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Buy less

Before making a purchase, smart shoppers stop and think: Is there a better alternative? Do I need this? Or, do I need this much?

What you can do

Before you buy, stop and think about the low or no waste waste options.

How you can do it

People making smarter decisions when shopping show that it can have a huge impact, and is not too difficult. 

Considering the packaging of the item is a good place to start to ‘buy less’. Thinking about potential alternatives can include: choosing the item with the least amount of packaging, switching from plastic to paper packaging, or even choosing loose product with no packaging at the grocers or a bulk food store.

For reusable products it’s better to purchase something that’s designed to last forever than it is to purchase something that will need replacing regularly. 

Taking the next steps

There’s a changing attitude towards buying new items. Many people now take the approach of asking themselves, ‘do I really need this? Or do I already have something that will serve the same purpose? Can I borrow it from a friend or family member instead of buying it brand new?’

‘Buy nothing’ groups on Facebook can be a great resource for swapping a new purchase for a borrowed item eliminating the need to buy unnecessary items, or choosing to shop for secondhand items can reduce waste going to landfills (and save you some money!).

Many people are aiming for ‘zero waste’ by choosing to refuse any products that would likely end up in landfill. It’s worthwhile researching terms such as “planned obsolescence”, “perceived obsolescence”, and “circular economy”, if you are aiming for an empty bin!

The impact

  • Buying less will reduce the resources used to create new products. For each 1kg of rubbish created at home, up to 70kg can be created upstream.
  • Buying secondhand, sharing or not buying at all can save you lots of money in the long run!

More ideas

What others do

Glass of lemonade, bunch of straws and a plastic juice bottle

To find plastic free ideas, take the Plastic Free July challenge

Reusable carry bag, keep cups and bamboo cutlery
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