July picnic challenge: Embracing plastic-free practices

Shauna Coates

July 6, 2022

This month we are celebrating Plastic Free July and National Picnic Month

With the school summer holidays and hopes of warm weather fast approaching, we are sharing our top tips on how to have a plastic free picnic.

Picnics are a great way to get together and spend time with family and friends, but we must consider the environmental impacts of our activities on our surroundings. Single use cutlery, excessive packaging and litter are all harmful and polluting to the environment. Try and make these small changes to make your picnic more sustainable:

Bring cutlery from home 

Instead of bringing single use plastic cutlery, that you will throw away after one use, consider bringing cutlery that you already have at home (maybe not your finest China but any utensils such as forks, spoons, plates, and mugs will come in handy).

Make food from scratch instead of buying packaged goods 

Why not find some delicious recipes online and make your own bread, cakes, and sandwiches at home with ingredients you already have, to reduce the use of plastic packaging. This can be a fun way to get in the picnic mood, take a look at some recipes for inspiration.

Bring refillable cups 

Make sure to bring your own refillable cups for both hot and cold beverages rather than buying plastic bottled drinks. You can always pop to the café and get them refilled if you run out on your picnic and you might even get some money off for bringing your own cup! 

Bring paper, metal, or bamboo straws 

Make sure to use environmentally friendly straws such as those made from paper. If you don’t like a soggy straw, you could always find metal or bamboo alternatives, which can be reused for future picnics!

Bring food in jars and containers rather than using cling film or foil 

Foil and cling film are not environmentally friendly. If you’re bringing food from home on your picnic, be sure to transport it in jars and containers that you can wash and use again. Or you could even try wrapping food up in wax wraps, which are washable and reusable.

Bring a spare bag to take home and packaging and rubbish 

Finally, if you do bring some packaged snacks, make sure you have a spare (re-usable) bag to collect your rubbish in at the end of the picnic, to take home and recycle where possible. Check out our page to find out what the recycling symbols on your packaging mean and how to recycle them.

Now you’re all set to have a plastic free picnic, pack your bag and don’t forget to include a picnic blanket (and probably an umbrella too with the good old unpredictable British weather!) and head down to your local park or favourite picnic spot to enjoy yourself, sustainably.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog represent those of the author, Shauna Coates, and are not those of recycle-more, Valpak Limited or any other organisation.