Life & Style

The 1 Day No Single-Use Plastic Challenge

Climate change and oceans full of plastic. They are a few things I am really worried about. Last month’s weird heatwave was nice in a way. I, for one, loved hanging my washing out to dry! But when you think about the reasons for that remarkably unseasonable weather, it’s enough to sends chills down the spine. The pictures of seas of plastic? Also horrific. We are ruining our planet and sleepwalking into a disaster. Can we do anything to stop this catastrophe? I don’t know but I’m certainly going to do all I can, starting with single-use plastic.

Can You Complete The 1 Day No Single-Use Plastic Challenge?

How Can We Cut Down on Single-Use Plastic?

This isn’t a new thing for me, I have been working on cutting down our use of plastic for years. But we are by no means perfect! In fact, I find it quite overwhelming. I believe that big companies and organisations need to really step up to the mark. For example, Daily Bread cooperative in Northampton have started using compostable packaging instead of plastic. It’s made of wood pulp! If they can do it, surely big companies can too!

Daily Bread biodegradable and compostable packaging made from renewable, sustainable wood pulp

But I think it’s vital that we play a part too.

Introducing the 1 Day No Single-Use Plastic Challenge

Do you think you could go a whole day without using single-use plastic? I like to think I could, but actually when I think about it, plastic is so ingrained in our society, I think it will be a real challenge. WAKEcup and The Marine Conservation Society have teamed up, with the aim of inspiring 1 million people around the world to take part in their ‘1 Day No Single-Use Plastic Challenge over the course of 2019. This challenge launches today, and it’s hoped everyone who takes part will donate £2 (the price of a takeaway coffee) to the Marine Conservation Society, as well as avoid single-use plastics for a whole day.

The 1 Day No Single-Use Plastic Challenge

About The Marine Conservation Society

The Marine Conservation Society is the UK’s leading charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. For over thirty years MCS has been the voice for the sea, because everyone relies on the ocean to survive, from the air we breathe to the food we eat.

If you complete the challenge and sign up to Global WakeCup’s mailing list, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a Zero Waste Hamper worth £300, and sent this hand drawn artwork.

To find out more about the single-use plastic challenge, head to Global WakeCup.

“We believe small changes to our daily routine, when multiplied across the globe, can make a huge difference to our shared oceans. ‘”It’s only 1 plastic straw” said 7.7 billion people’ is a line that has helped inform our thinking.”

Nick and Buffie, WakeCup’s founders

What Can We Do To Minimise Single-Use Plastic?

Reducing my family’s use of single-use plastics is a big focus for me. There are so many simple ways we can make a difference.

10 Ideas for Avoiding Single-Use Plastic

Once you start looking for single-use plastics, you realise they are EVERYWHERE. Here are a few swaps I’ve made – check out this post for some more ideas for reducing single-use plastic use.

Will you complete The 1 Day No Single-Use Plastic Challenge?
  1. Use a reuseable shopping bag like this Fairtrade cotton one from WakeCup. Take a reuseable water bottle, hot drinks cup and bamboo straw out with you, so you can refuse plastic single-use versions.
  2. Swap single-use plastic bottles for milk and sauces by using glass bottles. We have recently started getting our milk delivered in milk bottles, which is so much better for the environment.
  3. Replace teabags (which generally contain plastic) with tea leaves.
  4. Replace plastic-stemmed cotton buds and and plastic toothbrushes with bamboo versions. If you can’t find bamboo cotton buds, try paper buds which I have found in Wilkos and Sainsbury’s.
  5. Buy a single packet of reuseable cotton pads, so you can stop using cotton wool pads (which come in a single-use plastic bag.)
  6. Use Beeswax Wraps instead of plastic clingfilm (but not for meat!).
  7. Use a natural deodorant that comes in a cardboard or metal tin.
  8. Swap normal laundry liquid (in its huge plastic single-use bottles) for a refillable eco-friendly Eco Egg (read my review here).
  9. Use Who Gives a Crap 100% recycled toilet paper, that doesn’t come wrapped in loads of single-use plastic.
  10. Get your pantry staples from a refill store, and avoid all that single-use packaging.
My Refill Market travel around the towns around Milton Keynes – just take your containers and they weigh them before and after you fill up, to get the right price.

And one more for luck…

We also recently started getting a plastic-free fruit and vegetable box. It’s so far not only helping us reduce plastic, but also support a local independent business, and make us eat healthier!

Plastic-free fruit and veg box from Harvest
Our fruit and veg is from Harvest in Olney, if you’re in the Milton Keynes area and want to give them a try!

