From straws to food covers and sandwich wrappers, these stylish and useful sustainable products are much kinder to the planet
There are plenty of products out there which can act as alternatives to day-to-day throwaway plastics
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If youve been shocked to see the damage plastic is doing to our planet, chances are youll be keen to do your bit to change that.
And with so many user-friendly and stylish reusable products on the market, theres never been a better time to make the switch.
It makes sense to ditch single-use plastic for reusable products for many reasons.
Of course, the main one is the environment, but you can save money too.
Starbucks and Costa Coffee, for example, take 25p off your drink if you bring in a reusable cup.
And switching to reusable food wrappings or straws will save you money in the long run too.
I tested products that can replace throwaways in four categories coffee cups, straws, sandwich wrappings and food coverings.
We use around seven million disposable coffee cups every day in Britain, so switching to a reusable cup can make a real difference.
The price might make you choke on your latte, but this is an extremely clever cup. You select the temperature you want your drink, either by twisting the base or via a smartphone app, which will message you when your coffee is ready to drink.
The mug comes with a charging coaster and the lid has a button that seals it if youre carrying it around.
On the downside, its a little heavy. And although the lid can go in the dishwasher, the main part needs to be hand-washed and you need to recharge it.
Verdict:Ingenious but expensive 8/10
Are you never sure what to do with your cup once youve finished your drink? Is it too big to carry around in your pocket or handbag or are you worried about it leaking?
If thats always put you off reusable cups, this could be the solution. When not in use, you can collapse the cup into itself, meaning its easy to store.
Its also microwave-safe, which is useful if your drink is cold by the time you get to work. And the whole thing can go in the dishwasher at the end of the day.
Verdict:Clever design means you can carry it with you all the time 8/10
This bamboo cup is bright, cheerful and sturdy and comes with a silicon lid. There is a heatproof band with which to hold it and a removable silicon clip over the drinking hole, so you can run for the bus without spilling coffee all over yourself.
Verdict:Straightforward, well-priced cup that will quickly start paying for itself with the discount from coffee shops 7.5/10
Made of recycled old cups, this gives you a double helping of eco-friendly points, so you can feel extra virtuous when you use it. Its insulated to keep drinks warmer and you just push the lid in to seal it, making it completely watertight.
Its a sizeable, sleek cup and it goes in the dishwasher. The company also promises free replacement seals if you need them.
Verdict:Nice cup, impeccable credentials 9/10
Sky Ocean Rescue and Project 0 have teamed up with big names like Sienna Miller, Bob Geldof and Rita Ora to design a range of reusable cups and bottles. I tried the gorgeous Bubble Trouble cup, which was designed by supermodel Cara Delevingne.
Its bright, stylish and is insulated, which will keep your drink warm.
On the down side, the lid is difficult
Verdict:Lovely to look at but loses a mark for that tricky lid 8/10
You dont need to wrap your lunch in plastic or resort to a disposable sandwich bag either. Here are some alternatives.
This not only looks pretty but is very effective too. You pop your sandwich inside, fold it up and fasten the velcro, which keeps it fresh.
You can wash it by hand, in the washing machine or in the dishwasher, so its completely hassle free.
Verdict:Works well and looks stylish 9/10
Big on style, this beautifully designed wrap works in a similar way. I managed to fit in a decent sized sandwich, and then used it as a plate at lunchtime. You can wash it by wiping it clean, or it can go in the washing machine on a low temperature.
There are plenty of alternatives to plastic straws, so you can sip your cocktail without any guilt just remember to recycle the mini umbrellas.
These four colourful straws were a big hit with our younger testers, who liked the soft tops and bright colours.
They are made of stainless steel and have detachable tops in different colours, so youll never have to say which ones mine?.
They come with their own little brush to keep them clean inside and you can put them in the dishwasher too.
Easily the best value of all the straws I tried. You get six along with a cleaning brush and a holder to keep them together.
These are straightforward and no-nonsense stainless steel straws which can go straight in the dishwasher after use.
Made from sustainably managed forests, these could be mistaken for a pencil at first glance. They are definitely more sophisticated than some of the others I tried.
You get six in a pack and they come in their own little cover, with a cleaning brush too. They are a bit shorter than some of the other straws I tested.
Cut down on cling film with these eco-friendly ways of keeping leftovers fresh.
These silicone bags come in different sizes and can replace food or freezer bags. Theyre clear, so you can see whats inside, and they do up by pressing the seal at the top.
You can put them in the microwave, oven, fridge and freezer, and they are dishwasher-proof too. I found them very easy to use and they took up less fridge space than leftovers on a plate covered with plastic wrap.
Colourful and fun, these beeswax wraps can be reused for a year or so. And when you do finally dispose of them, they are biodegradable.
They come in packs of three different sizes and stick to themselves to create a good seal.
They can be handwashed and left to dry, but youre not advised to use them with raw meat or fish.
They cheered my fridge up instantly, but if you use them to cover a plate youll have to lift them up to see whats underneath.
You can also use them to wrap bread, vegetables, cheese and more.
What do you do when the recipe calls for half an onion or avocado? At the moment, youd probably cover the rest in plastic wrap. However, there are alternatives.
You can slide your vegetables into these to keep them fresh. They are easy to wash, come in four different sizes and can be used to top cans and jars too.
Verdict:Practical and do the job they are designed to 8.5/10
They look like shower caps, but can be stretched over your food instead of cling film. They are very effective and could really cut down on the amount of single-use plastic wrap you use.
I tried them with all sorts of leftovers, including cheese and salad. You can wash them in the dishwasher or by hand. We found they were hard to dry.
Verdict:Useful but unglamorous 7.5/10
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