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How To Do Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July

Started by the Marine Conservation Society this is how to do Plastic Free July. There is an Instagram version of plastic free living and it is hard to achieve; especially if like me, you have a fairly large family. The recent BBC1 show War on Plastic with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall showed that we do need to try and reduce our dependence on single use plastics. Let me tell you the easy ways I have found to drastically reduce my plastic waste I am throwing away.

  • Reusable dish cloths
  • Reusable wipes
  • Tupperware storage boxes for shopping
  • Reusable cup
  • Bars of soap and shampoo
  • Easy shopping swaps

Plastic Free July Plastic Litter in Tree

Reusable Dish Cloths

Not the plastic scrubbers I have bought in the past. A good old cotton dishcloth that can be thrown in the wash afterwards. It doesn’t have to be a massive investment – a trip to your local pound shop will kit you out.

Reusable Wipes 

I cut up a worn out towel! But in fact you can use anything. Have an old t-shirt? Don’t throw it away cut it up into wipes. I have sewn myself some prettier wipes out of my fabric stash with a lovely towelling backing. I have some for sale in my Etsy shop.


Buying meat? Get it put in your own container. So many people do this in my local butcher it’s become his norm. Even supermarkets are getting on board with their customers using their own containers. Why not do this at the deli counter too?

Reusable Cup

I love mine. It’s taken months but I finally remember to take it out more often than I forget it. Some are better than others and for bottles it is often worth investing a bit more. My favourite thermal cup cost me £15 but it keeps my tea warm for a full day.

Soap and Shampoo Bars

Soap is an easy no brainier swap. Shampoo bars have been a bit trickier. It takes some getting used to a shampoo bar because they don’t clean your hair in 5e same way as conventional shampoo. Some of them left me looking a bit dull and greasy. I’ve recently starting getting re-fill shampoo from my local zero waste store instead.

Disposable Plastic Cup

Easy Shopping Swaps

One example – pasta in cardboard boxes and not plastic bags. Ketchup in glass bottles, salad dressing in glass bottles. I’m lucky that in Cardiff there is a brilliant zero waste shop for me to buy pasta, rice and other cupboard essentials. That shop has saved me a lot of plastic waste!

Fruit and vegetables loose and not wrapped in plastic. This is hard! I’m stubborn and our diet is compromised because most fruit and veg come wrapped in plastic. You used to get mushrooms loose. I can’t remember the last time I saw a loose mushroom in my local supermarkets!

So, there are some ideas for an easy way to do Plastic Free July. A lot of those swaps are easy to carry on doing forever. I have reduced the amount of waste I put out on bin. On average I have two black bin bags per fortnight. Remember there are five of us – including a toddler who wears disposable nappies overnight. Two recycling bags go out as well every week. I always have a full food bin! Not full of wasted food but peelings.

Good luck and enjoy #plasticfreejuly

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Can You Find Party Supplies Without Plastic?

Party Supplies Without Plastic

Can you find party supplies without plastic? It is an increasingly common question. Well if you are here you know you can. I don’t believe you need plastic to party.

Eco Friendly Party Supplies to Go Green

How To Party Without Plastic

  • Think about using natural fibres only
  • Plan ahead for a zero waste strategy
  • Minimise how much single use supplies you use
  • Reusable is the key to long term and affordable plastic free parties

Natural Fibres Only

Natural fibres means anything that can be grown. If it is natural it can generally be composted, and composting is a brilliant zero waste Why of disposing of party waste. Paper and cardboard, bamboo, wood, sugarcane fibres, palm leaf supplies and reusable coconut bowls.

Zero Waste Strategy

Zero Waste sounds difficult but all it means is you don’t use anything that can’t be composted or recycled. Only 9% of all the plastic ever manufactured has been recycled; and it can only be recycled a few times. Concentrate on easily recycled materials like glass, aluminium and paper.

