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How to Make a Plastic Free Toolkit

How to Make a Plastic Free Toolkit

We’ve all been there. You’re going out shopping or sightseeing with your friends, but you’re not really sure what the day will entail. Then, the next thing you know, someone suggests a caffeine break and you find yourself with a single-use, disposable coffee cup in your hand. Whoops! That’s where a plastic free toolkit comes in handy. A plastic free toolkit is a bag of essential, reusable items that help you reduce the need for using single-use products while on-the-go. The goal is to create a versatile “kit” that you can easily transfer to a new bag or suitcase based on your needs. With the busiest travel time of the year (the holidays!) right around the corner, now is the perfect time to put together a kit with all of your plastic free essentials! 


Plastic free toolkits will be unique to each person based on their individual needs, tastes, and preferences. A good way to brainstorm the items that would work best in your toolkit is to mentally plan ahead and anticipate any needs you might have while you’re out and about. For instance: 


Need/ Activity

Reusable Item

You’re thirsty

Reusable water bottle (pre-filled at home if water fountains are not abundant where you’re going) 

You need a caffeine break

Reusable coffee mug that you can nicely ask the barista making your order to use instead of a disposable cup 

You stop for any other drinks or smoothies

If you prefer to use one, having a reusable glass, metal, or bamboo straw on hand can help cut back on plastic waste from various drinks

You grab a meal or snack

Depending on where you choose to eat, your only option for cutlery may be the single-use, plastic items provided by the restaurant. A set of reusable utensils like our Take Back Ware will eliminate the need for this plastic waste

Your meal or snack is messy

A cloth napkin or small towel can also help reduce the need for single-use items like paper towels or napkins 

You have leftovers from your meal or snack

A mason jar or any other food storage container makes the perfect, reusable to-go box

You do some shopping

A reusable bag is an essential tool if you know you’ll be making some purchases while you’re out. Any bag will do, but thin, foldable ones are easier to squeeze into your toolkit


Another aspect that makes plastic free toolkits so customizable is that some of these items are multi-purpose. For instance, a coffee mug can double as a water bottle, and a mason jar can be used as a water bottle or a coffee mug. So if you want to put together a smaller toolkit, think about how you use your reusables and if it would make sense for you to have one item or multiple.


Depending on what you have available, it may also make sense to have multiple, smaller toolkits that live in various bags or luggage and are ready to go whenever you need that particular item. For instance, utensil kits like our Take Back Ware have become so ubiquitous that you may have multiple sets on hand. Consider using one for a designated toolkit but keeping your spares in various bags, so in case you forget the toolkit or you need to switch bags last minute, you will still be prepared with some reusable utensils. 

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