Reduce, Reuse … Rethink


The last couple of weeks have been difficult for everyone. Fear, readjustment, social distancing and – for some of us – illness. Covid-19 has turned our lives inside out in a fortnight and now we are in a phase of lockdown with essential work, daily exercise and shopping & prescription trips the only reasons we can leave our homes.

One of the most striking and revealing images for us so far has been the lines of empty shelves in the supermarket as the town rushed out to panic-buy. Then the decision to close household recycling centres in the county, causing huge queues … not to mention that false rumour that recycling collections had been cancelled. As yet all waste collections are still in place – but the move to stop recycling collections hasn’t been ruled out by Cornwall Council.

With people buying lots more than they usually would, maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised to start seeing on our daily walks at Plastic Free PZ HQ overflowing bins and extra black bags outside properties, as all that excess packaging works its way through our new lives at home. It has really brought to light one of our key messages. #Reduce #Reuse #Rethink.

There are ways we can all reduce waste at this time and at the same time overcome difficulties in getting hold of everyday items. Think of what is running out in supermarkets … loo roll, sanitary products, nappies, wipes … disposable products which mount up in their millions every day in the UK. Not to mention the everyday shopping items we can choose to buy plastic-free to reduce the amount of rubbish we create each week, and support local businesses during this difficult time.

Here are our first top tips to get started:

Period Products

#PlasticFreePeriods are good for our bodies as well as the environment. 4.3 BILLION period products are used every year in the UK. Switching to reusables saves money, waste … and queues in the supermarket. There are some brilliant products on the market now from period pants to moon cups and washable pads. City to Sea are a good point to start … get all the info here.

Image: City To Sea


Reusable Nappies

In the UK, 8 MILLION disposable nappies are thrown into landfill every single day. Our little ones will happily go through five thousand nappies before they’re trained … costing around £400 a year. Save money, waste and beat the empty shelves in the supermarket by using real nappies. Check out The Cornish Real Nappy Library and UK Nappy Network for all you need to know

Image: Cornish Real Nappy Network


Wet Wipes & Loo Roll

Wet wipes cost us around £250 a year, cost the UK £100 million a year to clear from blocked drains and an average of 300 wipes a mile were found polluting the UK coastline during beach cleans in 2019.  Swapping to Cheeky Wipes is super easy … and they can also be used as an alternative to loo roll.

More info here, including other reusable products like make up removers and period products

Image: Cheeky Wipes


In the Bathroom

Soap bars are the winner in the fight against coronavirus spread. Why not try shampoo bars too, so your hair has time to get used to them before lockdown ends (most of us go through a frizzy or greasy phase at first!) Reusable razors & make-up remover pads, tooth tabs, home-made face masks …  this is the time to try it all out and see what works for you. Get searching online … and please support local by ordering from Pure Nuff Stuff & Archie Browns.


Shop Local

Our local high street businesses have been amazing at this time … setting up delivery and order/pick up services and being the heart of the community they sustain. Many are #PlasticFreeChampions, offering refill and alternatives to help us reduce waste and impact at this time. Please support them. They are locally owned and essential to our local economy. They offer a healthier and lower impact way of doing things. They need our help right now. And we need theirs.


Check out the Covid-19 Delivery Directory here, highlighting #PlasticFreeChampions so you can reduce impact.

Check out all of our #PlasticFreeChampions here. Many are offering online sales and services – see their websites and social media links for latest info.