I have been trying to find some plastic free or at least more environmentally friendly alternatives to reduce the amount of plastic products I use when training especially out on my bike.
The first product I found was a protein shake for post exercise recovery. I usually buy a large container of High5 vanilla and banana but that’s a large plastic container. I love the taste of it and although I buy it in bulk I thought that I could definitely improve.
Enter Motion Nutrition who use organic ingredients and eco-friendly, plastic-free packaging whenever they can. I bought their Peanut Butter Vegan Protein Powder and it’s delicious. Of course the best part is that the packaging is made from recycled paper. They come in a lovely box with 12 plain sachets inside and 17g of protein per 25g serving. The product costs £23.99 which at present is not as cheap as some other protein brands per serving (compared to (sachets of High5 18g per 60g serving at £16.38) . However if trying to be more environmentally friendly outweighs the spend then the 100%v plastic free packaging is a winner for me.
The next on my list was energy gels which are the definition of single-use. With an energy gel or bar you consume it and then the gel packet is worthless and you have to keep it in your pocket until you find a bin and often some gel manages to ooze out and get all sticky in your cycling jersey (if you know, you know). I personally found replacing gels with a plastic free alternative far more difficult. The closest I could get to was buying gels in bulk and using a re-usable soft flask.
Enter GU Energy, they sell large gel packs that you decant into a soft reusable flask. I bought the Tri Berry flavour which has 15 servings for £20. They also come in other flavours like salted caramel or chocolate. The reusable flask is £17 and holds five servings of energy gel. GU have teamed up with hydrapack to make this soft flask with a high flow nozzle that is reusable after a wash and bpa free. My verdict is that flask is expensive so I bought I cheaper salomon alternative for £8 off amazon. However the gel is rather thick, much thicker than any other gel I have had before so perhaps changing to a different flask wasn’t the best idea as the opening of the GU one is larger. The second issue was that I put too much gel in the flask and it went almost rock solid which seems rather wasteful. What I will say is that it was great not to have sticky rubbish in my pockets and a clean way to have gels that don’t create unnecessary waste. I may in the future try to find another bulk gel as I am unsure of the consistency although it was tasty!
The next product is energy bars the things I rely on the most for training especially long cycling rides. Although I love Clif Bars (despite their 10% less packaging marketing) they are just the same as energy gels, single-use plastic heaven.
Again not the easiest and in all honesty I think making your own is probably the way to go to be plastic free.
I was hopeful when I saw Deliciously Ella’s Sustainability page on her website:
Energy Balls, Oat Bars and Peanut Butter Balls
Box / Outer box: This is made from 100% recyclable cardboard.
Card (that the ball sits on): This is made from 100% recyclable cardboard.
Paper Film: This is made from a thin layer of food safe plastic which isn’t currently recyclable.
But that last line, noooooooooo.
Let me know if you find any alternatives or if you buy any of the above. None of these are sponsored and all done via my own research.