How to make your lunch more eco-friendly, as 11bn pieces of plastic waste are thrown away per year

  • Tue,14 May 2019 12:06:39 PM

How many times a week do you nip out at lunch to pick up a supermarket sandwich, a packet of crisps, and a bottle of water to wash it all down with?

While you might think nothing of eating a store-bought lunch at your desk and tossing the packaging in the bin after, a charity is warning that our on-the-go lunch habit is causing the UK to create 11 billion pieces of plastic waste per year.

Hubbub surveyed 1,200 UK office workers and found that more than half were buying takeaway lunches more often than they did five years ago. They calculated this was producing an estimated 276 items of waste per person, per year.

You’re probably already aware that plastic waste can have a devastating effect on the local environment – it contributes to climate change, harms local wildlife and takes hundreds of years to decompose. If nothing else, it’s also really unsightly to see bobbing around our coastlines or sitting in landfill.

The charity says one of the easiest ways to make a difference is to start making packed lunches. Not only can they cut down on your plastic footprint, they can also save you money in the long-run.

We’ve rounded up a few reusable and eco-friendly accessories that will make the switch easier…

1. Bee’s Wrap Reusable Food Wraps, £19.99 for a pack of three,

When it comes to making a round of sarnies, many of us rely on cling film to make sure they stay in one piece. You can cut down on your daily waste though by using these reusable wraps – they’re handmade from a mixture of organic cotton, beeswax, organic jojoba oil and tree resin. They can be washed and used again and again, and composted at the end of their life.

2. Avocado Food Hugger, £6.49 for a pack of two,

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Happy Weekend. Saturday’s avocado toast is made and Sunday’s avocado toast is saved!

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Some supermarkets choose to package their avocados in excessive plastic that can really build up in your recycling bin over time. If you regularly only eat half of your avocado at lunch and end up chucking the other part in the bin (when it inevitably turns brown) this pack of two stretchy silicone ‘lids’ can help keep the other half fresh in your fridge for a later date, reducing food and packaging waste.

3. Reusable Copper Drinking Straws by Flow Barware, £7.95 (from £14.95) for a set of eight straws,

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Did you know that by the year 2050 there will be more plastics in the ocean than fishes ?? and It can take over 200 years for a plastic straw to break down! . The likes of @surfersagainstsewage @bigblueoceancleanup and are all doing a great job but we too can all do our bit to reduce single-use plastic and these FLOW Eco Straws are a great way to get started. . Reusable & Stylish available in Silver Stainless Steel, Copper or Iridescent Rainbow – Available In Store ?? @kitchengiftcompany . . . #plasticfree #saynotosingleuseplastic #metalstraw #metalstraws #reduceplastic #ecofriendly #savemotherearth #reusablestraw #reusable #steelstraw #savetheocean #ecofriendlystraw #stainlesssteelstraw #zerowast #bamboostraw #zerowasteliving #zerowastehome #barware #bar #cocktail #stirrer #ecolifestyle #copperstraw #rainbowstraw #flowbarware #flowecostraws #saveourseas #blueplanet2 #ecostraw #straws

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If you like to treat yourself to a fresh juice or smoothie during the week, why not make your own at home instead? Whizz up the ingredients first thing in the morning, chuck it in a reusable drinking bottle and pop in one of these copper drinking straws when you’re ready to chug. They come with a handy cleaning brush so you can make sure to keep them fresh after use.

4. Kilner Breakfast Jar Set, £10.89, Amazon


A glass kilner jar is a great way to store and eat liquid foods like yogurts and soups. This one comes with an attachable spoon, so you can dig in while on-the-go.

5. Joseph Joseph GoEat Compact Portable Stainless Steel Cutlery Set, Green, £14,

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???? @jeansandgems recently inspired me to think about sustainability & the amount of waste we put into the world. Especially since we moved & have been ordering a lot of home goods online, the amount of waste we’ve been generating is insane (& depending on where you live, not everything you put in your recycling bin gets recycled, but that’s a whole other issue). One of the small ways you can make a difference is to keep reusable cutlery in your bag so you don’t have to use plastic utensils when you’re on the go. . So I bought two of these super handy @josephjosephofficial GoEat stainless steel cutlery sets—one for me, one for my husband. The utensils come in a silicone carrying case and the knife handle is magnetic so all 3 utensils nest together perfectly. It’s genius! . I found these at my local kitchen shop, @hillskitchendc, & it felt great to support a small local business rather than buying even more stuff from Amazon. . Are you taking any steps to reduce the amount of waste you generate? . . #sustainability #greentheme #genuinebeautieseg #wastereduction #reduceplasticwaste #reusableutensils #ecofriendly #greenliving #josephjoseph #reducewaste #adventuresofherman #discoverunder1k #discoverunder2k

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Break the habit of picking up handfuls of plastic knives and forks at your local takeaway lunch place by buying your own instead. This set from Joseph Joseph has a colourful silicone carry case to keep everything clean before and after use.

6. LEON Rectangle Bamboo Lunch Pot, £13,

Leon Lunch Box
(John Lewis/PA)

No packed lunch is complete without a sturdy lunch box, and this stylish one from Leon is made from sustainable bamboo that’s naturally anti-microbial. The lid of this box is made from rolled bamboo, and the base from bamboo fibre, both of which will biodegrade at the end of its lifespan.

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