Back To School, Reduce Your Plastic

Small actions make a big difference (via Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful)

(Image via Pixabay)

The start of the school year is nearly here again with lots to organise and buy. Bombarded by all the “must haves” advertised, it can be stressful and expensive. What better way to start than with a positive intention to reduce the amount of single use plastics that we consume? Does this seem daunting? It doesn’t have to be – a few simple changes can have a big impact.

Environmental charity, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful has a few hints and tips to help reduce the amount of single use plastic items typically used, empowering adults and children in the choices they make.

Firstly, do you really need to make that purchase? It’s much better to reuse what you already own – there are many sustainable items out there, but the most environmentally friendly approach is to reuse. Check those drawers and cupboards before buying new. Then:

Use a reusable drinks bottle – metal is best, as it’s easy to clean and durable. Glass bottles are also great.

Use a reusable sandwich box – ditch the cling film and plastic bags, which release toxic chemicals into the environment and harm wildlife.

Say no to plastic straws – these are often found on beaches and in the sea. They cannot be recycled.

Say no to plastic cutlery – this ends up in landfill and littered across our towns and countryside.

If each child eliminated three single use plastic items from their school day, this would have a significant impact here in Northern Ireland. It is simple: reduce the amount of plastic used, reduce the amount we throw away!

If you would like to find out more about single use plastics, go to:

You can also make a longer-term commitment to eradicating plastic pollution by signing the Plastic Promise at

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