How You Can Reduce Plastic Waste in a few Easy Steps

By Ivana Drdakova, Student Blogger for the University of Aberdeen

The Aberdeen University Students’ Association joined in with the annual GoGreen week during the second week of February. As with many other projects, the aim is to share the message of how we can live better, more sustainable lifestyles. I would like to continue on this train of thought and share some tips on how you can reduce the amount of plastic you use.

1. Replace plastic bags

People in the UK are now buying and using less plastic bags (83% less) in comparison to 2014. However, the problem still prevails. Plastic bags can be easily replaced by their more sustainable and longer lasting versions – textile bags. They can be bought in shops, ordered from Amazon, or you may well find brand promoters handing them out during Fresher’s week.

2. Replace plastic bottles

Plastic bottles play a large role in the production of unnecessary waste. They can easily be replaced by buying stainless steel water bottles which can seem a bit expensive at first but, in the end, they last longer than plastic bottles and are easier to clean.

3. Bring your own cutlery

This might strike you as a bit weird at first, but it works. When you take a look at many take-away places or fast food chains, they usually give you plastic cutlery that you use once and then throw away. However, if you carry around your own set of cutlery in your bag, you can use it more than once and you will always have it on hand. There are many versions of small cutlery sets which are easy to carry around and which you can buy online.

4. Get rid of plastic straws

This is not as easy to do when you’re away from home but it still helps to reduce some waste if you try to do it within your household. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy having a nice smoothie or drink at home, drunk through a straw? Again, there are stainless steel straws that you can find online that you can buy and re-use instead of always buying new plastic straws.

5. Avoid plastic packaging

Many retailers pack everything into plastic packs. Some of them are recyclable. However, if you want to reduce your plastic consumption, you can always buy your fruits and veggies without the packaging. This is usually easiest in farmer markets which also often have the added benefit of being cheaper. Instead of using plastic bags when taking loose products from the bakery, you can again find textile bags that are specially made for occasions like this.


Hopefully, this blog post gave you some ideas on how you can live a more sustainable lifestyle.

You may think that it doesn’t matter what one person does when so many other people don’t try to help. However, if even one person uses less plastic, it will have an important impact on the planet’s future.

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