Minimise Single Use

Yes I sell single use supplies so it might sound strange to advocate considering reusable. But if you have a lot of parties in the long run reusable will save you money. This also includes food packaging. What food can you serve that doesn’t come wrapped in plastic film? Food packaging is hard to avoid! But every little bit you can avoid is worth the effort.

Reusable Party Supplies

I sell a lot of bunting and party decorations that are perfect for keeping and re-using year after year. Made from paper, cardboard and twine most of them are suitable for composting once they’re damaged. If you have space to buy reusable party plates made from bamboo in some beautiful colours you will have a gorgeous party year on year. An easy and space saving way to start are reusable table cloths and napkins.

Click here for compostable party supplies without plastic and some funky square sugarcane plates.

Creating Eco Friendly Parties

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The Plastic Bottle Return Scheme

Scotland are leading the way. Wales led the way with a 5p charge for plastic carrier bags. Scotland have already decided that a 20p fee will be paid on the return of a single use plastic drinks bottles. The deposit return scheme even includes cans and glass bottles. It is only PET plastic bottles at the moment – think your fizzy drinks and water – not your milk containers. So exactly how is this going to work?

Plastic Bottle Return Scheme

These things take time and the scheme isn’t going to be in action until 2021; but the effect could be huge. Imagine the numbers of drinks bottles not being recycled and just put straight into black waste that might be captured and recycled. It’s great to remember that it isn’t just plastic pollution that’s a problem. Take a look around you and you will find glass containers and cans dumped everywhere as well. Even the lazy arsed litterer may think twice if they are throwing £1 into the nearest bush rather than taking them home.

I’ve read that some small retailers are concerned about storage issues with the scheme prior to collection of the returned drinks containers. My view is if you can sell it; you can take it back to recycle it. We are so focused now on money over environment. Plastic pollution will only be conquered if our buying habits change – and that doesn’t just involve the supermarket chains but the corner shops and small businesses in our local communities. Maybe littering will only be reduced if we bribe people not to do it? Let’s face it many people already think it’s ok to do it.

But what about online drinks retailers? Heh they aren’t exempt (at the moment only pubs are). Although I can’t imagine how easy or successful returning your empty drinks bottles to Amazon or your online supermarket would be.

Bottle Return and Carrier Bag Re-use

I hope the rest of the UK follows Scotland’s lead and implements this scheme asap. I remember as a child the glass pop bottle return scheme. Going round the streets with my cousin to find extra bottles so we could spend the money on sweets.

It might be more expensive in the short term, the logistics might add to your workload and take up space. But what if within 5 years we can reduce littering significantly and take our recycling rate up to over 90%? Won’t that be worth it? It will show the manufacturers that the UK means business on environmental protection. 

Need more evidence? Consider the carrier bag scheme. On 1st October 2011 Wales started charging 5p for one carrier bag. It wasn’t very popular at the time. I remember many people moaning about why should they pay to carry their shopping. From it’s introduction to 2014 the use of single use carrier bags and dropped by 71% and between £17 and £22 million was raised for charity. 

I still don’t always remember my shopping bags and it’s 2019! But in a couple of years we’ll stop moaning about the fact we store bottles and cans to take back for a couple of quid and do it routinely. And come on kids; this is your chance to earn some extra cash surely!

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Home Composting and What is Compostable?

There is a lot of talk about compostable packaging and food supplies. Manufacturers often talk about how their packaging composts within 12 weeks. Or how the coffee cup you are using is compostable. What they don’t tell you is their claims are based on commercial composting on an industrial scale. If you think of composting do you picture a big industrial facility or a heap in your back garden? So what is home composting and what is compostable?

Home Composting Guide

Home Composting

It is simple to do. It can be cheap – it depends on if you build your own compost heap using old wood pallets or if you buy a super expensive compost bin. Where I live in Cardiff the council actually sell you compost bins for £7. It’s basically a big bin with a hatch door at the bottom to make it easier to get your finished compost out.

