Are you trying to cut down on the amount of stuff that goes in your bin? Cutting out waste entirely from our lives is extremely difficult - but certain throwaway products can be easily tackled. By swapping them out for a more durable option, you can ensure they never get binned again.

Plus, it’s not just about cutting down on waste - all of these well-designed products will give you a far better experience than their throwaway counterparts. Because who wants leaky tupperware and flimsy plastic pegs anyway?

Read on to find out our favourite easy swaps to help you reduce your waste. If you take care of them, they could all last you a lifetime.

1. Metal straws

Disposable plastic straws…

Only get used for a few minutes before being thrown away. They can take up to 200 years to decompose, hopefully in a landfill - and if they end up in the ocean, they can cause significant harm to wildlife.

elephant box stainless steel rainbow straws

These stainless steel straws…

Are ready to last a lifetime. Each stainless steel reusable drinking straw is long (so it won’t get lost in a bottle) and wide (for slurping milkshakes and smoothies). Plus, they come with a cotton bag and cleaning brush. Kids especially will love the iridescent rainbow colour - instil good habits early!

2. Linen tea towels

Cheap tea towels…

Don’t absorb water efficiently, leaving you smearing moisture around your plates and hands. As if that wasn’t bad enough, fluffy tea towels also leave trails of lint as you dry up. Eventually, thin tea towels will wear through and get holey.

Helen round striped linen tea towel

These linen tea towels…

Are highly absorbent and quick-drying, thanks to the inherent properties of linen. They’re also lint-free - no unwanted fluff here - and much more durable than cotton. Their vibrant colours will bring a pop of sunshine to your kitchen.

3. A wooden pepper grinder

Disposable pepper grinders…

Those prefilled plastic ones you get at the supermarket? Terrible at grinding, and they’re not even refillable. Sometimes the top pops off and floods your dinner with peppercorns. Plus, they’re far more expensive in the long run.

Peugeot natural pepper grinder

This wooden pepper grinder…

Is made from PEFC certified beech wood, with a high quality grinding mechanism made of hardened steel. In fact, that mechanism carries a lifetime guarantee, and it’s engineered by Peugeot (as in the car maker). Save money and plastic by buying wooden salt and pepper grinders once, and refill them over and over.

4. A metal water bottle

Disposable plastic bottles…

May be recyclable, but billions still get dumped into the UK’s landfills each year. Chemicals or microplastics leaching from plastic bottles into drinks is also a concern - especially if you’re reusing the same one for a long time.

Elephant stainless steel water bottle

This metal water bottle…

Is made of premium grade stainless steel, making it both chemically inert and practically indestructible. It has a generous capacity (more than your average 1 litre metal water bottle) and leakproof top, and the wide mouth makes it easy to fill and clean. A durable travel companion ready to last a lifetime of service.

5. A glass tupperware set

Plastic tupperware…

Can’t handle repeated heating and freezing, and will often crack. It’s also prone to staining (microwaving a spag bol once should do it), and odours can hang around even after thorough washing.

Duralex glass tupperware

This glass tupperware set…

Is made of tough tempered glass with BPA free lids. These containers can handle the microwave, freezer, dishwasher and (minus the lid) even the oven. In a useful, stackable set of five, these containers are manufactured in France in a low-emissions factory.

6. A lifetime guaranteed baking tray

Non-stick baking trays…

Have a synthetic coating that eventually flakes off. Non-stick coatings can’t handle high temperatures, and after enough time spent under a hot grill, they’re bound to deteriorate. And once you’re getting Teflon in your food, that’s a baking tray destined for the bin. 

Mermaid hard anodised baking tray

This anodised aluminium baking tray…

Has an aluminium core (great for efficient and even heat distribution) with an incredibly hard layer of oxidisation on the outside. This anodised coating with never peel, flake or rust, is twice as hard as stainless steel, and is safe for use with metal utensils. These trays are UK-made and lifetime guaranteed.

7. Stainless steel pegs

Plastic pegs…

Degrade under the UV and temperature changes that come with being outdoors, causing them to snap. The metal springs can even rust, leaving stains on your clothing. And on top of all that, these flimsy pegs sometimes aren’t even strong enough to hold up heavy clothes.

Pincinox stainless steel pegs

These stainless steel clothes pegs…

Carry a lifetime guarantee against breakage and rust. Their unique one-piece design means they have no joints to weaken over time, and they’re strong and secure. As well as being rustproof, they’re resistant to heat and frost, and can be kept outside year-round.

linen clothes peg bag

Don’t forget a linen clothes peg bag

Everlasting pegs deserve a proper place to live. This is a bag for clothes pegs made of 100% linen, which is hardwearing, soft and sustainable. The wooden dowel hanger and brass hook can be easily removed for washing.

8. A metal washing up bowl

Plastic washing bowls…

Will often crack at the handles (the main stress point), and will fade and degrade thanks to repeated exposure to hot water. The main problem with plastic washing up bowls, however, is how greasy and grimy they can get, as oil tends to stick to the plastic.

Elephant stainless steel washing up bowl

This stainless steel washing up bowl…

Is made of super-strong stainless steel, which will never break. Not only will it last forever, it’s super hygienic and quick to clean too. The large flattened rim makes it easy to handle, and the washing up bowl is large enough to fit 10 inch plates.

9. A coffee cup and bottle combo

Disposable coffee cups and bottles…

Create a huge amount of needless waste. In the UK, it’s estimated that we use 7.7 billion plastic bottles per year. As for coffee cups, we throw away 2.5 billion coffee cups a year - and they’re not recyclable. This mountain of waste is the cost of our love of convenience.

Cupple 2 in one cup and bottle

This 2-in-1 cup and bottle…

Is a clever and convenient solution to remembering your reusables. A lidded insulated coffee cup twists into a water bottle, so it’s stowed away until you need it. This allows you to stay hydrated on the go and get a spontaneous coffee - all without contributing to single-use plastic waste. 

10. A stainless steel razor

Disposable razors…

Can be incredibly expensive, and despite all the bells and whistles, often don’t give you a very comfortable shave. The blade is the only thing that wears out, yet we have to throw away the whole unit every time, making them non-recyclable due to the mixed materials.

rockwell stainless steel long lasting razor

This metal safety razor…

Might look a little intimidating, but is incredibly easy to use. No nicks or cuts - just the closest, most comfortable shave of your life. When the double-sided blade wears out, you can simply recycle it and change it out for a new one. This razor carries a lifetime guarantee.

11. Linen bowl covers

Plastic cling film…

Is a wasteful single-use product that is non-recyclable, and can take 450 years to degrade in landfill. Plus, the PVC in plastic wrap is a possible carcinogen - did you know that if you microwave cling film, it should never touch food? The chemicals that make it ‘clingy’ also make it harmful to health.

Helen Round linen bowl covers

These reusable linen bowl covers…

Are a safe and sustainable alternative to cling film that lets food breathe. These covers have a soft elastic to keep them secure, and are perfect for use in the fridge, countertop or for keeping flies off food outside. An ever-reusable cling film alternative that looks beautiful too.

14. A wood and steel dustpan and brush

Cheap plastic dustpans…

Are flimsy, look nasty and often don’t even work well. Once the brush gets worn out, they’re just one more non-recyclable plastic product that’s destined for landfill.

beechwood dustpan and brush set

This plastic-free dustpan and brush set…

Is made in Europe from FSC-certified beech wood, with natural plant-based bristles and a steel pan. They’re held together with a magnet for easy storage - not that you’ll be in a rush to hide it in your cupboard. Plus, a tree is planted for every brush sold.

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