Simple Tips for Reducing Single-Use Plastic in Your Home

Plastic Free July has landed at Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market with the first activity hosted for marketgoers on Saturday 6 July. Plastic Free Launceston, a volunteer working group of Tamar Natural Resource Management, had display items and demonstrations on various ways individuals and households can reduce their use of plastics, with emphasis on household cleaning and personal grooming. Display items also showed the harmful effects of plastic on our wildlife, such as ingested plastic objects found in seabirds. The image featured shows plastic waste in the stomach contents of one Shearwater (mutton) bird found along the Tamar River.

The first step to reducing plastic use in day-to-day life is to avoid the Big Four – drink bottles, bags, drinking straws and disposable cups. Other tips include shopping wisely to avoid over packaged food items, avoid single use items (e.g. individual yoghurt tubs) and using smaller reusable produce bags – not just reusable bags.

Demonstrations were also given on how to make household cleaning products to avoid purchasing packaged products, such as a general all-purpose cleaner made from lemon, vinegar and water, and a cleaning scrub for kitchens and bathrooms made of bicarbonate soda, water and dishwashing liquid. For hard to clean areas the scrub can be made harsher by adding a little sugar or salt.  ‘Toilet Champagne’ was also on display and described as ‘bath bombs for your toilet’! For personal hygiene, plastic-free shampoo bars, bamboo toothbrushes and a host of other skin and hair care products were on display.

Harvest has more Plastic Free July activities coming up. This Saturday (13 July) there will be making beeswax wraps demonstrations. Beeswax wraps offer a plastic free way to store food. After the demonstration, check out our honey stallholders for products to make your own beeswax wraps or purchase one offered for sale. Plastic Free July activities on following weekends include composting (Saturday 20 July) and sewing reusable bags (Saturday 27 July). And if you miss the beeswax wrap demonstration this weekend, next week’s Harvest newsletter will provide a full recap.

Happy Plastic Free July!