At BeeBee beeswax wraps we believe in trying to reduce our plastic use everyday of the year. However, like #PlasticFreeFriday, #plasticfreejuly is a great way of focusing the mind. Here are some of the easiest ways we've found to reduce our plastic use.
Bring Your Own Lunch. If you've ever brought lunch from a sandwich shop/supermarket to take away you'll share my horror at the amount of waste one persons lunch can create. By making your lunch at home and wrapping it in a BeeBee Wrap and bringing your own coffee cup & water bottle and cutlery you can eliminate that waste.
I like the Klean Kanteen range as they're stainless steel, so there is no leaching from plastic or plastic liners in aluminium bottles. My coffee tastes much nicer from a stainless steel cup than it does from single use cups or the reusable plastic cups. Their insulated range keeps food cold/hot. You can even take hot soup for lunch to go with a hunk of sourdough wrapped in a BeeBee beeswax wrap.
Shopping Take your own bags and containers and buy from a local shop, market or box scheme that doesn't wrap everything in plastic. For those of you who live in Cambridge when you choose Cambridge Organic Food Company, you can add BeeBee Wraps to your order. Zero Waste Stores are popping up all over the country. Here is a list of our lovely stockists that believe in using less plastic.
Learn about plastic-free periods from Pebble Magazine. The Marine Conservation Society found 20 tampons and sanitary items per 100 metres of shoreline in their 2016 beach clean-up. As Pebble Magazine says "Pretty gross for us, pretty fatal for marine life". I'd recommend the Mooncup, they claim to reduce the number of products you use in a lifetime from 11000 to 5. Based on experience I'd say this was a fair claim. Wuka created eco-friendly period pants made from fibre derived from beech trees (one of my favourite trees).
Bamboo toothbrushes are available from Zero Habits and Anything but plastic both have nylon or castor oil-based plastic bristles. If you want a toothbrush you can throw on the fire and you aren't Jewish, vegetarian or Muslim then these natural bristle toothbrushes might be for you.
Soap and shampoo bars are a great way to rid your bathroom of plastic. Acala has a fabulous range of plastic-free toiletries and cosmetics.
Plastic Free Kids
It's true that kids are easily pleased with plastic toys that they receive in a party bag or with a kids magazine. It's also true that they are equally delighted with a piece of gravel or stick they find. They'll eventually tire of both but the natural objects won't pollute the planet for another 400 years, so resist the urge to indulge them. Gems, seeds in terracotta pots and bamboo whistles all make lovely party favours. Charity shops are a brilliant place to both get and recycle old toys. See if you can make an agreement with friends and family to only buy each other's children second-hand toys. Glitter was one of my favourite craft materials until I realised it is a micro-plastic unless you buy biodegradable glitter! But you can have no end of fun with paper, wool, watercolours and beeswax crayons. Myriad is a wonderful shop full of natural toys and craft materials.
Plastic Free Clothes
Microfibres released from synthetic clothes when they're washed end up in the marine food chain. According to a research team from the University of California, a city of 100,000 inhabitants releases a volume of microfibers equivalent to 15,000 plastic bags from their washing machines. A city the size of Berlin may be responsible for releasing the equivalent of 540,000 plastic bags into our rivers and oceans – every single day.
The impact of microplastic pollution is not fully understood but studies have suggested that it has the potential to build up in animals’ digestive tracts and reduce the ability of some organisms to absorb energy from foods in the normal way.
By choosing to wear natural fibres like organic cotton, linen, hemp and wool we can reduce our plastic pollution.