You can travel without single-use plastic.
Updated: Jul 6, 2019
In 2019 so far I've been on eight flights, multiple train journeys and I can't even count the number of days out in the car. Whether going abroad on a chilled holiday, adventure trips or even a UK day out climbing - travelling can often be the only way to get out and see the world and take part in the things you love. Also, I used to commute each day to Leeds from Skipton (about an hour each way) for my work but now I'm lucky enough to have a simple 30 minute drive to work.
Travel is my world and equally I couldn't see the world without travel.
There are somethings I would see on my daily commute which would shake me to the point of seeing red. People on the train eating from plastic packaging that they've just picked up at the train station for convenience or worse, flinging McDonalds empty drink cups from their car windows driving home. Just infuriated me.
It wasn't until I was travelling for my new job that I had a woman in the airport security at Manchester Airport say to me to 'take it' as she frantically tried to force a single-use plastic bag into my hand (you know, the ones for your hand luggage liquids) that I decided enough was enough - for me anyway. Upon my disgust and distain at this lady who I had just told, I didn't want a bag as I had my own then tried to make me take one anyway for 'my lunches and sandwiches on holiday' - like that would happen. And then what would happen to the bag? I'm sure that the majority of holiday makers are going to take it upon themselves to make sure these bags were placed in a recycle bin, that's even assuming they can be recycled. They would end up in a bin, on the floor, on a bench and worst of all, perhaps the sea.
With so much waste in the world, maybe we should all be looking at other ways of transporting things in and out of the country, on our commutes, even in the UK. And not by putting them in tiny, single-use clear plastic bags or packaging.
I have a few small changes that I have made this last 12 months which have really made a positive impact on my travel.
Hand Luggage Prep
I use a re-usable zip up clear bag for my travel liquids in hand luggage. Sounds like a no-brainer. But for £2.00+ you can buy a clear bag which are airport security friendly.
Only a couple of things to remember; liquids inside must hold no more than 100ml per product. Only one zip bag allowed per passenger which holds no more than a litre of liquid in total. Finally, the bag mustn't measure more than 20cm x 20cm (and must zip up easily)
Whilst you're here, can you please read and sign my petition on stopping the use of single-use plastic bags in airport security - I really hope you can join me in trying to make a change with this legislation.
I'm like many of you out there who enjoy a coffee in the car, on the train or when sat in the airport from an early start. Making a conscious decision to take a reusable cup is something I've started to do - I'm fortunate that I already had birthday gifts of bamboo reusable cups which really made the switch easy. I've heard great things about these other brands Keep Cup | eCoffee | Stojo
My cup is a Manna cup which was bought for me from TKMAXX - they have a wide selection in store too and sometimes at great value prices.
Peckish and planned
I soon realised that on a long journey or day out that you can start spending a lot on convenience foods by not being planned or prepping food ahead of going out. I started looking for new ways of transporting various foods and here are some tips:
1) Old t-shirts that have gone a little mis-shaped can make for great food wraps (make sure you've washed them first!! I cut one of my old t-shirts into 3 strips and then used each one to wrap up fruit and sandwiches - the beauty is, no need to constantly spend cash on tin foil or cling film. Instead simply place in the wash with your other clothes. Voila.
2) Wax wraps - so if t-shirts are a bit of a stretch too far to start off with, beeswax wraps or rice bran wax wraps work a treat too. Easy to clean and keeps food fresh. Easy to pack and travel with, even abroad on long distances. A couple of good brands: WEARTH | Beeswax Wraps
3) Tins - May be a little too 'clunky' and I haven't yet used these on a plane BUT Elephant Box are a great brand for day trips and smaller snacks you want to keep compact like nuts and seeds. These are perfect for a climbing back or taking up a mountain to keep something cold and fresh.
If you'd like any further travel tips and ways to reduce the plastic you use when going on holiday - please do get in contact and I will certainly try and help.
Thanks for reading - I hope you've enjoyed my post.
Gemma - The Yorkshire Explorer.