There is a corner of one of my kitchen draw that harbours a hangover from the past. Plastic straws!! It goes without saying that I will never use them again but they have sat there reminding me of their existence for years. But what can I do with them? So I did a little investigation and found out that there is a solution for straws and the other bits of plastic that still linger around the house.
With straws the problem is they are too small for machines to recycle them properly. For this reason, many recycling centres do not accept plastic straws so they end up in landfill or sitting in people’s drawers like mine.
But there is a solution! Put the straws inside another container made from the same plastic (polypropylene) aka plastic number 5 so that they will be recycled properly without clogging the recycling machinery.
Here are some more ideas for what to do with your plastic that’s already made it into your home:
If you’re swapping your Tupperware or other plastic containers for eco-friendly alternatives, don’t get rid of them!! Reuse them..
In the garden for holding seeds, wire or small garden tools,
In the work shed for bolts, screws, nails etc,
In the laundry for holding washing powder,
In the playroom for organising small toys,
In the art room for organising pens, pencils and paints.
For bathroom plastic – the advice tends to be that before moving on to your low waste alternatives use everything you have and rinse out the bottles before recycling them properly. You can also keep and reuse the small size bottles as travel bottles. Simply refill them each time before you travel.
For garden plastic like plant containers – take them back to where they came from and get the garden centre to recycle them. This may prompt them to think about changing to other more sustainable forms of plant containers in the future
For all your sport and synthetic clothing that release plastic micro fibres every time you wash them, put them in a ‘Guppyfriend’. This is a fantastic invention that allows water to enter in to penetrate the bag and wash the clothes without letting little bits of plastic escape. It not only captures all the nasty micro fibres, it also protects your clothes. So win win!!
Don't be ashamed of the plastic that is already in your home. There is always a good way to Re-use or Recycle it. Just make sure it doesn't end up in landfill or the sea!