How I Feel About the Challenge

On the face of it, a day without single-use plastic doesn’t sound that hard. But when I think about it, it is a real challenge. I think single-use packaging is going to be the real issue. For example, Ava takes a lunch box to school few times a week. She sometimes has crisps. She always has a yoghurt. Her sandwiches are wrapped in cling film. They contain butter from a plastic tub, and ham or cheese from a single-use plastic wrapper. So I’ve fallen at the first hurdle! I will wrap her sandwich in a beeswax wrap, but I am worried she will accidentally throw it away! I can’t think of an alternative to her yoghurt, and I can just skip the crisps but will need to replace it with something else. And that’s just one meal!

I’m looking forward to the challenge. Even if I don’t manage it, anything I do do, will help reduce the amount of plastic that goes to landfill, or into our oceans. And that can only be a good thing.

Will you take the challenge? I’d love to hear about it if you do, please leave me a comment!

Looking for more ideas to reduce waste? Have a peek at this post.


  1. Petra Kravos (@BeHealthyFeelGd)

    13th March 2019 at 1:58 pm

    I really need to find those paper buds! Sadly I am still using cotton buds which use plastic but I haven’t really thought of them much as I’ve been using them for so long. But thanks for bringing this to my attention. I am definitely going to look for alternatives now. And I also need to get myself some Beeswax Wraps! Thanks for all the tips, really useful.

    1. Becky Pink

      13th March 2019 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks Petra, so glad you found it useful! It makes me feel terrible all the normal cotton buds I’ve used over the years. I use them for clearing up mascara smudges so do go through at least one a day, so I’m glad to find a plastic-free alternative xx

  2. Rachel

    11th March 2019 at 5:01 pm

    I recommend using organicup instead of other sanitary products. Saves so much money and waste! Takes a little time to get the hang of but so glad I’ve got it now. I also think it’s kinder to my body – win-win!

    1. Becky Pink

      11th March 2019 at 8:26 pm

      Love this Rachel! I don’t have any periods at the moment so am not using any sanitary products but when they come back I am definitely going to invest in one, I have to confess I was a bit nervous of them, but as I’ve had two kids I should be able to handle it! Xx

  3. Jamie Edwards

    11th March 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Great post! I’ve signed up to the challenge and I look forward to getting my children involved in it too, every little helps. I’ve not heard of paper buds but I’m already looking forward to giving them a go.
    This post has given me the kick I needed to buy the beeswax and bamboo products that have been on one of my many ‘lists’ for some time!
    Also for anyone reading, I can’t recommend the eco egg enough, it’s fantastic!
    Good luck with it! xx

    1. Becky Pink

      11th March 2019 at 8:24 pm

      Thanks so much for your support Jamie, I’m so glad it’s encourages you to take part! I hear you about the lists, it’s never ending isn’t it! I’m loving my Eco Egg too, wish I’d got one years ago! Xx

  4. Tanya - Woof & Wilson

    11th March 2019 at 12:42 pm

    Great blog post and a great challenge! I’m like you, I’m doing every thing I can to reduce the single use plastic that we use. I don’t go anywhere without my reusable coffee cup and reusable bottle with water in it, and also a cotton shopping bag folded in my handbag. We have just bought bamboo toothbrushes and are going to buy bamboo cotton buds when we run out of our current ones. I try my best to reuse plastic pots and jars so that we are throwing less out. Milk is a tricky one for me as I’m vegan so my plant milks comes= in cartons. At least I know the process of making those milks is less environmentally damaging than the process of dairy milk. I may well try this challenge but I know it would be hard. As you said single use plastic is EVERYWHERE! I really believe big companies and retailers must start doing more to change this. There are some items that you simple can’t buy without plastic being involved.

    It’s a depressing situation and I just wish more people cared about it. It feels like lots of people still can’t be bothered, don’t take it seriously, or think that it’s somebody else’s mess to sort out! If I take the challenge I will let you know how I get on. Good luck with it lovely!

    Tanya x

    1. Becky Pink

      11th March 2019 at 1:20 pm

      Ah thanks so much, the vegan milk alternative is tricky isn’t it. Do you like oat milk? As I believe you can make that yourself! Though of course oats come in plastic packaging… if you’re near Northampton they sell massive sacks of oats in biodegradable packaging now. And I agree, so many people don’t seem to care at all. When I was in the US a few months back the waste was pretty horrifying. But I try not to let that stop me from doing my bit! Good luck, I hope you can manage the challenge! Xx

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