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    February 22, 2021 7 min read

    2021 - The Year of the Reusable - Your Ultimate Guide To Giving Up Single Use Plastic.

    Over the last couple of years we've been hearing more and more about reusable products and about the importance of ditching single-use plastics. But is it really as bad as they say? And how much of a difference can you really make?

    The truth is, our planet has a serious problem when it comes to plastic. There is no question that plastic is useful and cheap, but disposing of it isn't so cheap and easy. And until manufacturers are made responsible for this part we are just piling the problem onto an already mountainous pile. If we don't make changes our planet is going to become buried in plastic waste. Think of the Disney Pixar movie WALL-E.

    But don't let me lead you down into a pit of doom and gloom, there is something that we can all do to help. And you'll be pleased to know you don't need to do anything drastic, just start to make little changes, one at a time. And very quickly, like a snowball rolling down a hill, the differences you make will add up and get bigger and bigger, and your momentum in making these changes will too.

    So, imagine you're standing at the top of a single-use plastic mountain right now. Are you ready to start rolling?


    Title text '2021 The year of the reusable,' with pictures of a range of reusable products on a white background.


    If you're not sure where to start, here's a list of our top 10 most popular reusable products to give you a few helpful ideas for your eco journey.

    If you can't wait to scroll the full details below, here's a summary of our top reusable products - click on your favourite for more info!¬†ūüėȬ†

    1. Reusable Coffee Cups
    2. Reusable Bags
    3. Reusable Straws
    4. Reusable Cotton Pads and Panty Liners
    5. Reusable Make Up Pads
    6. Reusable Food Pouches
    7. Reusable Zip Lock Bags
    8. Reusable Water Bottles
    9. Reusable Dish Cloths
    10. Reusable Veggie Bags



    #1. Reusable Coffee Cups

    A person holding a coffee in a reusable cup in one hand and holding a very cute small dog in the other hand.
    Photo credit: KeepCup


    Whether you're a coffee connoisseur or just enjoy the odd cup when you're out and about, it's a great idea to have your own reusable coffee cup. It'll last you years and will stop you ever needing to use a disposable cup ever again!

    Plus, no one enjoys drinking from a paper cup, it taints the taste of your coffee and leaves your experience less than satisfying. Why did we ever buy into those awful paper cups?

    When you're also spending over $5 for a coffee, you want to drink it from a cup that makes it taste like a $5 coffee and not something from a hospital vending machine. 

    A clickable button to take you to the shop for 'All Reusable Coffee Cups'.


    KeepCups are a really great choice for a reusable cup. They're available in three sizes, in glass or stainless steel AND in a range of different colours. The stainless steel KeepCups are my personal favourite. They are insulated to keep your drinks hotter for longer and aren't going to break if you accidentally drop them. 

    A KeepCup Thermal Reusable Cup on a white background. A KeepCup Brew reusable coffee cup on a white background. A small KeepCup Cork reusable coffee cup on a white background. A 340ml KeepCup Cork. A glass reusable coffee cup with a cork band. A 454ml KeepCup Cork. A glass reusable coffee cup with a cork band.

    Shop Button to link you to KeepCup collection.



    All CuppaCoffeeCups have been designed by professional artists. So not only will you carry around a reusable cup, but you'll also be carrying around a work of art! With over twenty designs to suit every personality, you'll be sure to find one that you love, or one you could gift to someone special.

    A CuppaCoffeeCup - A lightweight reusable coffee cup with a green design of New Zealand native birds and flowers. A CuppaCoffeeCup - A lightweight reusable coffee cup with a majestic design of a humpback whale. A CuppaCoffeeCup - A lightweight reusable coffee cup with jelly beans with New Zealand inspired flavours. A CuppaCoffeeCup - A lightweight reusable coffee cup with a block design of coffee related words and pictures. A CuppaCoffeeCup - A lightweight reusable coffee cup with a blue design of a tui and some big bright pink roses.  A CuppaCoffeeCup - A lightweight reusable coffee cup with several butterflies cleverly drawn from New Zealand native birds. A CuppaCoffeeCup - A lightweight reusable coffee cup with design that looks like a green doc sign with the words 'Man Cave' written in yellow.  A CuppaCoffeeCup - A lightweight reusable coffee cup with a flying tui and two red roses. A CuppaCoffeeCup - A lightweight reusable coffee cup with a fantail perched on the branch of a pohutukawa tree.


