Photo credit: https://www.instagram.com/karmacans/?hl=en
As Plastic Free July kicks off this month, we want to open this pretty prominent and significant conversation, to explore what we can do as both individuals and businesses to decrease our plastic waste and promote more eco-friendly practices. So first up – as Anne-Marie Bonneau quotes: “we don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly” (@ZeroWasteChef) we want to explore the numerous ways we can cut down on plastic waste as individuals. To mark plastic free July, we’re trying to be more mindful about the plastic we’re using on a day-to-day basis and reduce our plastic use where we can.
The more we become aware of the prevalence of single-use plastic, the more we realise how hard it can be to avoid. Aside from the common suggestions of using keep cups, reusable water bottles and carrier bags, we realised there’s not a lot of content advising on ulterior ways to reduce plastic consumption. So after a little brainstorming and discussion, here’s our team’s top suggestions for reducing our use of single-use plastic this month and beyond:
Shops such as M&S and Waitrose are now offering loose fruit and veg options, and Whole Foods even offers loose grains, making it easier for eco-friendly shoppers to avoid pre-packaged produce where possible. Unfortunately, we found that here in London, it’s almost impossible to purchase meat without a plastic wrap, so as a result, we’ve ended up switching to veggie alternatives on multiple occasions – we’re always keen to test our cooking skills with new recipes, so this was a great opportunity! Alternatively, we’ve heard many butchers and fishmongers or fresh supermarket counters are happy to pop their products straight into a reusable container if you bring one with you, so this is definitely something we want to try out.
As it turns out, we have discovered that there’s an abundance of options for savvy shoppers looking for refillable cosmetics options and a way to cut down single-use shampoo bottles! For us, Beauty Kubes is a firm favourite plastic-free shampoo option here at Feedr.
Other great options:
- Kjaer Weis offers great re-fillable products, from mascara to foundation, they offer refills for almost every makeup product.
- Lush – renowned for their eco-friendly, ethical values, Lush stock excellent plastic friendly bath and body products.
- Bath Spa is another great brand offering refillable skincare products, with delicious scents they are a great conscientious choice.
- John Lewis has recently announced they are offering £5 discount on beauty products to customers who deposit discarded cosmetic containers. They also offer a whole range of brands who stock refillable products. So they’re definitely worth a visit this month.
- Thierry Mugler perfume offers discounted refills for both Angel and Alien scents, so a great way to save those pennies as well as prevent waste!
Don’t forget to recycle:
Unfortunately, in our society, plastic waste is pretty much unavoidable, so it’s important to recycle where we can and reduce the impact of plastic as much as possible.
As a company, we try to do all we can for the environment, and only work with vendors who echo our values (such as Karma Cans pictured above). This means when it comes to recyclable packaging, we’re pretty well versed. After a few queries from customers asking which plastic can be recycled, it got us thinking – how much do we assume isn’t recyclable which actually is and vice versa? As it turns out, recycling is much more nuanced than many think. We discovered that almost half of all UK households throw away one or more items that could, in fact, be recycled. So after a little research, even our team realised we weren’t as familiar with the distinctions of recycling as we may have thought. So for reference here’s a simple breakdown of recycling practices in the UK today:
Firstly, if plastic waste isn’t rinsed or cleaned before being recycled, it can become contaminated and contaminate other items, causing it all to end up in the general waste. So as a rule of thumb it’s important to always rinse items before recycling to prevent this.
Then, when it comes to knowing what we can and can’t recycle, it turns out there’s a number on the bottom of recyclable packaging. This tells us what type of plastic it is and whether it can or can’t be recycled in our area. Here is a little breakdown for you (courtesy of the BBC):
If you’re unsure which can be recycled in your area, our best advice would be to check your local council’s website.
So there we go, a few of our day-to-day tips on how to cut down plastic this month. We hope people keep opening up the conversation around plastic waste, as we plan on doing. The more we read, the more we understand how we can do our part and the more mindful we become about the products we use and purchase. So this month, our team are all on board with doing what they can for Plastic Free July, and we’ll check in at the end of the month to let you know how we got on.
Want to know more about plastic-free July? Visit www.plasticfreejuly.org