Ways to help reduce your plastic use

Get involved

The problem of avoidable plastics is one that affects all of us – and it’s one that we can all help tackle.

There are both simple and big ways you can make to reduce single use plastic. It can start with small changes such as exchanging items you use every day for something more eco-friendly – bars of soap instead of plastic bottles for example.

Organisations across Plymouth are working together to tackle the issue of avoidable, single use plastics and plastic pollution. There are many ways you can get involved and you can start by reading about their work and how you can join the plastic free revolution by reading our dedicated Plymouth’s Action on Plastic booklet by clicking below.

Three ways to start

If you’re at the start of your plastic free journey, here’s three ways to get going

Use a reusable cup

You could buy one of the One Plymouth / Britain’s Ocean City branded reusable cups. These are available from a range of outlets in Plymouth or you can buy one on the One Plymouth website.

Community action

You could volunteer to support the environment and take part in a litter pick in your local park or other green space. Click to visit our Volunteer with Nature page on the City Council website.


In Plymouth, most hard plastic items – such as milk bottles, plastic food punnets, and a lot of plastic packaging – can be recycled. Find out all you can recycle by clicking here.

10 more ways to contribute

Here’s 10 more examples of changes you can make at home and at work:

  • When you’re shopping select fruit and veg that is free of wrapping or packaging. Many shops now offer paper bags instead.
  • Buy in bulk and refill your original container as much as possible.
  • Use the Refill Devon options available in town.
  • Avoid plastic bags and invest in a cotton tote bag to take shopping. You’ll be helping to reduce the 5 billion plastic carrier bags used worldwide each year.
  • Refuse avoidable plastic such as stirrers and plastic straws – both soon to be banned in the UK.
  • Choose cotton buds with a paper centre – plastic ones will also be banned soon.
  • Choose make up and baby wipes that are biodegradable …and please never flush them down the loo!
  • Choose reusable cutlery and plates, or choose ones that can be recycled easily.
  • Save documents online, phase out the use of plastic wallets and files.

Watch our video to learn more:

Recycle as much as you can!

Reuse and recycle as much as possible – in Plymouth even black plastic trays can be rinsed and recycled. If something can’t be recycled easily check if there are any Terracycle collections nearby. They accept all sorts of commonly uncollected packaging such as crisp bags and biscuit wrapper.

Watch our video to find out how to recycle different plastics and what happens to your plastic recycling.

Advice for Anglers

Every year 14 million tons of plastic end up in our ocean resulting in the death of 100,000 sea creatures through entanglement or ingestion.

Fishing gear, including lost angling gear, accounts for approx 10% of this.

Watch this video guide (or download a booklet version below) by Odyssey Innovation for professional advice on simple changes that everyone can make to reduce gear loss, protect our marine environment, and save time and money.

This video was produced as part of Preventing Plastic Pollution.

Guidelines for Plymouth events

These three documents make up the Plastic Free Protocol – a guide for event organisers setting out how they should approach plastic use at events held in Plymouth

Contact us

Want to find out more about how you can get involved? Contact us using the form below