Home composting and industrial composting work on different timescales. You are never going to get good quality home compost in 12 weeks. The temperature of the heap is unlikely to get high enough for rapid breakdown; especially in the winter months. Does that make it any less compostable? Well no. Cardboard is compostable – but everyone says biodegradable. Sugarcane tableware is compostable but I have to use biodegradable because it doesn’t happen within an industrial composting timeframe. There is a nice study on domestic composting rates of cardboard, sugarcane plates, plant based compost liner and compostable bioplastic fork. The cardboard and sugarcane plate had degraded in 80% of the test compost heap within 6 months and in 95% within 12 months.

That’s why I’m passionate about bagasse tableware. Six months after you use it you can feed your flowerbeds, plant vegetables and have a good source of home made compost. Can you do that with a plastic plate? Even paper plates often have a thin plastic coating so they are usable, making them unsuitable for composting.

BioPlastics Aren’t Always Home Compostable

The diagram below is a good guide for compostable markings. So your compostable disposable coffee cup may appear to be a good way of avoiding waste but in reality you will end up throwing it in your black bag waste anyway. Just look at the temperature needed for industrial composting and a highly controlled environment – can you picture that in your back garden?

Is it a science? I reckon most definitely; to get a good idea of how to balance a good compost heap read here. Most DIY stores sell compost heap starter if you are at the beginning of your journey. I have a rabbit and his waste has proved to be a very good compost heap starting material! Although my compost heap is now a bit too much rabbit waste and not enough greenery after the winter. I need to mow the lawn!

My Sugarcane Compostable Party Supplies

I have been asked many times why I don’t sell cups. It is for the simple reason I haven’t found on that is home compostable yet. They all have bioplastic in them and need industrial composting. When I started Eco Infinity I felt very passionate that all party supplies sold should be home compostable. That party supplies should not have to enter mainstream waste collection.

I am sticking to that. Even though I could have a much bigger business with many more sales by now it will be abandoning my whole ethos for Eco Infinity. I hope you found this blog post useful. If you did a share on social media is always appreciated.

Happy composting everyone!

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DIY Beeswax Wraps At Home

DIY Beeswax Wraps

Making your own DIY beeswax wraps couldn’t be easier. It is an especially good way of using up old cotton fabric remnants. No special equipment is needed; in fact you can do the process with only three things. Cotton fabric, beeswax and a heat source; either an iron or oven at low heat.

Where To Buy Beeswax

Ebay and Amazon have a lot of beeswax blocks for sale. You can choose your quantity. I bought my block from Live Moor. It came really quickly and postage is free.


Measure the pots and pans you usually use to get an idea of the size of wrap that would be most useful.

Cut your fabric squares. Don’t forget you will want to fold the edges over so cut them a bit bigger than your bowl/container. If you have them use pinking shears to prevent the fabric fraying.

Before you apply the beeswax iron your fabric squares flat.

Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper on an old baking tray.

Place your fabric square on top of the greaseproof paper.

If you are using beeswax pellets you can miss out this step! Grate your beeswax. I like to use the smallest grate size.

Evenly cover the surface of your fabric square. Don’t leave any gaps to make sure you get an even coverage.

Iron: Lay another layer of greaseproof paper on top to protect your iron. Without using steam iron your beeswax fabric until the beeswax has melted.

Oven: Put the beeswax coated fabric into the oven for 5-6 minutes until the beeswax has melted.

What you’re looking for!

Once melted the fabric should appear soaked. Let it dry before repeating the process on the other side.

Your wraps are now ready to use.

Care Instructions

Do not put in the washing machine!

Hand wash in warm soapy water and line dry/leave to dry.

Your wraps should be usable for about a year before the wax deteriorates. Once you have finished with them throw them on a compost heap. Haven’t got a compost heap? Read about starting one.

No time to make your own beeswax wraps but want to use less plastic cling film? Buy your wraps here at Eco Infinity.


