The topic of zero-waste living has become more and more popular recently, as people begin to realize the damage that plastic is having on the planet, especially in the ocean. It is getting increasingly easier to find products to replace your plastic, especially zero-waste essentials for your food! Check out these 10 products you should invest in to help the planet.

1. Bamboo cutlery

When you think about it, plastic cutlery is used for about half an hour and then recycled (or, realistically, thrown out). It might seem weird at first, but carrying around some cutlery with you will help prevent you from being forced to accept plastic at the next birthday party you attend. Check out Ever Eco to buy a kit.

2. Reusable Water Bottles

Plastic water bottles contribute to waste and they're incredibly overpriced. Buy a reusable water bottle and fill it up with tap water—it's a great investment and one of my favourite zero-waste essentials. While there are tons of good brands out there, Klean Kanteen is made of stainless steel and ensures that only eco-friendly materials are used in production.

3. Produce bags

Each time you buy produce at the grocery store, you collect flimsy plastic bags that will find their way to the landfill someday. Instead, buy a pack of mesh produce bags which will keep your fridge organized without hurting the planet. Earthwise makes some awesome bags that can be easily machine washed.

4. Reusable bags

Using reusable bags at stores is probably the easiest first step towards reducing your waste. I like to keep one in my backpack just in case I end up buying something while I'm out and about. There are tons of brands that produce reusable bags, so do some research and find a print you like (this one is my fave).

5. Wax food wraps

The next time you run out of saran wrap, order some reusable wax food wraps instead. The wax inside molds to the heat of your hands (#science) and sticks to itself just like plastic wrap. It can be removed, cleaned, and reused for 6-12 months. Wrappa sells both wax and beeswax options covered in adorable patterns.

6. Reusable coffee cup

A lot of coffee cups are lined with plastic to seal them, so they're actually less likely to be recycled. That's why reusable cups are such zero-waste essentials. In the past few years, most coffee companies have become more accommodating of customers who bring in their own containers. Brands like Jocu Cup even make their products in the same sizes as to-go cups.

7. Stainless steel food storage

While I'm not recommending that you throw out all of your Tupperware, stainless steel containers are a great alternative once you accidentally crack your plastic food storage and need a replacement. Plus, aren't stainless steel lunchboxes so fashionable? Check out Ever Eco to see their options.

8. Reusable Straws

There is overwhelming evidence that plastic straws are terrible for you and the planet. Buying a few reusable straws is an easy way to reduce your plastic usage. Plus, they're awesome for smoothies and drinks at home. Brands like Simply Straws make awesome glass products which you'll want to buy for the aesthetic alone.

9. Loose Leaf Tea and Infuser

Tea bags may be convenient, but they come in so much useless packaging. Buying looseleaf tea and investing in your own strainer is not only affordable in the long run but is much better for reducing waste. Big brands like DAVIDsTEA make it easy to buy your tea in bulk!

10. Mason jars

I recently started cleaning, sanitizing, and keeping all of my old pasta sauce and pickle jars to bring to bulk stores. Lots of bulk and health food stores will weigh and mark down your jars, allowing you to bypass plastic bags entirely. They're great for storing things like oats, rice, and seeds. 

The idea of going "zero-waste" can seem daunting at first, but even if you substitute a few things in your life for their eco-friendly alternatives, you'll be on your way to helping the planet and keeping plastic out of landfills.