Say no to the Big 4

Say no to the Big4

Refuse the big 4:

​You can already save a lot of plastic just by avoiding the Big 4! These are the most common single use plastic items in the daily life. And the most plastic waste found in the ocean and on our beaches.

They are so common and we are so used to them, that we actually don´t even recognize them anymore and we need to say no to them (order  “no straw”, “no bag” please) because everything just comes with these plastic utensils automatically. Its not even possible to go out to have a cold drink without getting a straw right away.

So to become plastic free, or just reduce your plastic will become a journey, but for me, it opened my eyes even more about the problem and kicked me into the right direction (for me).

So here is what should be the easiest part about getting plastic free/reducing your plastic consumption, the Big 4! Plastic bags, coffee to go cups, straws and plastic water bottles:

  • Plastic bags (shoppers worldwide use approx. 500 billion plastic bags each year. This would mean 1 million plastic bags are used every minute around the globe.)
  • Coffee to go cups (in the UK 7 million coffee to go cups land are thrown away daily. They all go to landfill because they cant get recycled)
  • Straws (in the US 500Millions of plastic straws are thrown away daily)
  • Plastic water bottles (35 billion plastic bottles are thrown away in the US each year)


1)Say no to plastic bags: 

Always have a reusable bag in your car, handbag, bag pack or in your jacket pocket. This is the most easy part. The don´t take away a lot of space. And used to it once, you will miss your beautiful jute bag if you might forget it.

2) Bring your reusable cup. 

Avoid coffee to go cups. Take your time to drink the coffee in a ceramic mug in the café or take your own reusable cup with you. Not only does coffee taste so much better in a ceramic cup, you will also save so much single use trash.

3) Order: no straw please: 

The straws can be a tricky one! Nearly every Barista puts one in your drink before you can say no. So you need to learn to say “NO straw please” straight away when your ordering. Or tell the service that you really don´t want any straw! It might be they still give you a straw, but then just don´t be to shy to complain. Tell them why you don´t wanted one, and next time you order a cold drink, continue telling them you don´t want a straw!! Its easier if you order the drink directly with the barista than with a service person, they might just forget to tell the barista that you don´t want one. (since when are we actually sucking out of plastic? Its mostly not necessary really, is it?)

4) Say no to plastic water bottles! 

Buy yourself a nice reusable bottle. They look so much cooler than a plastic bottle and its so much nicer to drink out of them. Make sure the reusable ones are not made of plastic, even though you can reuse and wash them, after a while they will start to smell weird.A stainless steel or glass bottle is much better! If you live in a country where you can drink your tab water just refill your bottles everywhere. So much cheaper also! If its not possible there must be some drinking fountains around where you can make refills or buy 20 Liter refill Container. 

So easy are the first steps into a new plastic reduced life. You just need to make this to your new habits. It might be a little annoying for the first days, but I promise, you get used to this soon. And knowing that your new habits wont harm any of these beautiful animals out in our nature/oceans anymore is worth the effort (I think).

Are you already reducing or refusing the Big 4? Let me know in the comments.

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