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Reusable Drinks Bottles A Modern Essential

Reusable Drinks Bottles

Remember in the 1980’s when you were out with your Mum and when you moaned at being thirsty the answer would be ‘you can have a drink when you get home’. I fell into that trap. The toddler always has a cup of water for him, but in the rush out of the house I would forget about my other two children – and myself. This is why I’m making the change to remembering the reusable drinks bottles.

Reusable water bottle

The UK uses 13 billion single use plastic bottles every single year. That’s 13 billion bottles thrown away to be recycled. Except it isn’t. Only around 7.5 billion are actually recycled. And that’s from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee. It is a cold hard fact. We need to stop buying the bottle of coke because it’s only one bottle. It is one bottle 13 billion times over.

St David’s 2 shopping arcade in Cardiff recently publicised the addition of fountains to re-fill your reusable drinks bottles. As more and more public spaces begin to adopt this approach you won’t need to beg a cafe for a re-fill of water. Or and this has happened to me. You won’t have to pay £1 for the privilege of tap water being put into your bottle. I did check if they still charged £1 with the rest of my order. Yes? I’ll just have the water then thanks.

Eco Infinity Eco Shop

Eco Infinity is stocking a new range of reusable drinks bottles. All chosen to give a variety of sizes and designs. Practical, functional but beautiful.

It is too easy to slip back into old habits. We’re in the age of commercialism – there is nothing we can’t buy and we can buy it at any time of day. I’m old enough to remember growing up with 9-5 shops and nothing open on a Sunday apart from the newsagents for the papers. Today our children want something they will be able to go somewhere and get it.

I have to re-train myself as well. Check the bag before I leave. Nappies? Wipes? Why not add cutlery and bottles onto that mental list as well? I need a caffeine hit while out. Buy a can. Yes you can’t re-close it but cans can be recycled over and over again.


Reusable bottle

Take a look at the selection of reusable bottles at Eco Infinity. If it’s your first order use code FIRST to get 10% off your total order value and there is no minimum spend either.

Happy drinking!

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Trying to be Eco Friendly with Multiple Children

Eco Friendly with Multiple Children

Well three to be precise. You tend to have a lot of stuff with one child. Multiply that up threefold and you have the potential for supplying a country’s worth of plastic just yourself. So how do I try and streamline our life to attempt to minimise our single use plastic consumption? And live trying to be more eco friendly with multiple children.

Eco friendly with multiple children

  • Reusable nappies! I love cloth nappies. I have used the same set on all three of my children.
  • Reusable wipes! My first two children I used home made reusable wipes, I’ve been a bit lazier with number three and bought more disposable wipes.
  • Reusable cups. They all have one when we go out. Never had a problem re-filling them with water when out and about.
  • Plastic cutlery. Now this one sounds weird but I’m talking about the spoons and forks that I bought 10 years ago when weaning my eldest. Perfect for slinging in the rucksack and using for unexpected snacks. I still get arguing over who has the pink one though…
  • Hand me downs. My daughter wears the old boys clothes and football kits too. And when I’m done with them they get passed on. School trousers got holes in? They cut cut down into shorts. Make do and mend for a reason!
  • Wet bag. For the swimming kit – don’t take the plastic bags they sometimes leave for wet kit. I also have one for the nappies when out and about.
  • Cotton. I never used to consider that polyester had plastic in it. I try and stick to cotton clothing.
  • Lunch boxes! I’ve made some muslin washable bags for their lunchboxes and storing cake etc. I’m trying to cut down my kitchen roll and cling film use.
  • Recycling. I drive my husband insane with my insistence on what goes in the recycling. I have boxes of waste to take to different places. But our landfill is usually just two black bags a fortnight.

Bin and Recycling

What I Fail At

It is important to admit what we’re not as good at. For most of us parents it is probably a similar story.