    Shop button to link you to the range of CuppaCoffeeCups designs available.

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    #2. Reusable Bags

    A happy couple shopping in a bakery, using their own reusable bags.

    Photo credit: Rethink


    Reusable bags are an essential part of every eco warriors kit. We all have the countless cheap ones we get from spur of the moment supermarket shops, but how many of your reusable bags do you actually love to use? And how many are holding up to the test of time? 

    Imagine having a bag that you can use for every occasion, whether it be heading to the mall or supermarket, carrying books and folders, or taking something round to a friends place.


    A strong reusable bag made from organic cotton, which a black and red print of a fantail with the word Aotearoa underneath. Two cotton hampi bags being carried by their handles. One bag is olive green, the other charcoal grey. Both have leaf inspired prints. A reusable bag that can be folded into a small pouch. This one is black with small white butterflies printed all over. A reusable bag that can be folded away into a small pouch. This one is peach coloured. 

    Link button to take you to the collection of reusable bags available on Reuseful's website.

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    #3. Reusable Straws

    Photo credit: CaliWoods 


    Some drinks just taste better through a straw! Milkshakes and cocktails, to name a couple. There's no question that we're all glad to see the back of plastic straws, but those paper ones are just yuk! They go soggy in your mouth and make our drinking experiences, well... not very pleasant.

    But put up with soggy paper straws no more! From now on you can enjoy your drinks with these luxury stainless steel reusable straws.

    Available in a range of options including drinking straws, smoothie straws, tall straws, short straws, single packs, rose gold straws and mixed packs.


    A pack of four tall straws. A single smoothie straw with a cotton pouch and a cleaning brush. A pack of rose gold coloured stainless steel straws. Pack includes two drinking straws and two smoothie straws. A pack of four stainless steel drinking straws. A pack of four stainless steel smoothie straws. 


    Link button to take you to the collection of reusable straws available on Reuseful's website.

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    #4. Reusable Cotton Pads and Panty Liners

    Large, medium, small and panty liner sized cotton pads fanned out on a natural coloured mat.

    Photo credit: Hannahpad


    Once you make the switch over to using reusable cotton pads and panty liners there is no going back to disposables. You will feel cleaner, fresher, less smelly and more comfortable.

    Imagine that feeling of liberation every week when you go shopping for your groceries and you get to walk right on past all those disposable products!

    Available in the following sizes; panty liners, small, medium and large. 
    Accessories available: Probiotic Cleansing Soap, stain remover and storage bag.


     A medium sized reusable cotton pad with a pretty floral design called Antique Indigo. A small reusable cotton lay open next to a small drawstring bag. A reusable panty liner with a pink floral pattern known as 'Flower Garden Pink'. A reusable panty liner with a pale blue floral pattern known as 'Edelweiss Blue'. Two reusable cotton pads. One showing the patterned underside and the other showing the top and how the wings fold over and 'pop' together. A storage bag for reusable cotton pads showing it lying on it's side and open with four cotton pads tucked inside.


    Link button to take you to the collection of reusable cotton pads and panty liners available on Reuseful's website.

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    #5. Reusable Make Up Pads

    Photo credit: CaliWoods


    Why were we never using before? Once you make the switch over to these gorgeously soft reusable make up pads, this is the question you will ask yourself.

    Imagine cleansing your face with these slightly larger than average and super soft pads, then popping them in the washing machine ready to be used again, and again, and again! Stop wasting money on disposables when a reusable is so much better for your skin, your purse and the environment. 


    Link button to take you to the product page for reusable make up pads.

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    #6. Reusable Food Pouches


    A girl, about 4 years old, eating yogurt from a reusable food pouch whilst outside.
    Photo credit: Kai Carrier


    I don't know what it is, but kids love eating from these kinds of food pouches. And let's be honest mums love it too, because we can often let our kids feed themselves knowing very little mess will be made. 

    They're also super handy, we can have several pouches filled and ready to grab and go as we need them. And these aren't just for babies. These pouches can be filled with yogurts or smoothies for super easy school and sport snacks.

    These reusable food pouches will also save you a huge amount of rubbish and money. Whether you're great at making your own home made fillers, or whether you buy in bulk, portion and store until needed.


