Big 4 Single-Use Plastics

Happy Plastic Free July!

When refusing and reducing single-use plastic there are 4 big items that are used most frequently. The big 4 are water bottles, straws, shopping bags and takeaway coffee cups. There are lots of alternatives to these items and are a great place to start. Here are some of my favorite alternatives.

Reusable Water Bottles

Our family uses a variety of reusable water bottles. I carry a stainless steel water bottle to the gym, yoga and when hiking because it seals well and has a small mouth opening (ya know you are walking and taking a drink and up with water all the down the front of your shirt). It has quite a few dents and dings because I have dropped it lots - fortunately not on my toes (it’s heavy)!

I got a Yeti cup (personalized with my initials) from my in-laws for Christmas and love it! I use it in the car - fill it with ice, water and squeeze some lemon and it stays cold all day. The large size ensures I am staying hydrated throughout the day and I love that the base is smaller so that it fits in my car’s cup holder.


I love to drink from a straw! I use my straws with my Yeti cup, iced coffee, apple cider vinegar water and smoothies. I keep a straw in my purse so that when we are out and buy a beverage or at a restaurant we can refuse the plastic ones and use our own. All of our straws are stainless steel and I have various sizes- longer, bent, straight and wider (for smoothies, bubble tea and milk shakes).


We have an assortment of reusable bags. Some are canvas and some are made from up cycled plastic. Most of them we inherited or were given to us for free. I keep them by the door so that whenever we are heading out of the house I can grab them. We use them most often at the grocery store (since we grocery shop everyday) and I usually grab a small one and stuff it in my purse when doing other shopping errands.

Coffee Cups

We usually make our coffee and drink it at home. We have these Hydro Flasks for when we take it to go or get it from a cafe to go. I love using my mason jars for iced coffee. I have 3 lids that fit mason jars (regular and wide mouth) that work with my straws that I like to use both for cold home brews and takeout. When I was working in an office I had a ceramic mug that I used throughout the day. I find that coffee tastes better out of my reusable cups and you usually get a discount at the coffee shops for bringing your own. Score!

What are your favorite reusables?

Some of my favorite reusable cups, jars, lids and straws.

Some of my favorite reusable cups, jars, lids and straws.