Simple Swaps for Waste Reduction

by Aoife Kiernan

Ireland produces more than 13 million tonnes of waste each year. This is equivalent to three hundred twenty-five thousand humpback whales (this is a lot of waste!) There are simple individual actions we can do to reduce the amount of waste we produce, without changing our daily habits drastically.


Bars are your best friend! By switching from plastic containers to solid bars you can completely eliminate the use of plastics from your shower routine. The range of products available in solid form is amazing, from shampoo, conditioner and soap to dishwashing detergent and body moisturiser. Although a bar of shampoo may look very small they will last ages, and usually contain natural ingredients that are gentle on your skin and better for your hair.


When you do your grocery shopping, be conscious of the amount of packaging your food is packed in. Veg can be purchased loose, you don’t have to put them into the plastic bags available. There are several refill bulk buying shops around Dublin, where you can bring your own empty containers, fill them up and pay by weight. When you run out, you can bring back the same container and refill it. They tend to stock dry ingredients like pasta, rice, flour, cereals, nuts and herbs. Food shopping is one of the more difficult areas to completely eradicate waste, but some supermarkets are starting to take notice of a consumer driven desire to reduce packaging, with Asda in Britain bringing in refill zones in their shops.

Day to Day

Grab your tote! By carrying reusable cutlery with you when you go out, you can save yourself from using takeaway cups and utensils. Although the worry of transmitting the coronavirus has discouraged many coffee shops from taking keepcups, the conscious cup campaign is encouraging them to use the contactless cup method where staff can make the coffee in a mug and pour the coffee directly into your reusable cup without touching it. Other items that are handy to keep in your bag are a knife and fork, and a bottle of water. There are lots of taps around campus where you can fill your water bottle, a map of which can be found on the Trinity Green Pages Website (along with lots of other great resources).

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