Organising a plastic-free picnic

In a safe way that complies with the government’s guidelines on social distancing, how about holding a plastic-free lunch or picnic with friends, family or a few work colleagues? Here’s how to make sure your event is not rubbish (and safe)!

Choose a date and challenge everyone to bring along their own picnic that does NOT include any single-use plastics. (That means no cling film, plastic bags, plastic cutlery, plastic straws or disposable cups, no crisp packets or plastic sweet/chocolate wrappers.) Try to make this a fun and joyful thing! Explain that you’re taking part in a challenge to notice how much plastic there is in our lives and to realise that we can do things differently.


  • Bring your food in a reusable cloth bag or basket.
  • Wrap sandwiches in beeswax wraps or just put them in sandwich boxes.
  • Tubs/boxes/jars can hold everything from salad items to cake.
  • Bring drinks in reusable bottles and flasks. If you are going somewhere that sells tea or coffee, bring a cup with you.
  • Fruit often comes in its own wrapper (eg bananas or oranges), but if you are bringing more delicate fruit (such as strawberries), pop them in a tub or jar with a lid. Try to buy it loose without plastic too!
  • Bring some cutlery if you need it: it’s a bit heavier than plastic and you’ll need to take it home to wash, but when you consider the resources used to make single-use plastic cutlery you then throw away, the extra effort doesn’t seem so bad.

As people sit around tables or on their picnic blankets, encourage them to discuss:

  • How difficult a challenge was this for us?
  • Every 30 seconds, two busloads of plastic are thrown away in the UK – but where is ‘away’?
  • How many bins can we twin? (By supporting Bin Twinning, your donation will help fund the work of social enterprises that are collecting people’s rubbish, disposing of it safely, and recycling as much as possible – for the first time ever.)
  • How could we reduce our plastic use in the UK in future?