  • Toys. Party bag toys in particular. The tat that they bring home and never look at again.
  • Toys. We were all kids once wanting the next big thing in toys. I mean have you seen an LOL doll? The amount of plastic packaging is obscene but my daughter saves up all her pocket money to buy them. Same thing with Match Attax and sticker albums.
  • Disposable nappies. I use them overnight, none of my children sleep well in cloth. And I need my sleep!
  • Disposable wipes.
  • Cling film. I’m trying alternatives but I’ve always been a bit lazy about finding them. I make no excuses – it has just been laziness and supermarket convenience.
  • Food packaging. My biggest fail. I can’t do a totally plastic free shop without affecting their diet, and I’m not prepared to limit what I feed them.


How do you compare? Do you have any suggestions for changes I could make? Tell me. I’m always trying to be more eco friendly with multiple children. To read about my journey with composting as a waste disposal technique read here.

Seaside Bin Recycling

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My Home Composting Journey


I remember as a child my parents had a compost heap at the bottom of the garden. My Mum would wander down there with the vegetable peelings most days. I don’t remember them using the compost lol but I’m sure they did. Over the last few months I have once again become aware of composting. It is becoming part of my journey into reducing the waste our family uses heading to landfill.

The Compost Bin

I bought a compost bin from Cardiff Council. You can get them at the Lamby Way recycling depot or tip, if we’re not being so posh. It only cost a few pounds and it can hold 240 litres; it’s big! So cost isn’t an obstruction to starting to compost at home.

Composting Infographic

I am starting cautious in the hope that it might be successful so I’m limiting what I put into my compost heap until it’s bigger. So, sawdust from the rabbit hutch (urine is apparently a great addition to a compost heap), grass cuttings, non-seeded weeds, leaves (we have lots). From the house; fruit/vegetable peelings, tea bags, crushed egg shells, paper towels, plain cardboard like toilet rolls, scrunched up paper, sugarcane disposable party supplies.

How I’m Doing It

  • Small is key I reckon. I’m ripping paper or shredding it. Ripping up cardboard and the sugarcane party supplies.
  • Old cotton fabric offcuts are cut even smaller.
  • I’m mixing the wetter peelings with cardboard and paper.
  • Moisture. In the middle of a heatwave I’m adding water every week. Not much – maybe it’s not enough I have no idea!
  • Regular turning. Not looking forward to this one!

Why will it take so long to turn into compost though? Patience is not my strong point. Once there’s something to see I might show some photos. A few peelings aren’t very exciting to look at.

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How My Plastic Free Changes Are Going

Plastic Free Changes

On July 1st I started another #plasticfreejuly. So how is it going? Is it easy? Or am I finding it tough going. These are my plastic free changes.

Quotation Plastic Free Changes

  • Food packaging. The biggest challenge – sometimes it seems that everything is covered in plastic. Getting some fruit and veg is relatively easy; but the choice isn’t as good and it’s more expensive.
  • Soap. An easy one. Once the usual squirty kids soaps are finished it is all bars for good.
  • Shampoo bars. I bought two from Adam and Eco. I really like them. The kids are suspicious I’m just using soap lol.
  • Single use bottles. Easy. Very easy. I have either been using my reusable bottle or buying a can instead. I don’t take the children out for the day without them having a bottle of drink each, so it makes sense I include myself in those preparations.

How Can I Improve It?

  • Morrisons have new zero plastic aisles. I usually get a big shop delivered from them but they don’t give you a carrier bag free option. I’m going to have to brave taking the toddler lol.
  • My nearest high street greengrocer has been a great find. It’s a 15 minute drive but the selection is much better than if I go to Asda which is closer to me.
  • Research! Where can I bulk buy goods.
  • Research! Check everything I buy whether the plastic is recyclable. If it isn’t then put it back on the shelf.
  • My local butcher thinks I’m bonkers but he puts my meat into my Tupperware.

Half way through. It is progress and more importantly sustainable progress. All of my changes will definitely stay for the long-term. Like most people I’m finding food packaging is the hardest thing to avoid. Until shops have a financial penalty for the amount of plastic packaging they use I can’t see that changing either.