Plastic Free Travel in Iceland: Our 5 Top Tips

While traveling you can create a lot of single use plastic waste as it can be so convenient while on the go. However it has never been easier to make easy afforable swaps to not only help you reduce your waste, but also make your trip more comfortable.

Women hiking with Osprey backpack in Landmannalaugar, Iceland.
Hiking in Iceland
  • Take a water bottle: Having a water bottle with you will ecourage you to drink more, so you’ll be hydrated and feel better on your trip. A lot of places have safe drinking water straight from the tap and those that don’t you can get special filters for your bottle to make them safe or tablets to mix in a kill off any nasties and say no to all those single use plastic bottles. You can also get insulated bottles to keep your drink hot or cold, just how you like it!
  • Take your own cutlery: Plastic disposable cutlery on the road isn’t quite as nice as eating from a beautiful bamboo or metal spork. Lightweight, afforable and easily packable sets are easy to find and plus you then don’t have to search for cutlery.
  • Say no to straws and lids: If you don’t need that single use straw or lid then ask for your drink without them. You could of course bring your own straw or reusable coffee mug!
  • Go solid with your soaps: Did you know you can swap your shampoo and shower gel bottles for solid soaps, shampoos and conditioners? You can get great quality products that as travel friendly as they fit nicely in your bag and you can even carry them in your hand luggage on flights.
  • Eat locally and sit down: Take your time to explore local restaurants and avoid takeaways or prepackaged supermarket sandwiches. This was you’ll have time to relax, find a hidden gem or even have a chat with the locals.

Why go plastic free?

When we talk about a plastic free world we are talking about the large amount of avoidable single use plastic that is being used once and discarded causing our planet a lot of problems. Single use plastic is estimated to be up to 50% of total plastics used. Most plastic are recyclable, but the process is energy and water intensive and not carried out universally. Natural plastics take hundreds of years to biodegrade. Approximately 90% of plastic is made using fossil fuels to begin with.

Did you know 8,000,000 pieces of plastic end up in the ocean every day? Did you know that now a quarter of all fish now contain plastic? Not only is plastic being consumed by fish is destroying and damaging other wildlife. Plastic is killing land and water animals through ingestion, entanglement and degradation of ecosystems. Plastic in the ocean is attributed to the global rise in methane gasses.

Plastic use is set to increase by 40% in the next 10 years. Studies Friends of the Earth conducted even show that the use of plastic doesn’t reduce food waste!

So what can you do? Reduced your plastic waste, lobby your local and national government and tell the business you use that you don’t want single use plastic!

The great thing about these five little changes to reduce your plastic while traveling is that they are easy and low cost. There may be a small initial cost to get started with some of these items, though you may even have these items at home or you could find them second hand and they could even save you money travelling in the long term as you won’t need to be buying plastic those convenience items you just throw away after use. This means you could have more money to spend on more traveling. That is an absolute win!

If you have any questions or want Iceland travel advice please get in touch.