East London Waste Authority
East London Waste Authority

Pack up a plastic-free picnic


Picnics are the perfect way to spend a sunny summers day. Heaps of food, grass between your toes and the sun on your face – total bliss.

The only dark cloud in the sky is the amount of plastic that picnics produce. But they don’t have to. We’ve got six simple tips to keep your picnics plastic free – for a healthier, waste-free summer.


1. Start as you mean to go on. Step away from the ready-made sandwiches and salads, housed in plastic containers. Try your local greengrocers to find loose fruit and veg and make your own tasty treats to take with you. Whip up a big salad and decant it into…

2. Glass jars. Old jam jars and sauce jars are perfect for storing and transporting all types of food – salads, drinks, cut up fruit, deserts and pretty much anything else that you can fit in there.

3. Real plates, glasses and cutlery. You can use those jam jars again as glasses. And bowls. Good old jam jars. Not convinced? Take a look at how much goes into making that one plastic spoon. Washing up a few forks doesn’t seem such a big deal in comparison.

4. Making sandwiches? Wrap them in a bit of fabric instead of clingfilm or tin foil. An old (clean) t-shirt you no longer wear can be cut into squares and then reused again and again. Double it up as a napkin too.

5. Skip the individual juice boxes and drinks. Buy a larger carton and split into reusable bottles or, yep you guessed it, jam jars.

6. Pack it all up in an old fashioned picnic basket. Failing that, a reusable canvas bag does the job too.


Happy summer holidays! And don’t forget to take your rubbish home with you. Now let’s just cross our fingers for sunny weather.


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Barking & Dagenham