How to Reduce Plastic Usage During Plastic Free July
June 28, 2023

Plastic. If you look around right now you’ll most likely see so many items made from it, you can’t even count them. We’re all very much aware of all the problems that it’s causing to the environment, but the question is: how to reduce plastic usage in your life? 

Cue Plastic Free July. The perfect opportunity to start living with less plastic! 

What Is Plastic Free July? 

It’s a free challenge for anyone in the world to take part in for one month. The aim is simple: to go plastic-free during July! 

The movement started in Australia back in 2011 but has taken off globally since, with 140 million people worldwide taking part in 2021

Given that the world currently produces 300 million tonnes in plastic waste yearly (that’s nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population!), it’s not hard to see why people are keen to take part. 

At Robert Dyas we have some fantastic products free from virgin and single-use plastic. From outdoor furniture made from 100% recycled plastic to refillable cleaning products to save on single-use bottles, we have plenty of ideas for those taking part in Plastic Free July.

How to Reduce Plastic Usage at Home

There are lots of ways you can reduce plastic usage both at home and in the garden. We have plenty of ideas to get you through the month of July and beyond – have a read and be inspired!

Clean the Natural Way

You can’t go wrong with Dri Pak traditional cleaning products, many of which come in recycled cardboard boxes like Dri-Pak Bicarbonate of Soda - 500g. And don’t forget your Ecoegg Laundry Egg – simply pop it in the drum and dispense with expensive detergent in plastic bottles. Each one lasts for up to 70 washes, while the Dryer Egg reduces tumble drying time by up to 28%.

That said, if you'd prefer to clean with more conventional methods, why not at least make sure the packaging on your laundry detergent is free from plastic? We sell both Ariel all-in-1 pods and Bold all-in-1 pods in recyclable cardboard boxes so you can feel better about the impact your detergent has on the environment.



When doing your cleaning, give natural mops or sponges a try? The Wilton London Eco Plastic Free Sponge, Tala Wooden Dish Brush and Charles Bentley Marine Conservation Society Yarn Mop with FSC Handle are all great options!

Join the Refillution

Instead of buying new bottles of hand soap, washing up liquid and other cleaning solutions, buy 5L refill tubs and top them up when they run out.

In fact, brands like Ecover don't just use refillable bottles for their products, they also use 100% plant-based ingredients so you can clean brilliantly without the use of harsh (and often unhealthy) chemicals. Did we mention their factories are certified green too? For environmentally-friendly, safe cleaning we can't recommend Ecover enough!


If you want to start visiting a refill store for groceries, take along some reusable tupperware, or long-lasting jars like this Kilner Preserve 1L Clip Top Jar which is perfect for grains, nuts or pasta.

Drink Loose Leaf Tea

Believe it or not, many tea bags contain plastic, so switch to loose leaf tea in a teapot instead. Every little effort helps!

Avoid Cling Film for Sandwiches and Leftovers

A plastic-free alternative to cling film is wax wraps, like these Tala Beeswax Food Wraps – Pack of 3 or Tala Vegan Food Wraps – Pack of 4.

Don’t Send Flowers Wrapped in Plastic

Send live ones instead! Or, if the recipient is a keen gardener, some seeds of their favourite flowers will go down a treat.

Get Savvy with Drinks

If you love bottled water, sparkling water or takeaway coffee, think about plastic-free alternatives.

Drink purer, better-tasting water and reduce your plastic waste with BRITA water filter jugs. No more single-use plastic bottles for you! Plus, you can even recycle the cartridges in our Robert Dyas stores.

If you love sparkling water but want to do away with the single-use bottles, SodaStream Sparkling Water Makers are ideal. These eco-friendly products use CO2 cylinders, each of which produces about 60 litres of sparkling water, helping each household prevent 60 1-litre single-use plastic bottles from ending up in our environment. Plus, whenever you bring back your SodaStream carbonating cylinders to our stores, we’ll send them away to be refilled and give you a £10 discount per cylinder on a pack of four. Check out our SodaSteam Gas Exchange Portal for more information.

For drinks on the go, make sure you pack a travel mug and a reusable water bottle to avoid buying a throwaway one when you’re out and about.

Cook Clever

Ever thought about what your cookware’s made of? A lot of pots and pans come with plastic parts and are wrapped in plastic – but not Prestige Earthpans. These toxin-free, ceramic, non-stick pans are a revolution in environmentally sound, plastic-free cookware: they’re constructed from 100% recycled (and recyclable) aluminium that produces 88% less CO2 emissions than production using primary aluminium. Not only this, but the handles are made from recycled ocean plastics, and the pans come in 100% recyclable, biodegradable packaging with no plastic or shrink wrap.

Opt for Greener Garden Furniture


When it comes to learning how to reduce plastic usage in the garden, there are some fantastic options for furniture which can make quite a difference, given their large size.

If you're looking for some new outdoor furniture, make sure the materials matter. At Robert Dyas we sell a huge range of eco-friendly and recycled garden furniture for you to choose from.

NBB Recycled Furniture is a UK based company that creates brilliant outdoor furniture options for family homes as well as public outdoor settings. 

Another alternative to cheap plastics is to choose outdoor furniture made from FSC-certified wood. Specially treated to withstand the British weather, our selection of wood furniture not only looks good, but helps the planet. 

Now you’ve finished reading our blog, we hope you’ve learnt a few new tricks on how to reduce plastic usage in the home and garden. Whichever swaps you make to your lifestyle for Plastic Free July (and even beyond), good luck and well done for taking part! 

Remember, to shop more eco-friendly, plastic-free products, check out our Eco Shop.