Cleaning the oceans starts at home. So it’s good to start reducing, upcycling and recycling plastic waste at home. Our 5 tips will help you with this!

Oceans without plastic

Boyan Slat is a hero to me. Almost 5 years ago he made a prototype to remove the plastic from the oceans. Because in the Pacific alone, plastic waste is currently estimated at one million square kilometers.

He wants to achieve this by placing a floating installation in strategic places in the oceans. In 2014 he started an incredibly successful crowdfunding campaign.

I have been a fan ever since he announced his plan to make the oceans free of plastic. I supported his crowdfunding campaign (and received one plastic steel straw), went to the presentation of the feasibility study at TU Delft and I still follow the project with great admiration.

A man with a mission. I love that.

How I make less plastic

The idea of ​​freeing the oceans from plastic sounds wonderful, but it is even more important to ensure that all that plastic does not end up in the oceans.

Fortunately, we can do a lot at home to ensure that less waste is produced. There are also more and more companies taking responsibility.

For example, Brabantia produces the newIcon pedal bin that is made of 40% recycled material (and 98% of the pedal bin and the packaging can be reused).

They also donate an amount to The Ocean Cleanup for each newIcon pedal bin sold. It’s a nice step to avoid more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050.

Recently I have been very busy to reduce my waste heap. I sometimes ran into challenges, but usually, it only took a little adjustment to get less waste in the house.

These are my 5 tips to reduce plastic waste :

1. Buy locally more often

Lately, I’ve been buying groceries from local businesses and farms more often. I get fruit and vegetables without plastic packaging through a weekly vegetable package and I get additional fruit and vegetables from a local farm.

I get other products from the supermarket and where possible I take into account the use of plastic packaging.

2. Separate plastic waste

At home, I now use the Brabantia pedal bin for my plastic waste that I mentioned earlier. This pedal bin closes smoothly and softly and is a beautiful solution for the home, convenient to use and of course durable.

And while it’s a wonderful thing – my goal, of course, is to keep it as empty as possible. Because even though the plastic is recycled. Of course, it is always better not to produce plastic waste.

3. Be well prepared

Free plastic bags have been banned since last year. Supermarkets also say that they are looking more and more at reducing the amount of plastic packaging. Unconsciously I often come home with a lot of plastic.

When I go to a shop I always take a bag with me and when I bring a homemade lunch I always use a reusable container. And I put my soup in a recycled peanut butter jar!

4. Find alternatives to plastic

By taking a critical look at certain consumables, you can probably further reduce the number of plastic packaging. Some alternatives:

  • Take a bottle of detergent – easy to make yourself.
  • Replace a shower gel bottle with a bar of soap.
  • Buy more things in glass.
  • Is a garbage bag really necessary in a waste bin where you separate plastic? There is probably a plastic bag between which you can stuff everything.

5. Reuse plastic

It is difficult to completely avoid plastic. Even when I pay close attention, I am regularly surprised at what plastic material is entering my house.

Lately, I have therefore been looking extra closely at whether I can reuse the plastic. How do I do this?

  • Reuse plastic bottles – I’ve been using a plastic water bottle I bought in Kyrgyzstan for almost a year.
  • I can reuse packaging material from purchases if I sell stuff via Marktplaats.
  • I use plastic jars to store nuts, seeds, and grains. I also use glass jars for drinking.
  • I use plastic bags as garbage bags.


And while you may think this is just a drop on a glowing plate, you can help reduce the amount of plastic in the house yourself. What is your tip for producing less waste at home?

This blog post was written in collaboration with Brabantia.

Maria Elenas, a busy mom with 2 young kids, lover of books, travel and great food. Cooking from scratch as simply as possible. Writer, Blogger and Photographer.
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