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Trillions of pieces of plastic are choking our oceans and wildlife. We need to stop using plastic NOW.
In October 2015 we wrote a blog piece welcoming the introduction of the charge for Plastic bags. The campaign seemed to quietly come and go. Blue Planet II then alerted us again to the danger of plastic but the BBC documentary last night, Drowning In Plastic, was heartbreaking, overwhelming.
Reducing our plastic use is not enough, it needs to be eliminated and alternatives found. The film stated that every piece of plastic generated is still here. Research shows that it takes 450 years for one plastic bottle to break down and in the meantime, we’re continuing to add 8 million more tons of plastic waste into our seas.
We are getting closer to zero plastic in our business, but I admit we still have a way to go at home. We thought we were doing our bit by recycling and yet it’s now reported that 70% of recyclable waste ends up in landfill or our oceans. Recycling clearly isn’t enough, we need to get rid of using plastic full stop. A starting point is single-use plastic.
The scale of the problem is hard to comprehend. The one positive that Drowning In Plastic highlighted was the efforts that communities and individuals are making to help turn the tide. The National Press is starting to raise awareness with campaigns such as the Independents Cut The Cup. Locally the SAS has been instrumental in getting our village of Tynemouth plastic-free status and momentum is building in the wider community.
It’s great that UK Supermarkets have signed up to the UK Plastic Pact to eradicate unnecessary plastic by 2025. Morrisons have already reintroducing paper bags, but until our packaging and waste industries find alternatives our efforts feel small and feeble.
But they say great things grow from little acorns, so while the big companies get their acts together, individually we can still make a difference. We are fortunate to have our own clothing company, so scraps of fabrics come in very handy for cleaning, storage and food bags. We have also found the following companies very useful too.
- FRUIT & VEG BAGS: Plastic bags for fruit and veg are still widely used in supermarkets. If you can’t buy loose produce try these great bags from & Keep instead
- WATER BOTTLES: We are slight suckers for cool designs, but when the drinks bottles from Stay Sixty are so eco-friendly that’s ok!
- CLING FILM: Cling film has been one of the easiest things to give up...an old fashion plate often does the trick or these waxed sheets are great. We also found them in our local John Lewis.
- COFFEE CUPS: There is no point in replacing a disposable item with something that will not last, so the cups and flasks from Green Frank are the perfect investment.
These are four easy things to change and the replacements we found are all lovely things to use. What's not so easy to change though is the bottles for household products, toiletries and make-up. We've made a start by investing in Wendy Grahams Fresh Clean Home...we'll keep you posted on progress with our homemade alternatives!
For your reassurance, we do not use any plastic in our packaging and all our packaging is biodegradable. If you have any plastic free alternatives you use in daily life, we'd love to hear. The more we can work together and share ideas the more quickly we can start to make a difference.
If you missed Drowning In Plastic and would like to learn more about #plasticsaction click here. This piece also references the Huffpost Article The Oceans are drowning in plastic. You can read the full article here.