A Beginners Guide to Living Plastic-Free

by Shawn Binder on 07/31/2019 | 4 Minute Read

Plastic-Free July may be coming to a close, but at the Dieline we're strong proponents of living single-use plastic-free all year round. However, we understand that it's tough if you're living that on-the-go-always-on lifestyle with the current design of consumer products, it's a challenge to incorporate those items into your routine without significant forethought.

If you’re green (pun intended) to the movement, single-use plastic is defined primarily in the name. They're items made from plastic meant for use one time only or have a very short shelf-life.

This includes (but is not limited to) water bottles, plastic shopping bags and food containers amongst many other things.

In her book, Plastics: A Love Story, author Susan Freinkel sheds light on the insane single use-plastic problem.

We've produced nearly as much plastic in the last ten years as we have in all previous decades put together, Freinkel writes. Our annual global plastics production, if present trends hold, could reach nearly two trillion pounds by 2050. If it feels like we're choking on plastics now, what will it feel like then, when we're consuming nearly four times as much

Living in a society that produces a shocking amount of plastic products each year that are ingrained so deeply in our day-to-day lives, it can be intimidating to know where to start when it comes to sustainability. If you're looking to plastic-free leap, here are ten great places to start!


  1. Bees WrapEditorial photograph

This beeswax paper is an incredible alternative to plastic saran wrap, plus it comes in chic designs. Wash by hand, and mold with warm hands over open containers to preserve food.


2. Stainless Steel Water Bottles

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By now, you know that the water bottle industry is a huge problem, but finding a stainless steel water bottle as chic and versatile as you can be tough! Look no further than this iteration from Tree Tribe. Not only does it come in multiple fun colors, but it's made with food-grade stainless steel - no plastic anywhere.

The best part? The company plants ten trees for every bottle sold. Cheers!


3. Portable Utensils

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You may get a few funny looks from the wait staff, but you can also be like "Hey, I'm just out here trying to save the plane!" The lux Devico Portable Utensils comes with everything you need to skip plastic cutlery when you eat out. Equipped with a carry case, this set includes all the basics (fork, knife, and spoon minus the cat and the dish) including a reusable straw with a wire cleaning brush.


4. Reusabe Shopping Bags (Baggu)

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The suggestion for going plastic-free is a widely-accepted one, but why not do it in style? We're partial to these minimal, but adorable Baggu bags. They come in a variety of prints and colors if you're feeling more adventurous.


5. Glass Food Containers

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When you're looking for food-on-the-go but don't want to utilize your beeswax paper? These glass food storage containers are a great solution. These BPA-free and FDA approved containers typically come in kits, like these, which means you can store massive amounts of leftovers with ease.

Just don't be a monster and microwave fish in the break room.


6. Natural, Plastic-free Deoderant

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Plastic stinks! This natural deodorant comes in a sleek, paper container. Without all the harmful chemicals in other deodorant brands and biodegradable packaging, this hygiene product is a no-brainer.


7. Bar Shampoo

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This sleek brand is changing the way we think of shampoo and conditioner. Ethique is a new line of vegan and cruelty-free soap, which run the gamut from body bars, hair bars, face bars, and sustainable storage solutions. This beauty brand saves consumers three plastic bottles for every shampoo bar purchased and five plastic bottles for every conditioner bar purchased.


8. Plastic-Free Hair Ties

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Have you ever wonder what happens to your hair ties when they vanish from your wrist? They are absorbed into our ecosystem or consumed by wildlife. Traditionally, they're not meant to last which is why they get sold in packs of 10-20 at a time. These plastic-free leather hair ties are the perfect remedy to this environmental issue (and a bad hair day).


9. Wooden toothbrush

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Oral hygiene is kind of important, but using plastic toothbrushes has a critical environmental impact. According to EcoPlant, “In the United States alone it is estimated that between 850 million, and over a billion toothbrushes, representing more than 50 million pounds of waste, are discarded and end up in landfills every single year." These adorable bamboo toothbrushes come in a pack of four with bristles infused with charcoal.*

*It is likely that the bristled themselves are made with plastic, so before you recycle please be sure to remove them with scissors!


10. Cotton produce bags

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Want to take your plastic-free shopping experience to the next level? These muslin cotton produce bags are light-weight, washable, and will allow you to select your favorites from the fruits and vegetable aisle without guilt.

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