It’s well known that plastic waste is damaging our environment, and huge worldwide efforts are being made to reduce its production, use and impact.

Have you ever wondered though that going plastic-free is not only good for the environment, but also your bank balance?!

We’ve come up with a useful list of hints and tips of how going plastic-free can help you to save money too!

Tip 1: Stay hydrated the re-usable way!

Investing in a water bottle which you can re-use is a simple, low-cost way to reduce your use of plastic. After a few times, you’ll get into a habit of remembering this when you head out – and you can use tap water rather than paying for expensive bottled water.

Tip 2: Make your own soap, shampoo, shower gel and scrubs

There are lots of recipes online to make your own beauty and personal care products. There’s also a range of online tutorials on the Plastic Free July YouTube channel.

If you prefer to buy pre-made products, look out for cardboard packaging or take an empty plastic bottle to refill at a bulk goods store.

Also consider switching to a bar of soap, rather than plastic shower gels, which can often be purchased without plastic packaging!

Face wipes are practical but can be expensive, often contain plastic and of course coming in plastic packaging – consider buying some washable, reusable cloths instead.

Tip 3: Reuse your kitchen spray bottles and make your own fabric odour eliminator!

Make your own fabric odour eliminators by using a small amount of fabric softener and topping this up with water in a recycled trigger spray bottle.

Tip 4: Remember your bags – for your fresh produce too!

Ditch the plastic bags – not only are they considerably expensive to purchase in-store, they enter our oceans and landfill where they break up into tiny micro plastics and remain forever. Plastic is fatal for animals who mistake it for food and become entangled in it.

Instead, choose lightweight, reusable bags made from recycled plastic or repurposed netting fabric, where possible.

Many stores offer paper bags nowadays, so pick up these when you are shopping for your fruit and veg, and re-use them on your next visit. Avoid plastic-wrapped fruit and veg to reduce the pressure on recycling systems. Ask yourself – do you need packaging? If you’re buying, for example, a bunch of bananas, you could consider just keeping these loose in your trolley.

Tip 5: Check labels on your food packaging

When out shopping, have a look at the packaging on your food items to see if it’s recyclable. If the packaging isn’t recyclable, consider whether you can purchase the same product either with recyclable packaging or in a tinned variety instead.

Tip 6: Swap to tinned food instead of plastic-packaged

Often it is cheaper to purchase tinned food and the produce itself tends to last a lot longer. The packaging is recyclable too!

Tip 7: Wear your existing wardrobe with pride

It’s always nice to have some new clothes but making the most out of what we have will not only reduce wastage but also save you money. If you really need something new, then try pre-loved clothes apps such as Vinted or Depop – or pop to your local charity shop.

Tip 8: Ditch the chewing gum

Chewing gum is made from plastic – it isn’t biodegradable and is a nuisance for many communities when littered across pavements. Not buying this will also save you some pennies too!

There’s lots of things you can do to reduce your plastic waste and save the pennies – perhaps start with a couple of changes and then figure out what works best for you?

Find out more about how PayPlan can help you get on track with your finances here.