Ultimate Guide to Plastic Free Gifts

Plastic pollution is a significant concern for our planet. Millions of tons of plastic find their way into our oceans, rivers, and landfills each year. The detrimental effects on marine life and water quality are alarming. There are many things we can do to reduce our plastic footprint, and one of the simplest is to choose plastic free gifts.

What is a plastic free gift?

A plastic free gift is a gift that does not contain any plastic. This means that the gift itself, as well as any plastic packaging. This sounds simple, but actually there are numerous types of plastics available, even hidden plastics, which can trip you up when you’re trying your best. Our plastic free gift category helps as we do all the research and hard work for you. It contains only products that are entirely plastic free, including their packaging at all - not even a tiny bit of plastic attaching a swing tag for example.

What are the benefits of giving plastic free gifts?

By choosing eco-friendly alternatives, you can reduce waste, promote sustainability, and spread awareness about the importance of protecting our environment. Plus, these thoughtful gifts not only show your loved ones that you care, but also encourage them to adopt a more conscious lifestyle.

Plastic free gift ideas:

  • Gifts made from natural materials such as these coasters and tablemats from sustainable brand ReSpiin. Made from seagrass and jute, not only are they totally natural and sustainable, both are also renewable and biodegradable materials. ReSpiin also make colourful baskets and cosy wool blankets - their entire range is completely plastic free, right down to the swing tag.
  • Reusable water bottles and coffee cups. These are great gifts for people who are always on the go. Most reusable water bottles contain some plastic, but the PURE insulated bottle from B Corp Qwetch is plastic free with the exception of a BPA free silicone seal around the lid for maximum leak resistance. Gifting a reusable cups and bottles will help them reduce their reliance on disposable plastic bottles and cups.

  • A stainless steel lunch box makes a great plastic free gift! Reusable and eco-friendly, it is a great gift idea for all ages; it's a practical gift that shows you care about their health, the environment, and their wallet. Read our best lunch box guide
  • Plastic free wellbeing gifts, such as this body balm stick from Scence. This softening and nourishing sweet citrus body balm stick is a great natural, vegan and plastic free alternative to the many cream moisturisers currently on the market.
  • Bamboo utensils. These are a great alternative to plastic utensils. They are durable and sustainable, and they look great on the table.
  • Stainless steel straws. These are a great way to reduce your plastic straw consumption. They are reusable and dishwasher safe, so they are easy to keep clean.

  • Wax food wraps. These are a great alternative to plastic wrap. They are made from beeswax or vegan friendly alternatiges and cloth, and they can be used to wrap sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables.

  • Swedish dishcloths. These are a great alternative to paper towels. They are made from a sustainable material called cellulose, and they can be washed and reused over and over again.

  • Gift vouchers to sustainable businesses. This is a great way to support businesses that are working to reduce their environmental impact.

  • Plastic free toys for children. There are so many sustainable gift options for children nowadays, such as wooden toys and paper activities. Alternatively you can look for toys made out of recycled plastic - buying products made from recycled plastic keeps the plastic out of the waste stream for one more use or lifetime and reduces the amount of virgin plastic (new plastic from extracted oil) needed to produce new items. Recycled plastic is especially good for products that have a long lifetime, such as classic toys made from recycled plastic - as it will keep it out of landfill for many years to come. 

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Wrapping your gifts

Do you know that wrapping paper often contains plastic? When you wrap your plastic free gifts, take it one step further and make sure you use a plastic free option to wrap your gift.

There are a few ways to check if your wrapping paper doesn't contain plastic.

  • It's important to look for the recycling symbol on wrapping paper, as it indicates that it can be recycled. However, remember that not all recyclable paper is plastic-free. Some types of wrapping paper, like metallic paper, have a plastic coating and cannot be recycled.
  • The scrunch test is a simple yet effective way to determine the material of wrapping paper. If it easily stays scrunched up, it's likely made of paper. If it bounces back, there may be plastic involved. Give it a try!
  • Check the label. Some wrapping paper will be labeled as "plastic-free" or "recycled." If you see one of these labels, then you can be sure that the wrapping paper does not contain plastic.
  • If you are unsure whether or not your wrapping paper contains plastic, it is best to err on the side of caution and recycle it as trash.

Here are some additional tips for choosing eco-friendly wrapping paper:

  • Look for wrapping paper that is made from recycled paper.
  • Choose wrapping paper that is free of glitter, foil, or other non-paper materials.
  • Use natural materials, such as fabric or leaves, to decorate your gifts.
  • Reuse wrapping paper from previous years.
  • Choose to use fabric such as an old scarf to wrap your gift
  • Reuse cardboard boxes and decorate them with natural materials such as pine cones, and tie with paper ribbon that can be reused or recycled easily

By following these tips, you can help to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills. 

Giving plastic free gifts is a great way to show your loved ones that you care about the environment. It is also a great way to start a conversation about sustainability. So next time you are looking for a gift, consider giving a plastic free gift. Your loved ones will appreciate it, and the planet will thank you.

Final tips for giving plastic free gifts:

  • Think about the recipient's needs and interests. What would they actually use and appreciate?

  • Do your research. There are many great plastic free gift options available, so take some time to find the perfect gift for your loved one.

  • Be creative. There are many ways to give a plastic free gift. Don't be afraid to get creative and come up with your own ideas.

I hope this guide has helped you to find some great plastic free gift ideas. With a little bit of planning, you can give gifts that are both thoughtful and environmentally friendly. If you would like to learn more about plastic, read our Green Guide to Plastic.

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