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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. Reusable insulated hot drink cup from Thermacup

The Therma cup is an insulated ceramic cup, that will keep your drink warm for up to an hour without tainting the flavour of your drink. It holds 8oz (230ml) of drink and comes with a tight fitting silicone lid, so it can be used as a reusable cup at your favourite independent coffee shop. Unlike plastic reusable cups the Therma cup is very easy to clean and both the cup and lid are dishwasher safe. The cup is carefully crafted by potters in Stoke on Trent in the UK.

2. Handmade fabric tote bags from Nutmeg & Sage

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.

3. Organic soap bars, free from plastic packaging, from Kalabash 

Kalabash is an award-winning British artisan range of luxurious Caribbean-inspired natural and organic bodycare and cold process handcrafted soap which is vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. All Kalabash products are made with natural ingredients that are kind to your skin and to our environment. Each bar of Kalabash vegan-friendly artisan soap is hand cut, hand stamped and packaged in plastic-free biodegradable packaging.

4. Felted wool laundry balls from Little Beau Sheep

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 1,000’s of loads.

5. Refillable notebooks from Jardine

The Jardine of London refillable journal is created from vegetable tanned leather, hand dyed, cut, sewn and polished by true craftsmen using centuries old techniques and traditional machinery which will last for many years. The Journal is available in A5 size, in 6 colours, and comes complete with an inserted, replaceable notebook made using top quality, fountain pen friendly, British milled paper.

6. Handcrafted refillable pens from Whitlock Wooden Designs

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.

7. Clingfilm alternative from Bumble Wraps

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.

8. Razors from Wilde & Harte

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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

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

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Comments

  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!

    • Kate Hills 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 🙂
    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?
    Regards

    • Kate Hills 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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