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10 British-made swaps to reduce single use plastics

We have some brilliantly designed British-made products that can replace the plastic disposable items you use daily.  Here’s some ideas to get you started on swapping out your single use plastic items for reusable products made in the UK.

We all know the reasons why we should be trying to replace single use plastic items with with reusable alternatives, but did you realise the benefits of having those replacements made in the UK? By choosing British-made products you will also be reducing your carbon footprint by decreasing the amount of shipping and airmiles involved in manufacturing a product overseas.

1. Handmade fabric tote bags from Nutmeg & Sage

Nutmeg & Sage UK-made handmade tote bags

Inspired by nature, botanical art and the craftsmanship concept of the Arts and Craft movement, Nutmeg and Sage creates original statement pieces for the home including handmade tote bags. All designs are handmade by Yorkshire born Cher, many as limited editions. They are created using the finest organic UK produced yarns and natural linens, and are digitally printed in Wiltshire using reactive inks, which are more environmentally friendly.

2. Felted wool laundry balls from Little Beau Sheep

Little Beau Sheep plastic-free dryer balls

Little Blue Sheep’s 100% wool dryer balls help speed up drying time and softens clothes naturally eliminating the need for fabric softeners or disposable dryer sheets. They are also much quieter and more environmentally friendly than the plastic alternatives. Handmade in Yorkshire from British wool, these chemical free alternatives to liquid fabric softeners and dryer sheets will last for 1,000โ€™s of loads.

3. Refillable notebooks from Roslyn Whiting Leathercrafts

Roslyn Whiting Leathercraft, refillable leather journal

This refillable journal is designed to fit a Moleskin brand cahier pocket notebook. Making it the perfect size to fit in a jacket pocket or a bag, so you can use it at home or out and about.

Made from luxurious veg tanned calfskin, it will develop a beautiful patina and improve with age and use.

4. Handcrafted refillable pens from Whitlock Wooden Designs

Whitlock Wooden Designs handmade plastic free pens

Whitlock Wooden Designs create handmade fountain pens and wooden ballpoint pens using exotic and temperate woods from around the globe. All of the pens are made in their own Northampton workshop on a woodturning lathe using traditional tools and techniques. The unique pens are made in a wide range of styles and colours and make beautiful handmade wooden gifts for anyone who appreciates fine writing instruments.

5. Clingfilm alternative from Bumble Wraps

Bumble Wraps natural eco plastic alternatives

Bumble Wraps are beautiful, natural, plastic-free food wraps you can wash, re-use and compost. As a natural alternative to cling film they are made using just four natural ingredients – 100% cotton, beeswax, tree resin and a drop of jojoba oil – keeping your food fresh and your conscience clear.

6. Razors from Wilde & Harte

Wilde &

Wilde and Harte razors are designed, manufactured and assembled in the UK at the home of the British steel industry in Sheffield. Instead of opting for disposable razors you can choose from their range of classic, traditional razor designs, or modern, contemporary handle designs for use with Gillette cartridge razors or single blade safety razors.

7. Beechwood toothbrush from Georganics

Georganics are an English manufacturer of natural & eco-friendly oral care products, committed to the highest quality ingredients. They produce a wooden toothbrush as a plastic alternative, the biodegradable handle on this toothbrush is made from certified FSC Beechwood, suitable for home composting.

8. Reusable nappies made from recycled plastic bottles from TotsBots

TotsBots make award-winning reusable nappies. Not only are their products reusable but they are also the first company in the world to make reusable nappies out of plastic bottles. There will be on average 2 bottles diverted from landfill with every TotsBots nappy. They manufacture all of their nappies, wraps and accessories at their own factory in the UK.

9. Resuable Coffee Cups from Therma Cup

Therma Cup

Therma cup co is a small business that produces ceramic insulated reusable coffee cups. The design comes from a desire to find a good quality reusable cup which keeps coffee warm and tasting as good as it was made.

Therma cups are made in small quantities at the home of British ceramics of Stoke on Trent.

10. Fabwrap alternative sustainable gift wrapping from Jacwicks Designs

Jacwicks Designs plastic-free gift wrapping

Made from rescued from landfill fabric Fabwrap produced by Jacwicks Designs is new form of beautiful sustainable gift wrapping, thatโ€™s environmentally friendly and reduces landfill waste. Made from luxury fabrics in a range of colours, Fabwrap is the easy way to make gifts look fabulous in no time, for years to come.

Do you have any suggestions for British-made swaps to reduce single use plastics? Let us know in the comments below.



  1. David Trotter on August 22, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Hi Kate and All,
    Quick update from Muggi. I was down at the factory in Kent last week trialing some new recycled materials to make muggi, the replacement to the throwaway cardboard tray! We are now making ”Green” muggi from 100% recycled waste ocean plastic, very British racing green! We are also making recycled muggi using recycled paper coffee cups for Lakeland kitchens! AND we have just made a muggi from recycled waste coffee, yes you read correct, the actual waste coffee grinds from a delicious steaming cup of coffee at your local cafe!

    • Make it British Make it British on August 28, 2019 at 1:37 pm

      That’s exciting news David. It’s good to hear that as a business using plastic you are looking for sustainable alternatives. Well done!

  2. Marcia McGrail on August 22, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Thanks for the useful information – it’s a keeper! I especially like the toothbrush concept as I’ve been using the wheatstraw ones (from China!! sorry ;,( ) and wanted a UK alternative…will be even better once the bristles are UK sourced – but I suppose Germany is a lot closer ๐Ÿ™‚
    Once we’ve got the die-hard plastic -ers using TerraCycle collection instead of landfill, the eco-circle will be unbroken (by and by).
    There is a UK compostable, biodegradable polybag company – http://www.polybags.co.uk – perhaps you’ve heard of them?

    • Make it British Make it British on August 28, 2019 at 1:37 pm

      I’d not heard of Polybags Marcia so thanks for the recommendation – we’ll look them up

  3. Ruth Lucas on August 29, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    Just come across your page. Love it. I am self employed sewer and make washable make up pads, a fantastic alternative to single use cotton wool pads using bamboo, along with unpaper towels (an alternative to the paper towel) and other similar products. Demand is great and I’m now looking to see how I can make the process more efficient.

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