in doing this, too.

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