With growing concerns over the planet and climate, more and more people are switching to more eco-friendly lifestyles. A way to get on board is by taking action to significantly reduce your plastic use. The city has a whole host of ways to do so from choosing to reuse to shopping at farmers markets. Here’s the rundown of the top 5 ways you can practically, but easily, reduce your plastic use in Manchester…

1. Shop at plastic-free stores

With a growing scene of slow consumption and package-free shops popping up all over Manchester, it’s now easier than ever to hop on the zeitgeist and check out the wide array of options to shop at. Whether you’re in the city centre or the suburbs, there are loads of cool plastic-free stores that sell great stuff but with none of the packaging. Why not support an independent business, try out a new lifestyle, and do the planet a favour all at the same time?

2. Try to avoid single-use plastics

Whether you’re getting a takeaway coffee or wanting to sip a cocktail through a straw, actively try to avoid buying single-use plastics and opt for reusable containers, flasks, beeswax clingfilm, and metal straws that can be washed. Alongside that, get into the habit of carrying a tote bag around just in case you do a shop and need a carrier so you don’t have to use a plastic supermarket one. Withington’s popular sustainable and package-free shop, Lentils and Lather, sells many of these items and more.

3. Avoid using cosmetics that aren’t biodegradable, reusable or that contain micro-plastics

The growing environmentally-friendly market today offers a diverse range of alternative plastic-free cosmetic products. From micro-plastic-free lipstick to biodegradable dental floss to reusable sanitary products – there is something available for everyone to get on board with transforming their bathroom cabinets into a more eco-friendly space. The UK’s #1 leak-proof underwear brand, Modibodi, is a brilliant place to start! Whether you switch to a bamboo toothbrush or buy reusable period products, these changes are subtle and easy to make.

4. Shop at your local farmer’s market

Farmer’s markets are a great way to get fresh, local produce without plastic. Usually, the vendors at market gardens don’t use plastic stickers for their fruit and veg and tend to keep their produce loose as opposed to packaged up in plastic. Be sure to bring along your own food containers and carrier bags as the vendors usually won’t provide any! Not only are you reducing your food miles by shopping locally, but you are also supporting your local economy, eating organically grown food, and centring your consumption around community and wellbeing.

5. Choose to reuse

That empty water bottle can be recycled to store peppercorns, that hummus pot can be reused as storage for paperclips, that toothbrush can be used to clean shoe soles – you get the idea. Give some of the plastic packaging you already have a brand new purpose and get creative with the ways you reinvent some of the items around you. Whether that’s making every seasoning pot you have out of a miscellaneous container or just transforming one tub into your new utensil draw – it’s every little step that counts. 

Rhiannon Ingle
Published on:
Wed 18 Aug 2021