A Life Less Plastic: How We Can All Contribute
[Bristol’s annual street waste, pictured next to Cabot Tower (for illustrative purposes only, obviously). Credit: Real World Visuals / Silas Manhood / Bristol Waste]
No matter how small, every change counts in the transition toward a life less plastic. By following these zero waste principles we’ll be making waves in no time.
It’s an obvious statement but, wherever you can, opt for the plastic-free version. Choose loose veg and put it in paper bags. Have you spotted single-use plastics that could be ditched? Let us know! Getting in touch with your favourite brands can help us all improve.
– Bring in your sandwich boxes or tiffins to our café or other eateries instead of asking for takeaway boxes. If you do need a takeaway box, we use Vegware (pictured in the banner); all of their products are compostable
– Take cutlery, plates and cups with you on a picnic, rather than buying single-use plastic
– Buy and make use of reusable coffee cups. We sell Keep Cups, and ecoffee cups
– Refill water bottles in any of our stores (we have still and fizzy available)
– Purchase drinks in glass bottles
– Keep a bag for life on hand when out shopping
– Use Bees Wax Wrap to wrap your sandwiches, fruit and bread. We sell it in our St Werburghs store (it’s made in Stroud), and will be rolling it out in all stores soon. It’s not cheap, but lasts for 2 years and smells lovely!
– Buy bulk items from scoop bins and store in glass jars and tubs
– Wash out containers and other packaging that you do have, and find ways to reuse them. Vegware can be reused to store other food; it can also be used for arts and crafts or to store other items
In the UK we don’t recycle over 1.5 million tonnes of plastic packaging waste each year, so there’s plenty of room for improvement! Help reduce the impact the social way – sign up to a litter pick with friends, family, neighbours or colleagues through Bristol Waste’s Street Clean Campaign.
To dispose of Vegware products in the Bristol area they must go into the general waste collections. Vegware will not compost in a normal home compost bin and will be filtered out of any food waste collections as all food waste in Bristol goes to Anaerobic Digestion at the moment. Just to clarify, when Vegware goes into general waste and is sent to landfill it will not biodegrade in 12 weeks. All Vegware products are ‘Compostable’ which means that is will completely compost within 12 weeks in industrial composting conditions. When a product states is it ‘Biodegradable’ it means that the products do not have a set time frame in which they will degrade, it could be years!
In 2016, Bristol-based plastics campaign group City to Sea brought the plastic problem home to Bristol and it’s now gone national. When out walking, Natalie Fee spotted hundreds of plastic cotton bud sticks strewn along the Avon Gorge. Shocked by what she saw she launched the #ditchthestick campaign that soon went viral. When the public ramped up the pressure, one by one businesses decided to drop their lines and replaced them with paper alternatives. Building on this success, they now aim to tackle the number of wipes and sanitary items being flushed through their #dontbelievethewipe campaign. In supporting them, you can help put pressure on industry and government, and bring greater awareness to the public. Keep an eye out for petitions and exercise your democratic rights.
Changes that last
Did you know, in France they have already banned plastic cutlery, plates and cups? This proves that with the right support, demand for change and innovative solutions, we can bring about policy change that may one day ban single-use plastic.
We hope that this month you will join us on the journey to a life less plastic, doing our bit as planetary stewards to make the world a better place to live.