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Packaging-free living: ten expert tips

It’s January already and you still haven’t found a good resolution for 2016? How about reducing your packaging waste? These ten tips by precycling-experts Miriam Klaussner and Julia Bayer of the blog initiative ‘IchNehmsOhne’ (‘I’ll do without’) will show you how to live plastic-free. In texts and images.

  • Tip 1: Thermos instead of cardboard!

    Tip 1: Thermos instead of cardboard!

    According to the initiative Deutsche Umwelthilfe (German Environmental Relief, DUH), the Germans use more than 300,000 coffee-to-go cups – per hour! And it’s so easy to take a thermos cup to your coffee shop. In fact, in many cafés, you will get a discount.

  • Tip 2: Cloth bags instead of plastic bags!

    Tip 2: Cloth bags instead of plastic bags!

    Whether it’s fruit, vegetables or clothes: Everything fits into your cloth bag – no matter where or when. Even in large supermarkets, we never encountered any problems. On the contrary: We often got praised by the cashiers.

  • Tip 3: Coffee in a tin

    Tip 3: Coffee in a tin

    Coffee lovers will always choose beans over powder – for the fresh scent and the ceremony of preparing the coffee. Make a virtue of your passion! In most roasting houses, you can bring your own tin. And, again, there might well be a discount.

  • Tip 4: Muesli in a glass

    Tip 4: Muesli in a glass

    We have to admit: This tip will only work in muesli shops that manufacture their own ‘chocolate-banana pops’ or ‘super crunchies’ and sell them in bulk. But there, you will be able to fill your muesli directly into your own jar – completely plastic-free!

  • Tip 5: For professionals – the salad net!

    Tip 5: For professionals – the salad net!

    Say good-bye to the old excuse that salads, strawberries or apricots will get squashed in cloth bags! Vegetable nets are gentle on fruit and vegetables of all kinds. You can buy them in wholefood shops.

  • Tip 6: Coffee capsules with a clear conscience

    Tip 6: Coffee capsules with a clear conscience

    Yes, it is possible. You can enjoy your coffee from a capsule with a clear conscience! Stainless steel capsules from Switzerland are a real alternative: Unscrew them, insert the powder, place the coffee into the machine – and go! And the price of 40 Euros will soon have paid for itself.

  • Tip 7: Bread in a bread bag

    Tip 7: Bread in a bread bag

    We tested it: In Germany, Europe, Asia. It works. Everywhere, our bread and rolls were placed in our cloth bags, completely plastic-free. And the curious comments from the people waiting behind us in the queue were an extra bonus.

  • Tip 8: Shampoo-Refills

    Tip 8: Shampoo-Refills

    Just ask your hairdressers whether they will fill your container from their bulk package. We have had nothing but positive responses to this. We even got a discount, because your hairdressers will make just as much money as if they were selling individual bottles.

  • Tip 9: Cheese in a box

    Tip 9: Cheese in a box

    Are shop assistants allowed to place the bowls that you brought from home on the scales of the supermarket’s cheese counter? Is this in line with their hygiene regulations? Here’s our trick: The shop assistant weighs the cheese on a piece of paper and then drops it into your bowl. This should work at the weekly market at the very least.

  • Tip 10: Bars of soap

    Tip 10: Bars of soap

    Granted: Washing your hands with soap from a dispenser is comfortable. But it’s also an outright waste of packaging. So why not return to the good old bar of soap? It’s plastic-free, lasts longer and only costs a fraction of the price of liquid soap!

Copyright for all photos: IchNehmsOhne.com

Blog initiative ‘IchNehmsOhne’

Journalists Julia Bayer and Miriam Klaussner have been keeping a blog called ‘IchNehmsOhne’ (‘I’ll do without’) since 2014. They give tips and suggestions for a life without plastic and provide a platform for all like-minded people who would like to exchange ideas about a plastic-free life.

In an interview on the Alumniportal Deutschland, the founders of the blog ‘IchNehmsOhne’ explain that ‘Precycling is definitely becoming a trend’.


January 2016

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Alumniportal Deutschland – Redaktion
26 October 2017

Dear Natividad Lacdan,

in Germany, consumers are required by law to return all waste batteries to either a store or another collection point for waste batteries. On the website of the German Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt) you can find further information on Batteries in Germany:


Kind regards,
Alumniportal Deutschland – Redaktion

Natividad Lacdan
25 October 2017

How do you dispose battery waste properly . I have been storing these since I dont want these to mix up with the regular gsrbage).There is no special regulation here specifically on disposing used batteries (e.g. flashlight batteries). Not all instruments are chargeable. Thank you

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