Stop Buying Single-Use Items: 33 Easy Alternatives

Every time you buy a single-use item you are throwing your money away and polluting the environment.

It’s consumerism gone mad and we need to break the chains that keep us mindlessly spending money over and over and over again – such is the trap of single-use products.

Thankfully, there’s plenty of alternatives. Scroll on down for a visual display of money sucking single-use items shown next to their eco-friendly replacement.

Even if you make one of these changes a week, you’ll be making a difference.

We are still on the journey of eliminating single-use items in our household and are not yet there with having all 34 items replaced with a sustainable alternative – but we’re working on it – and that’s the main thing.

Paper Serviettes

Single-use paper serviettes wrapped in plastic
Reusable cloth serviettes

Paper Towels

Single-use paper towels


Single-use tissues
Fabric hankies

Ahhem, Bedroom Tissues

Single-use bedroom tissues…
Face washers

Chux Wipes

Throw away cleaning wipes
Eco-friendly natural fibre cleaning cloths

Baby Wipes

Polluting baby wipes
Reusable baby wipes

Make Up Remover Wipes

Plastic wrapped single-use make up remover wipes
Washable make up remover pads

Disinfecting Wipes

Single-use disinfecting wipes in a plastic container
Reusable disinfecting wipes in a glass jar

Disposable Gloves

Disposable plastic gloves

Cling Wrap

Baking Paper

Single-use baking paper

Aluminium Foil

Single-use aluminum foil
Put a lid on it: reusable baking dish

Patty Pans

Single-use patty pans
Grease your muffin tray and add a light dusting of flour

Snap Lock Bags

Single-use plastic snap lock bags
Reusable stainless steel containers

Disposable Coffee Cups

Single-use plastic lined take away coffee cups

Plastic ‘Take Away’ Cutlery

Single-use plastic cutlery

Disposable Plastic Cups

Throw away plastic cups
BYO reusable silicon collapsible cup

Fast Food in Disposable Containers

Take away food in a single-use plastic container

Bottles of Water

Single-use polluting plastic water bottles

Tea Bags

Individually Wrapped Snacks in Plastic

Individually plastic wrapped snacks

Plastic Straws & Stirrers

Plastic Bunting

Throw away polluting plastic bunting
Reusable bunting made from fabric

Ribbon and Gift Decorations

Polluting plastic ribbon and gift decorations

Gift Wrapping Paper

Reusable fabric ‘furoshiki’ wrapper (or choose an experience gift instead)

Cable Ties Made From Plastic

Polluting plastic cable ties
Eco-friendly twine

Plastic Bin Liners

Polluting plastic bin liner
Newspaper bin liner (or use no liner)

Plastic Carry Bags

Single-use plastic carry bags

Disposable Nappies

Disposable nappies purchased in plastic packaging


Single-use tampons wrapped in plastic

Sanitary Pads

Single-use plastic lined sanitary pads

Plastic Throw Away Razor

Plastic Cotton Buds

Plastic cotton buds
Eco-friendly cotton bud

What’s an easy change you can make this week to reduce your reliance on single-use items?

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