Ten top tips to enjoy a plastic-free July in Ottery St Mary

Katy Lancaster, chair of PFO, and Meg Somers, committee member, after a litter pick

Katy Lancaster, chair of PFO, and Meg Somers, committee member, after a litter pick - Credit: PFO

An Ottery group highlighting the threat to the environment of single-use plastic are marking the worldwide Plastic Free July campaign by reminding people how they can help.
Plastic Free Ottery, which is part of the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities movement, aims to raise awareness of plastic pollution and encourage residents and businesses to reduce their use of single use plastics. 
Here are ten top tips: 
1. Take your own bags shopping
The plastic bag tax has reduced use in the UK by 95 per cent.
2. Have a reusable coffee cup
Take a reusable cup and get a discount on your drink at big names like Starbucks but also in several of the cafes in Ottery.
3. Use a refillable water bottle
Take a refillable bottle with you and look out for the Refill HQ sign where shops will provide you with water free. There are some in shop windows around  Ottery.
4.  Carry a reusable straw
Reusable straws come in all shapes and sizes.
5. Buy from local shops, plastic free
How about buying your fruit and veg from the greengrocer or nails loose from a hardware shop.
6. Take your own containers to the shop
Ottery's butchers and fishmongers are happy to weigh produce and put it in a container you have bought with you, reducing those thin plastic bags which can't be recycled.
7. Have milk delivered in glass bottles
Doorstep milk deliveries have had a resurgence over the past few years and several companies deliver to Ottery. 
8. Cook meals from scratch - no ready meals or takeaways
Cooking from scratch is healthier and cheaper so choosing to avoid ready meals is win, win, win.
9. Save extra portions in repurposed jars and containers
When buying things in a container always think about how it could be repurposed when empty. 
10. Use a bamboo toothbrush
264 million toothbrushes are thrown away in the UK each year.
The idea of Plastic Free July started in 2011 by a small team in a government organisation in Western Australia. Last year there were over 250 million participants in 177 countries, making it one of the most successful environmental campaigns in the world.


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