Go Plastic Free

by | Jul 14, 2019 | Campus News

It’s hard to ignore the warnings of plastic pollution that are in the media at present. Television programmes like Blue Planet 2, A Plastic Ocean and War on Plastic have shown us the damage our waste can cause to the planet. The Ellen McArthur Foundation estimates that if we continue consuming plastic at the current rate then there will be more plastic than fish in our seas by 2050. Now is the time to act – So, how can you respond?

This month, people are giving up single use plastic for Plastic Free July and the Marine Conservation Society’s Plastic Challenge. Here we’ll share some top tips on how to get started on your journey to plastic freedom.


Be prepared
  • Invest in a reusable coffee cup which will save waste AND money – Hot drinks from Campus Catering and DUSA are cheaper if you bring your own cup
  • Always have a water bottle that you can refill at one of the many water fountains around campus
  • Bring your lunch with you in a reusable container instead of buying on the go
  • Wrap leftovers in paper or wax wraps instead of cling film (you can even make your own!)
  • Don’t forget to bring a bag with you to the shops
Plastic free food
  • Opt for fruit and veg not wrapped in plastic – There are options at most supermarkets, or try Fraser’s Fruit and Veg on the Perth road.
  • Visit a zero waste shop for your groceries and try to bulk buy – The Little Green Larder has just opened on the Perth Road, and Birchwood Emporium on Commercial Street.
Green Hygiene
  • Did you know that every toothbrush you have ever owned is probably still sitting in a landfill somewhere, and still will be for hundreds of years? Try buying biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes instead – they work just the same.
  • Buy solid bars of soap, shampoo and conditioner rather than in a bottle. LUSH has some good options, as do The Health Store on Commercial Street and Holland and Barrat.
  • One for the ladies – Try a menstrual cup or reusable underwear like THINX or Modibodi. If these don’t suit you, try looking for organic cotton plastic free tampons, or make your own reusable pads. The University is currently transitioning to have plastic free sanitary products available to all students, including organic cotton tampons and menstrual cups.
Think before you buy
  • REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. And always in that order.
    • Reduce – Think twice before you buy something new. Do you really need it?
    • Reuse – If you do need something new, check second hand shops, or our very own Free Shop on campus before buying new. Donate things you no longer use instead of throwing away
    • Recycle – If plastic is unavoidable, try to aim for something recyclable. Make sure it’s clean before putting it in the correct recycling bin.

Now you have some tips, try to #GoPlasticFree! Sign up for the challenge, tell your friends, and see if you can stay plastic free for good.

Please share with us your own tips for going plastic free, or the challenges you face in the comments, on Twitter @Green_UoD, or by email to a.corral@dundee.ac.uk.