    A reusable food pouch from Kai Carrier being filled with yogurt. Four Kai Carrier reusable food pouches upside down in a dishwasher having been cleaned. Three reusable food pouches each with a very cute little monster on the front. One purple, one green and one orange. A ten pack of Little Mashies reusable food pouches. 


    A link button to take you to reusable food pouches available on Reuseful's website.

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    #7. Reusable Zip Lock Bags

    A sandwich being made on a kitchen bench and placed into a reusable zip lock sandwich bag.
    Photo credit: Kai Carrier


    For as far back as we can remember we've had boxes of single use zip lock bags tucked away in drawers to be grabbed at our convenience. And they are super handy, no one can disagree with that. 

    Now, Kai Carrier, a New Zealand brand, have redesigned zip lock bags to be stronger and washable so that they can be used again and again and again. These reusables now give you the air-tight, grab and go convenience all whilst keeping our environmental impact in mind.

    Available in a variety of sizes including snack bags,  sandwich bags,  ice block pouches,  storage bags  and  large storage bags.


    Link button to take you to the collection of reusable zip lock bags available on Reuseful's website. 

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    #8. Reusable Water Bottles

    Photo credit: BBBYO


    We all need a great water bottle. Not a plastic one that leeches micro-plastics into our drinks or allows our drinks to get warm before we're even ready to drink them.

    These insulated stainless steel water bottles are a really great choice. They keep your drinks cold all day long, even if you leave them in the hot car, (trust me, I've actually put this to the test!) And the high grade stainless steel means they're nice to drink from.

    These bottles even come with a neoprene protective carry cover to keep your bottle looking perfect for longer and making it easy to carry it around with you. 

    A silver stainless steel bottle standing next to it's protective carry cover with it's blue and white leaf print inspired by paradise. A reusable water bottle lying down with it's protective carry cover on. The design is blue wind inspired swirls. A reusable water bottle made from stainless steel with a wood effect finish. Next to it stands it's protective carry cover with a black and white leaf inspired print. A reusable water bottle in its carry cover lying down. The cover has a pink print with a subtle star design. A reusable water bottle with a white marble effect finish. Standing next to it is it's carry cover with a deer and woodland inspired design.


    Link button to take you to the collection of reusable water bottles available on Reuseful's website.

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    #9. Reusable Dish Cloths

    A reusable dish cloth from The Green Collective being used to wipe down a kitchen sink.

    Photo credit: The Green Collective


    We all wash the dishes and clean our kitchens. And to make this never ending job as easy and sustainable as possible we need some quality reusable dish cloths to do the job!

    These Spruce Kitchen Cloths do just that. They are super soft making washing up actually feel quite pleasant on your hands, and are super absorbent to make cleaning up spills a breeze. 

    They are made from cotton and cellulose, both natural materials, so once these cloths have come to the end of their life, simply throw into your compost bin and they will help feed your garden later.

    And what's really great about these reusable eco cloths... is that you can throw them into the washing machine or dishwasher to be cleaned again and again and again. No more stinky kitchen sponges needed!



    Link button to take you to the collection of reusable dish cloths available on Reuseful's website.

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    #10. Reusable Veggie Bags


    A close up photo of capsicum, broccoli and apples in reusable veggie bags.
    Photo credit: Pouch Products


    There are two kinds of shoppers, people who leave all of their veggies loose and those that like to bag them up. I'm a bagger. It makes the checkout process quicker and stops them all rolling around in the trolley getting squashed and bruised by other items. It also makes putting them away once you're at home easier.

    But instead of feeling guilty about using single use bags, grab some of these reusable veggie bags and carry on as you were. We're already taking our own reusable bags to the supermarket with us, so simply add these to your bag stash and you're good to go. 

    Two reusable veggie bags, one holding a load of mandarins and the other holding some broccoli. Two reusable veggie bags made from organic cotton. One holding a load of carrots, the other holding a load of green apples. A three pack of reusable veggie bags from Rethink NZ. A three pack of reusable veggie bags from Pouch products, next to a bag holding a load of capsicums.


     Link button to take you to the collection of reusable veggie bags available on Reuseful's website.

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    This article is included in Twinkl's Eco Friendly and Sustainability campaign, and is part of their article 'Some Great Ideas To Be More Sustainable in 2021'.