Cleaner Communities: 10 tips for reducing plastic waste in the kitchen

It's time to ditch the zip-lock bags. Photo: iStock
It's time to ditch the zip-lock bags. Photo: iStock

JULY marks the start of Community Newspaper Group’s Cleaner Communities campaign – a big push across all our newspapers and online to get local people to think a bit more carefully about the impact they have on the environment.

Good habits start at home, so over the next month we’ll be offering handy hints you can employ around your home to help reduce your carbon footprint.

Here’s how you can try and reduce some of your plastic waste from a place where it can really mount up: the kitchen.

1. Stop buying bottled water

We’re lucky – unlike wherever Silverchair lived, the water out the tap in Perth is not very hard to drink. Make sure you use an environmentally friendly re-usable container and refill.

2. Start using glass jars for storage

Glass is king, but make sure you clean and dry the jars thoroughly after their original contents have been used. And remember to label!

3. Use stainless steel ice-cube trays

Plastic ice-cube trays are everywhere – yet they break and need replacing, ending up in landfill. Grab yourself a stainless steel one and you’ve got ice for life.

4. Swap plastic wrap for fabric bowl covers

Yep, it’s time to start ditching the Glad wrap and using these fabric bowl covers. They can fit whatever type of dish you’ve got, and won’t end up in the trash.

5. Stop buying zip-lock bags

Try wax-coated wrapping paper for your sandwiches.

6. Buy products in boxes instead of bottles

Products like laundry powder come in cardboard boxes, rather than detergents which are sold in bottles. Cardboard is more easily recycled than plastic.

7. Avoid buying frozen foods 

Frozen foods rely heavily on plastic in their packaging, even the ones housed within a cardboard box.

8. Don’t use plastic bags when buying fruit and vegetables

What’s the use of putting those bananas in a plastic bag? They come in a bunch anyway, and that bag will just find it’s way straight to the bin. You can adopt the same strategy with your avocados, spuds – you name it.

9. Use matches instead of lighters

Using a Bic lighter to light your stove? That’s disposable plastic you’ll one day have to dispose of. Try a box of Red Heads instead.

10. Use a reusable cup for your coffee

Those plastic lids on takeaway cups aren’t doing anyone any favours.