Alternatives to Single-Use Plastics: The Complete Guide

Single-use plastics are the worst, right? They generate a ton of waste, they’re difficult to recycle, and most of the time, they’re not even necessary!

But they’re convenient, and you can’t always choose when they’ll be given to you. Couple that with the fact that alternatives aren’t always easy to find, and it’s clear why nixing our plastic problem is so difficult. It’s sometimes said that “the world doesn’t need one person doing zero-waste perfectly, it needs 1,000 people doing zero-waste imperfectly.” So if you’re ready to start an imperfect journey towards cutting down on plastics, we’ve got some great products to get you started! They’re simple, they’re affordable, they’re all on DoneGood, and they’re great alternatives to single-use plastic!

Reusable straws

bamboo straw set

I love a straw—I just tend to drink more water with them! And with sustainable options out there, I can sip on without the waste.

These reusable bamboo straws from Malia Designs come in a set of two, with a brush, and carrying case so you can take them along to your favorite restaurant. They’re durable, easy to clean, and made from easily renewable and biodegradable bamboo that’s BPA-free!  

We also love these compostable straws from Preserve. They’re made from non-toxic, non-plastic, plant-based materials and are backyard compostable! Perfect for reducing your plastic consumption, but still getting the convenience of a disposable straw!

Reusable Shopping Bags

reusable tote

Ditch the flimsy grocery store bags! Make grocery shopping more colorful and eco-friendly with reusable grocery totes like the Market Tote from Mayamam Weavers or the Assorted Totes from Vi Bella! Both are roomy, durable, and handmade with love—a great accessory to use on your errands without compromising sustainability or style.

And if you're looking for something sturdy to carry your produce in, we love the Ecobags from Fountain House + Body. Made from 100% organic cotton, they’re great for carrying your fruits and veggies home and keeping them fresh.

Beeswax Wrap

bees wrap

Bee's Wrap from Fountain House + Body is the bomb and an absolute staple in my house. It keeps food fresh for longer without disposable plastic wrap—and honestly, it just looks cooler!

Made from organic beeswax, GOTS certified organic cotton, jojoba oil, and tree resin, Bee’s wrap is also durable, and free from toxins, VOCs, PVCs, and PETs. Reuse it again and again—just wash off in hot water!

Reusable Menstrual Products

period panties

Yeah, we’re going there. And once you get past the initial “yeeeeah, but how does it work?” question, you’ll be glad you tried Saalt’s reusable period underwear and menstrual cups. First of all, because disposable period products are expensive! You can save an estimated $60-$90 a year with reusables! 

Also because menstrual products generate a ton of waste (an estimated 250-300 pounds in a woman’s lifetime). So ditch the chemicals, bleaches, waste, and cost, and go for high-quality, comfortable-for-you, great-for-the-planet period products instead!

Reusable Water Bottles

hydrogen 20 reusable water bottle 

The Hydrogen 20 water bottle from XACT is one of our best-sellers, and no wonder! I have one of these bottles myself and I keep giving them as gifts because everyone who sees mine loves it! It's sleek, adaptable, double-wall insulated, and it fits perfectly in the cup holders of a car.

With two lid options, a carrying strap for easy on-the-go drinking, and insulation that keeps drinks hot for 12 hours and cold for 24, you can’t go wrong! The easy way to bid farewell to single-use plastic water bottles or plastic cups at your coffee shop.

Eco-friendly personal care products

bar soap

Lots of personal care products come in plastic bottles that you can only use once. And half of what you're paying for is water anyway! We’ve got an amazing selection of low-waste personal care products that are low waste and made from high-quality ingredients.

Plaine Products sends their personal care products in reusable aluminum containers that you can send back for a refill! We love their naturally-scented body wash, shampoo, and conditioner

Another bestseller, the 12-pack assorted bar soap set from Hand in Hand Soap, is made from all-natural ingredients that smell ahhh-mazing. The soaps are vegan, cruelty-free, and palm oil free, and for every bar you buy, you’re giving clean water and a bar of soap to a child in Haiti! Win-win!

You'll never miss your shampoo bottle again with these Shampoo Bars from Fountain House + Body. With a blend of butters, oils, and natural fragrances, you can get that hair squeaky clean without dirtying up the planet!

Eco-friendly plates and cups

As a constant party hostess, I’m always torn between the convenience of disposable dishes and their absolute waste. Not a problem for the ever-incredible pioneer in sustainable consumables, Preserve! Preserve excels in making household goods that are either made from recycled plastic or are compostable! 

If you think you can swap out disposable cups and plates for reusable ones, Preserve offers this On-the-Go Tableware Set, that’s designed for 8 people. Light enough for a party, durable enough for everyday, affordable, and made from recycled plastics! 

But if the draw of disposable is too tempting to pass up, never fear! Preserve offers compostable plates and cups! Enjoy the party, guilt-free, without having to worry about the dishes! 

 

 

 

 

  

Erin King
DoneGood Contributor

Writer, editor, and all-around language enthusiast who uses her love of words to help others.

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