People encouraged to produce zero waste for #PlasticFreeFriday

You can bring a reusable coffee cup instead of getting a disposable one
You can bring a reusable coffee cup instead of getting a disposable one

Can you spend a whole day without throwing away plastic?

The #PlasticFreeFriday campaign is launching next week to help people do just that by making simple lifestyle changes, while treating yourself to a little more ‘me time’.

Using tea strainers helps reduce plastic waste from tea bags

Using tea strainers helps reduce plastic waste from tea bags

Starting on Friday (February 16), Friends of the Earth will be encouraging everyone to go ‘plastic free’ each Friday; and to share their #PlasticFreeFriday experiences on social media.

With up to 12m tonnes of plastic waste ending up in the sea each year, reducing the amount of throw-away plastic we use is critical.

Every inspirational participant in #PlasticFreeFriday is living proof that life with less plastic is possible, whilst also highlighting how much more governments and companies need to do to get polluting plastic out of our lives.

Throughout the campaign, Friends of the Earth will be sharing simple hints and tips to help everyone on their first steps towards a plastic free lifestyle.

Go straw-free to reduce waste

Go straw-free to reduce waste

Julian Kirby, waste campaigner at Friends of the Earth said:“Doing our bit to ditch plastic can seem daunting, especially given the amount of unnecessary packaging that companies are using in products such as fresh fruit and vegetables.

“The ultimate responsibility for removing plastic from our world lies with the companies that make and market it, and governments whose job it is to regulate industry to protect our health and homes.

“Nonetheless there are a number of simple changes people can make to their daily lives to help reduce the plastic chocking our oceans, and in doing so they’ll put further pressure on governments and companies to act too.

“From taking a moment to sit in a café and enjoy your coffee from a proper cup, to saying no to plastic straws, taking part in #PlasticFreeFriday, is a great way for everyone to take their first step on the journey towards a plastic free life.”

#PlasticFreeFriday has already seen commitment from several plastic free champions ranging from Instagrammers to eco-friendly business owners.

Kate Arnell runs popular zero waste blog and YouTube channel Eco Boost. She said: “Quitting plastic doesn’t happen overnight, but the decision to start, does!

“I’ve been living a zero waste lifestyle for four years and started by making simple swaps, just a few at a time, which is why Friends Of The Earth’s #PlasticFreeFriday is a great idea – an opportunity to start reducing our plastic habit one Friday at a time. It’s incredible how simple changes to our daily lives can really add up!”

Hints and tips from Friends of the Earth for a #PlasticFreeFriday:

• Go for a reusable coffee cup for your morning caffeine kick, or have a little ‘me time’ and sit down with a drink-in coffee before heading to work.

• At lunchtime, ditch the plastic heavy supermarket meal deal and bring in your own tasty food; or get away from your desk for lunch with some colleagues and enjoy eating off a proper plate with real cutlery!

• Quenching your thirst after a morning workout, or perhaps feeling fragile after a work night out? Instead of buying a disposable bottle of water, bring a reusable one with you and fill it up.

• No bottle? No worries, take 10 minutes to stretch your legs, get some fresh air and see if you can find your nearest public water fountain (http://www.findafountain.org)

• Use your Friday night dinner to support local businesses. Rather than buying pre-prepared plastic wrapped foods from the supermarket, head to the local bakery, greengrocer or butcher where products are more likely to come loose; and you can even request them to be wrapped in paper (or not at all)

• Headed out to the pub after work? If yours is a G&T or a cocktail, say no to that plastic straw in your drink.