Hello and welcome to the first blog of 2018. We hope you all had a wonderfully merry time over Christmas and wish you all the best for this new year.
On Tuesday, coffee chain Pret a Manger announced it will now double its discount to 50p for those bringing reusable coffee cups in a bid to help change our plastic habits. It is estimated the United Kingdom throws away 2.5 billion plastic cups each year which contribute to over 5 million tonnes of plastic waste produced each year. With only around 26% of plastics in Europe being recycled along with an increase of plastic consumption by 4% in parts of Europe, these plastics are continuing to pour into landfill sites and pollute our landscapes and oceans.
While there are more obvious uses of plastic such as the disposable cups, many times we may not realise we are using plastics, such as our toothpastes and face washes. Microbeads in these products are small enough to wash down our drains and end up in our water systems and aquatic life. In 2017, the British government implemented a ban on microbeads in attempt to combat the issue that by 2050, the amount of plastic in the oceans will outweigh fish. Clive Schee, CEO of Pret a Manger, agrees this course of action is the most effective, remarking "that ‘reduce’ is better than ‘recycle’.” With this in mind, we began to consider ways to reduce our plastic consumption this month and hopefully pick up some good practices that will continue well into the new year.
Straws: Campaign group Final Straw Cornwall have called for a ban of plastic straws in bars across the county in a bid to protect wildlife. Across the country this month JD Wetherspoon will implement the use of only biodegradable straws. Stainless steel drinking straws are also becoming increasingly popular.
Water Bottles: There are now numerous types of plastic water bottle alternatives out there. Stainless steel, glass and bamboo are some popular options at the moment.
Packaging: In 2017 we managed to make all of our product packaging fully recyclable, from our glass containers to our paper wrapped soaps. This is becuase we are passionate about sustainable living and reducing plastic waste. Keep a look out for recyclable, decompostable or packaging free when shopping and take along a couple of cotton bags to avoid the exess plastic (and the 5p charge!) As Schee said, reduce is definitely better than recycle.
Toothbrushes: In America, it is estimated that over 850 million plastic toothbrushes are discarde each year. However, after using a bamboo toothbrush the whole thing can be composted. Due to the properties of bamboo, vast deforestation is not needed to sustain to production of such toothbrushes.
Teabags: Most teabags also contain plastics. Using tea leaves rather than tea bags helps reduces plastic waste.
Cleaning Products: Instead of buying plastic containers of cleaning products, alternative natural cleaning methods can be used compirisng of lemons, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar.
Microbeads: Check out our blog to see our top 4 microbead alternatives.
Have you got any other methods of reducing the use of plastic? Drop us a comment below, we would love to hear from you!