10 Easy Plastic Free Swaps Students Can Make

Did you know it’s Plastic Free July? No? Well now you do, so you’ve got no excuses peeps!

The global movement wants to help millions of people be a solution to plastic pollution to help the environment.

The best part? All we need to do is work together and make small lifestyle changes that will make a huge difference.

If you’re struggling for ideas, we’ve done our research and gathered 10 easy plastic-free swaps to do your bit for this special cause.

So, let’s ditch the plastic water bottles and copious amounts of wrapping paper, and make worthwhile choices.

1. Water Bottles

A lot of people are already making changes to their water bottles, and we applaud you, but if you’re not…here’s how you can!

It’s quite simple really, all you need to do is ditch the plastic water bottles and get yourself a reusable one.

There are plenty of places where you can get a reusable water bottle including Amazon, Chilly’s Bottles, and hey…why not grab yourself a Love Island one? 😉

In all seriousness, you should deffo grab yourselves one of these, some of them can even hold hot drinks!

2. Straws

We’ve already seen the rise of reusable straws in popular places like McDonald’s and Costa, so next time you’re having a drink at home – be sure that your straw is reusable.

There are various different types of reusable straws you can purchase including metal straws and even bamboo straws.

If you go onto the National Trust website, they have a fab selection of reusable eco steel straws that you can keep in your uni accommodation.

Due to their size and shape, straws can easily slip through recycling machines, which is why reusable straws are the way forward.

3.  Coffee Cups

We know that caffeine for students is LIFE, it’s imperative for an all-nighter in the library and some last-minute work on your assignment.

Some paper cups that you’ll receive at coffee shops are actually lined with plastic which means they’re not recyclable.

This results in coffee cups that end up in landfills, but thankfully, there are a bunch of different alternatives available.

You don’t have to get anything particular boujee if you don’t want to, you could just bring your own thermos and ask the barista to top it up!

In terms of aesthetics, John Lewis has an awesome selection of pretty reusable coffee cups as well as Nespresso.

4. Switch To Bar Soap

Sometimes we often forget how much plastic is used for things like handwash that we keep in our uni bathroom!

It’s pretty wasteful, which is why we’d definitely recommend switching to bar soap which is an easy plastic-free swap.

Zero Waste Path has some incredible waste-free bar soaps for as little as a fiver, and every little helps – right?

They also have some really nice scents, like lavender, aloe vera, and even oatmeal, yummy!

5.  Perfume

Another easy plastic-free swap to make is perfume, and let’s be honest, we all like to smell good when we’re heading to lectures!

Some perfume that you keep in your uni accommodation can be as harmful to air pollution as cars can, which is pretty mind-blowing.

Each spritz of perfume contains “volatile organic compounds” which react with the sunlight to form ozone pollution.

So basically, long story short, get yourself a low waste perfume from somewhere like LUSH (whose perfumes are all made from essential oils.)

USA brand SKYLAR create clean and modern scents from safe ingredients with no parabens, synthetic dyes etc.


6.  Razors

Another plastic-free swap that’s taken the world by storm is razors, particularly razor companies that offer a subscription package.

We’re fully on board with this, and there’s a huge number of different options available for you to choose from.

FFS is a particular brand we’d recommend for your plastic-free razor swap, offering a multi-award-winning razor with a metal handle.

They also offer shampoo bars to stop the need for plastic bottles, making this an all-around fantastic company.

FYI – disposable razors aren’t easily recyclable with many of them having plastic handles, which is why you need to jump on board with plastic free swaps!

7.  Wrapping Paper

This plastic free swap is a good one to remember for crimbo and birthdays because we’re all guilty of using waaaay too much wrapping paper!

There are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives to wrapping paper that will stop you from being wasteful, let us enlighten you!

Have you ever thought to use fabric or old newspapers? You can still make presents look just as nice with those.

You’re bound to have some old newspaper hanging around at your parent’s house, so make sure you keep it handy!

8.  Shopping Bags

The rise of the alternative shopping bag is happening, with many supermarkets offering paper bags, canvas bags and cotton bags.

Plastic bags can take years to decompose, and even when they’re broken down, they don’t fully degrade.

The plastic breaks down into microplastics which can contaminate the environment and the food sources of animals (and humans!)

Paper bags are a great alternative, as well as cotton bags and canvas bags – which are all pretty easy to find and purchase.

For more inspo on reusable bags, this article is worth a read, and as always, Amazon has some 10/10 selections!

9.  Clothes Pegs

When it’s time to do chores and hang up your wet clothes, the question is, are you using plastic pegs or bamboo ones?

The Plastic Free Shop has a zero waste pack of 20 bamboo clothes pegs, made from sustainable biodegradable bamboo with recyclable steel spring.

Things like bamboo pegs are fairly inexpensive to purchase, which is why we’d definitely recommend you make this small change to your lifestyle.

An easy plastic-free swap like this will be so worth it in the long run, so go on, what are you waiting for?

10. Toothbrush

It’s time to ditch the plastic toothbrush and opt for a bamboo one (because bamboo is clearly the best – right?)

Unlike synthetic, man-made plastic and nylon toothbrushes, bamboo is a natural material that comes straight from the plant.

It’s 100% biodegradable, and has pretty much become the sustainable material of choice – and we’re so here for it.

Luckily, there are plenty of places that you can buy reusable toothbrushes, Holland and Barrett have got a pack of 2 supernatural bamboo toothbrushes for just £3.99.

Don’t let the idea of “reusable items being expensive” put you off, because if this blog has proven anything, it’s the fact that they are really not expensive at all.


We hope you have found these 10 easy plastic-free swaps useful, every small change we make in our life will make a great change. We all need to team up together and make these easy plastic-free swaps to help save the environment. Wondering how to be a morning person? Check out our latest blog for all the best tips.

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