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Five Ways Glass Can Reduce Your Plastic Use

Hot on the heels of iconic broadcaster David Attenborough’s landmark documentary ‘Climate Change – The Facts’, the BBC have introduced their latest environmental series ‘War on Plastic’.


Hosted by chef and environmental campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and presenter Anita Rani, the show continued the channel’s refreshingly frank stance on the state of our environment, tackling the issue of plastic pollution head on.

While the name makes no secret of the programme’s take on our relationship with the packaging material, it also presented workable alternatives to using single-use plastic, such as buying a reusable water bottle.

Glass is the perfect material for a water bottle as it’s chemically inert which means it won’t leach anything into its contents.

But did you know that glass can help you reduce your plastic use in other areas of your life?

Take a look at our handy list below on how glass can help you lead a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Use a reusable coffee cup

Whether it’s a cup of tea or coffee that gets you going in the morning, having it in a reusable glass cup instead of a single use one from your favourite coffee shop can have a big difference.

It’s estimated that 99.75% of single use coffee cups aren’t recycled due to their inner lining being made from a mixture of paper and plastic to ensure they’re heat and leak proof – which means the vast majority end up in landfill.

Therefore by buying your own reusable glass alternative, you’re not only preventing more cups from going to landfill, you’re also ensuring your brew is tasting great.

Get your milk in glass

Recently, dairy farmers across the UK have seen resurgence in demand for milk delivered to doorsteps in traditional glass bottles.

The number of houses served by doorstep delivers has risen by 25% in the last year with the number now reaching over 1 million thanks to environmentally conscious families turning their backs on milk in plastic cartons.

Bottles are returned when they’re empty so they can be reused up to 25 times before they’re recycled and even then there is no drop in quality.

So why not go back to tradition and get your milk in glass bottles.

Go to zero waste/packaging free shops

Waitrose recently became the first major supermarket to take part in a packaging free trial in an Oxford store and while this is a ground breaking move for a big supermarket, they’re not the only ones championing a packaging free approach.

Independent shops that are entirely dedicated to zero waste or packaging free shopping are located across the country where you can take your own jars and bottles to fill up with a wide range of goods.

They’re a perfect way to reduce the amount of packaging you use and the amount of food waste you create.

Buy glass jars instead of plastic squeeze bottles for condiments

Not only will you save money but you’ll create less food waste as you won’t leave as much product behind in a glass bottle and you can reuse your jars in zero waste shops.

That’s a three in one tip there for you.

Store your food in glass

Whether you’re buying in bulk and storing for later use or saving leftovers for tomorrow’s dinner, your food is better off stored in glass.

Not only is it best for taste but because glass is non-porous, it’s more likely to stay fresher for longer, which is a win-win in our book.

Catch up on the latest episode and news from ‘War on Plastic’ on the BBC website.

See the previous blog post from Friends of Glass or sign up to our Glass Guardians programme for school children aged five to 11.