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How to reduce your plastic usage when travelling

02 Nov 2018

We’re all making much more of an effort to keep our plastic usage and waste down to an absolute minimum. At home, we’re all now well aware of the concept of repair, reuse, and recycle, but what about when you’re travelling? How easy is it to keep your ‘plastic footprint’ down without impacting on your enjoyment? Here are a few handy tips from us at Premier Inn that’ll help you reduce the amount of plastic waste, and perhaps even leave a bit more room in your suitcase or car boot.

Create your own plastic-free wash kit

One of the biggest uses of plastics is the cosmetics industry. So rather than having separate shampoo and conditioners, bath gels and shower gels, look for alternatives. Artisan soap is a big trend now, and not only do you end up smelling wonderful, but you’re keeping your plastic usage down to a minimum too. You can even buy shampoo and conditioner bars for your hair, which come in their own reusable tins (about the size of a shoe polish tin), rather than in plastic bottles. Not only are you cutting out at least two or even three plastic bottles by going back to traditional ‘bar’ style soaps, but you’re reducing the size of your wash bag by nearly 3/4s! Check online for shampoo bars.

If you simply can’t resist shower gels then choose ones that double up as shampoo too, so you’re eliminating at least one plastic bottle from your kit.

Bamboo toothbrushes are a great alternative to throw-away plastic ones and are just as effective and as lightweight as your ordinary plastic brush. Pick a wood and natural bristle hair brush, and a bamboo or wooden comb. For men, why not move away from plastic disposable razors and go back to the old-fashioned (and just as effective) metal razor? With these you simply replace the blades, rather than sending a whole plastic razor to landfill.

Use fabric shopping bags

Bags for Life aren’t just for your weekly supermarket shop. Rather than accepting (and sometimes paying extra for) plastic bags, pack your own reusable fabric bags that’ll fold right down and tuck into your travel bag or even your pocket.

Reusable straws

Plastic straws are one of the biggest problems in the ocean and on our beaches, so why not pick up your own reusable straws (which come in a variety of materials from brightly coloured stainless steel to natural bamboo)? They take up hardly any room and can have a big impact on your plastic footprint.

Back to handkerchiefs

Disposable tissues and wet wipes may be convenient, but they’re causing major damage to the environment. Wet wipes in particular are responsible for the accumulation of fat in sewers, creating huge ‘fatbergs’ that can grow to enormous size. They’re also not flushable, so please don’t be tempted to flush them down the toilet! Instead of disposable hankies, why not go back to linen handkerchiefs, which can be laundered easily and will last for much longer.

Reusable water bottles

It’s estimated that a million single-use plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute. That’s 60 million every hour, or 1,440,000,000 every day. Plastic bottles are an environmental crisis, but you can do your part to minimise that impact by carrying a reusable water bottle with you. You can pick one up from Costa Coffee inside Premier Inn. Look around for water fountains where you can fill your bottle, and simply rinse it out at the end of the day, instead of discarding yet another plastic bottle in the dustbin!

Keep recycling!

No matter where you are, it doesn’t take a second to make sure you use recycling facilities wherever possible. Try and keep your rubbish separated into recyclable and non-recyclable. Our housekeeping team will collect your items from your room, and ensure they are disposed of in the right way. By making a few very small changes, you can create a big impact.

At Premier Inn, we’re committed to helping the environment and minimising plastic use, so if you have a great idea on how we can improve our service and make changes to reduce the use of single-use plastics, we would love to hear more about it!