Plastic Free July is an important month in the sustainability calendar. It reminds us to ramp up our efforts to remove single use plastic from our lives and enjoy the benefits of a zero waste lifestyle. Now is the time to switch to refillable eco cleaning products!
Since COVID-19, plastic demand has soared. The Economist says that single use plastics have increased by 250-300%. Much of this has been blamed on the need for face masks and gloves so let’s hope it’s a temporary blip. But all of this adds up to an alarming amount of waste: 2020 is expected to produce 40% more plastic waste than 2019. The implications for our ocean health are catastrophic. Human health for those who must live near incinerators and land fill sites is made worse too as the toxic fumes of burning plastic continue to pollute the air.
Remove the Big Four
If you are new to reducing plastic the best place to start is to remove the ‘big four’ single use plastics from your life:
- plastic bags
- plastic water bottles
- takeaway coffee cups
- plastic straws.
Use reusable cotton shopping bags. Invest in a reusable drinking water bottle like aluminium – there are some really cool designs to choose from. Buy your own reusable coffee cup – many coffee shops offer a reduction in price to encourage you to bring your own. Stainless steel and bamboo are great reusable alternatives to plastic straws.
What about recycling?
Next up is recycling which is a contentious issue: although Government statistics say that the recycling rate in England is 44.7%, Greenpeace dispute this and say that less than 10% of everyday plastic is recycled in the UK. The rest goes to incinerators or is shipped abroad to countries where recycling rates are very low and the outcome is uncertain.
Should we bother with recycling? After all, over half of households don’t! Many of us who do recycle spend a great deal of time each week sorting materials and hauling bins out to the road. The answer is that recycling forms an important part of the wider solution for waste – it’s just that we need to do more.
Let’s move to a circular economy
The UK Government needs a comprehensive approach that fits with the circular economic system. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation tells us that the circular model builds economic, natural, and social capital. It is based on three principles:
- Design out waste and pollution
- Keep products and materials in use
- Regenerate natural systems.
As part of this approach, we need to reduce the amount of new plastic made. After COVID-19, this has become more important than ever. Our Government can support this by introducing the plastic bottle deposit scheme – but this has been delayed (again).
Choose refillable eco cleaning products
Be part of the circular economy and choose refillable eco cleaning products for your home. You can refill your bottle from zero waste stores or buy direct from producers and create your own mini zero waste pod at home. This way you can reuse plastic again and again making your plastic footprint almost negligible.
At Greenscents, we offer real incentives to help you maintain a zero waste lifestyle. We know that reuse is so much more sustainable than recycling so you can send back your 5 & 20 litre containers to us for refilling and reuse. You just return them when you place your next order and we will cover the cost. This means that we all participate in the circular system and avoid the nightmare of disposing of plastic waste. Greenscents social media often focusses on our zero waste stores – so check out our Instagram stories – you may find a store near you. If not – let us know and we will get in touch and explain the benefits of stocking Greenscents to your local retailer.
Don’t forget about what’s in the bottle too
Greenscents is the only Soil Association certified brand of household & laundry products available and comes with a ‘No Nasties’ guarantee. All our products are certified palm oil free too. What’s in the bottle is just as important as the packaging for the environment and human health.