Reducing Your plastic Use.

      Time flies so quickly. 

I cannot believe that we hosted Portsmouth Green Drinks and “tools and tips for reducing plastic” a WHOLE MONTH ago!

So much has happened in the shop, and locally on the issues discussed that evening and as we are hosting the group again this Wednesday I thought it apt to finally write up some of the tips given on the evening.

It was such a great event, and was really uplifting to see so many like minded folk under one roof, with a supportive community feel and no judgement towards others. It’s certainly affected how I look at my shopping in my personal life and also with the business.

Sarah Shreeve and Clare Seek shared their journeys towards using little to no plastic in their lives and amongst other things gave us some amazing tips as to how we can reduce plastic use day to day. Lots of additional suggestions were given from the floor and others and I have tried to give an overview of these belowSo much has happened in the shop, and locally on the issues discussed that evening and as we are hosting again this Wednesday I  thought it apt to finally write up some of the tips given on the evening.. (I’m keeping it in a list format as there is a LOT of suggestions). 

SO. In no particular order and without bias (as I’m aware there are LOADS MORE examples of shops doing great things!) here are some of these tips to reduce plastic in your life:

1. Shop Local for food.

In plastic packaging on your fruit and veg drives you insane try a local greengrocer as smaller veg shops sell their veg loose.

>>> Independent shops like Southsea Fruit and Veg in Albert Road, Ron White in Marmion Road and Portsmouth Fruit and Flower in Eastney Road all sell veg loose plus its a chance to get to know your local trader. 

Independent butchers will allow you to take your own Tupperware’s. 

>>> On the evening Buckwells in Osborne Road and Bransbury Park butchers in Eastney were both mentioned as businesses that allow you to fill your own containers with their meat.

A lot of the ethnic supermarkets were cited as great places to buy tins that aren’t lined in plastic, dairy  products in reusable glass jars, loose pulses and herbs out of plastic packaging.  

>>> Specific shops mentioned included the Mediterranean Supermarket on Elm Grove and Akrams in Palmerston Road

Try a whole foods shop, where you can buy grains in bulk or spices buy the weight. 

>>> Wild Thyme in Palmerston Road sell herbs and spices loose, so you can take your own container. Rice Up in Southampton sell bulk grains and pulses. 

Feel you don’t have the time to visit lots of different shops? Why not try a veg box?

>>> Wayside Organics deliver every Thursday to Southsea and if you specify they will send their veg WITHOUT plastic 🙌🙌

2. Reuse 

One of the biggest tips discussed involved making small but permanent changes to your everyday routine. 

>>> Have a coffee often but usually need to take it out? Why not invest in a reusable cup. I’ve spoken about this at length before, and we offer a 15% discount if you use your own cup to go. Many other independents offer a discount too, and most chains will also take money off your take out drink if you reuse.  

>>> refil your water bottle. I had no idea before talking to so many people about these issues that customers find it difficult to ask for their bottles to be refilled. I think that this trend has changed, and we personally find a lot more people asking for their bottles to be filled up. Of course we welcome this completely! Check out an app by to see where will fill up your bottle for you, and if your favourite cafe or restaurant isn’t on the map ask them to join! 

>>> Carry a Tupperware and/or reusable bag. Ask for your goods/products to be put into your own bag and container. Most places will do this if asked, even supermarketsa wil fill up your own tubs at their deli containers. 

3. Make small lifestyle changes. 

Try eating in rather than taking out. Sarah discussed the impact of her plastic free journey on her life, and one of the biggest effects has been on her wellbeing, through switching eating on the go to stopping for lunch and eating in, she has gained time for herself and positively impacted her wellbeing. 

4. Home changes

Cleaning products were discussed and tips given onto how these can be less wasteful.  

>>> Wild Thyme offers a bio-D range of cleaning products, and you can take your own container in to refill some of the range.

>>> Natural alternatives for cleaning products were discussed; some people use vinegar, tea tree oil even the rinds of orange and grapefruit have been soaked to create natural cleaning oils. 

5. Beauty

Lots of people were interested in how Sarah had overcome the use of plastic in beauty and personal healthcare products. 

>>> Lush’s deodorant bars came recommended from a few people, and now a whole selection of zero packaging products under their naked” range. 

>>> the natural deodorant company ( were mentioned for their natural vegan deodorants which come in reusable glass jars.

>>> there was discussion of bamboo products, as now you can get bamboo toothbrushes, ear buds, reusable cotton pads for washing, charcoal dental floss. The world of zero waste products has opened up. One place to start browsing is

 >>> need sanitary protection? Try switching to mooncup -a soft reusable silicone menstrual cup.... many people swear by them as a healthy effective (and plastic waste free!) alternative to mainstream sanitary products.

6. Kids

At one point Claire discussed how as a parent she had managed to reduce waste, with her kids party’s. I absolutely loved the idea that instead of party bags, kids make something at the party and take it home with them, or are given seeds to grow once they get home.   

I think its’ amazing what solutions we discover when we realise that plastic is a problem ✌️ 

7. Recycle

We also discussed where and how people can get rid of waste that you may not be able to reuse personally, and just how complicated the different recycling schemes and waste management services can seem! What to put where?!!

Tamara has written a VERY comprehensive guide to this over at green Pompey. I’m just going to link to it, and let you read about all the different bins and services that we have on the island. There are LOADS more than you may think and if you have any specific questions I’d suggest reading the comments as your questions may have already been answered.





There was SO much discussed and so many friendly faces that I left the shop feeling super inspired. I often suffer a little by thinking that nothing I/we do (them especially as a business) is good enough, this event made me realise that we’re not all perfect; and no one is going to judge if you buy something in plastic, or do not get everything right al the time.

The biggest idea that I took away from the event was that any steps in the right direction are good ones, and that through nurturing a dialogue and discussing these issues and ideas we can help each other find solutions and help others on their waste free journeys. This in mind below is a list of resources and groups, so that if you’d want to reach out, get some advice/support or just come and meet other like minded people over a cuppa or beer then come and join in the party!


Green Drinks
a monthly meet up at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday on the month.
(often meet in a pub, March and April 2018 has been at our shop).

Portsmouth Green Drinks (facebook page with information on the meet ups) 


Plastic Free Portsmouth  - local tips to reduce plastic
A campaign aiming to earn Portsmouth Plastic Free Community status under the surfers against sewage scheme, follow this page to get involved and help.

Five objectives need to be met:
1. Local governance (the council to commit to support and plastic free alternatives and encourage initiatives)
2. Local Business (at least 46 local businesses to remove at least 3 single use plastic items from their shops).
3. Plastic Free Allies (the community to spread the word and adopt plastic free changes)
4. On the ground action (holding community events to help reduce plastic on the shorelines and beach).
5. Local Strategic Group (a group of local stakeholders to meet at least once per year to agree and set the direction and meet the objectives).

page set up for us to share tips on where we can reduce our need for plastic in Portsmouth.

Plastic Free Portsmouth  (facebook page)


Zero Waste Portsmouth 
 A community group created by individuals willing to reduce their carbon footprint. They host monthly meet ups - check OOut their facebook group for more details,. 

Zero Waste Portsmouth UK - Discussion Group


Beach Cleans
 There are numerous beach cleans happening around Southsea and Hayling and beyond. These are a good event to attend to see the consequence of plastic use and be pro-active in helping to clear up. 

Check out the Southsea Beachwatch facebook page, where they announce beach cleans and also ones organised by others such as surfers against sewage.  

Southsea Beachwatch (facebook page) 


Share Waste
 A community compost group for food waste (receiving and giving to others compost!).


The next green drinks is this Wednesday at 7.30pm.