With the news that McDonalds finally ditched plastic straws and Wimbledon has banned them from this years event it seems time's finally uuponpeople ignoring the big plastic problem. 

On top of this, the UK banned all micro beads from beauty products. The change is happening whether you like it or not, so maybe it's time to start looking at your own habits and see how can they be cleaned up a little bit, all with the aim of not ruining where we have to live.

It's silly to think we can ditch the plastic altogether, but that's not what this is about. Single-use plastics are the main culprit here. Things that are only used once and then thrown away, to fester in the sea or a landfill for hundreds of years to come. 

How do I help?

Things are changing, and it's time to do your bit. But what does that actually involve for you? Well, you'll be pleased to hear it's not about hippies telling us we need to live in trees and give up on all life's luxuries. This is more about everyone just being a tiny bit more mindful of their habits, and making a few switches to their daily routine. It's way less scary than it sounds, and this is how you can get started.

Your morning coffee

Did you know until recently a big proportion of coffee cups couldn't be recycled? Although thankfully loads more coffee companies are finally getting on board with recyclable and compostable cups. Frank & Honest, Bewleys, and Insomnia have all made the right move recently so our morning coffee can come without the dose of guilt. You can go one better though and bring your own. Keepcups and Stojo are popular for a reason - they're great. Once you get used to handing this over in a cafe you'll never want a crap paper cup again. They burn your hands, leak and are actually not that practical at all.

Straws

If you haven't seen some of the truly awful images of what straws do to marine life get yourself educated. Our oceans are full of them and they're causing serious damage to wildlife and the environment. Try going without, but if you have to have one opt for paper or reusable ones. 

Your shopping

Once you start to think about how much plastic waste you're generating, your weekly shop will bring you out in a cold sweat. You'll start noticing how fruit, veg and pretty much everything else you pick up is covered in unnecessary plastic. But this will only change if consumers start shouting about it. So start! Leave the plastic wrap behind in supermarkets and make it the retailers problem. They'll soon take note and will react to consumer wants. Lidl and Aldi both have great selections of unwrapped produce so start buying it instead. 

Try and seek out places to shop that are doing their best - bring your own bags to the greengrocers and butchers and tell them you don't want plastic packaging. 

Make the effort to shop in places that support this vision, like Small Changes in Dublin's Drumcondra. You can stock up on dried goods at prices that are often cheaper than big supermarkets. Basically, think about how and where you're spending your money and what that means in the long run. 

Your beauty routine

You don't have to ditch your faves like cotton buds altogether, which is good news for us 'cause we're pretty heavily reliant on them to master our cat eye flick. But buy brands that use card or wood as the stem instead. Sostrene Grene has pretty affordable options, as do Little Green Shop. Your toothbrush is another thing you can swop out without noticing a difference. Bamboo ones are hella 'grammable and better for the environment. Look at trying package free shampoo from the likes of Lush, or just buy bigger versions of what you normally buy to cut down on packaging. 

Adore this shot from @seastainability of some of your products. They are so proactive in keeping our earth clean and very inspirational. Give them a follow 👍#Repost @seastainability (@get_repost) ・・・ Just arrived! My Bi-annual order from @littlegreenshop_ie 🌿🌺 Every few months I stock up on some plastic-free bathroom and kitchen items. Over the years it’s been baby steps to phase out plastic from my life and our home. ♻️🙋🏼‍♀️ Each order I’ll try something new. Really excited about these organic re-usable makeup pads @imsevimseofficial Since I stopped using cotton wool, I usually changed my facecloth every 3rd day but these mini pads are a very clever solution! 👏 I’d also like to commend #littlegreenshop for sending a Black Friday code out to their customers which was redeemable for up to 6 months as a statement against this crazed consumption event which is #blackFriday and #cybermonday, that way they let their customers wait until they really needed or wanted to buy something. That’s pretty darn cool I think! #eco #plasticfreeliving #saynotosingleuse #bambootoothbrush #beeswax #packagingfree #consumeless #buylocal #qualityoverquantity #reducereuserecyle #blogger

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On trend

Besides being totally on trend - string shoppers are the way forward when it comes to shopping. They hold way more stuff than plastic bags and are a bit glam. Stiall stock the very excellent Eco String Bags - stock up. 

It's the simple steps that make a big difference to our environment. Like reusing a bag for your weekly shop. Here at #Stiall, we reckon you can do that in style. Check out our range of #ecobags. We've tried and tested, they fit almost twice the amount of produce as two standard shopping bags! Link in bio ✅ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ #sustainability #qualityoverquantity #sustainablefashion #ethicalfashion #fashionrevolution #slowfashion #fastfashion #fairytradefashion #ethicalfashionireland #ecobrand #igfashion #igstyle #consciousfashion #consciousconsumer #green #fashionindustry #sustainable #ActOnClimate #renew #wardroberevolution #recycle #upcycle #fairfashion #fashrev #buylessbuybetter #purchasewithpurpose #zerowaste #stiall #stiall.com

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We're not saying you have to do all these things at once or even do all of them at all, but a little step in the right direction can only be a good thing. Tell us what you think in the comments below!

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