How to pack a zero waste lunch

By deciding to take a packed lunch to work instead of buying a pre-packaged lunch from a local shop, you are already taking a step in the right direction of avoiding unnecessary waste; takeaway lunch options always involve some form of ‘disposable’ wrapping – be it a polystyrene carton, a paper bag or a cardboard box. Of course, if you are comfortable doing so, you could ask the staff at your local cafe if they would be happy to place your takeout lunch in a container you provide, but not everyone is happy doing that. For the purpose of this blog post, let’s concentrate on packed lunches you make at home – after all, they are a cheaper alternative, and they leave you in full control of the waste you do or don’t produce.

Containers for zero waste lunches

Making the change to zero waste packed lunches can seem daunting, but just a few simple changes can make a big difference. Once you have got yourself set up with the basics, it should be fairly easy. I’d recommend the below items for your lunch kit. And don’t forget a cloth bag to store it all in!

Continue reading How to pack a zero waste lunch

Coca-Cola ad made entirely from 100% recyclable packaging

Beverage retail giant, Coca-Cola Great Britain has released a new advert made using its 100 per cent recyclable bottles.

Entitled Love Story, the new advertisement follows the tale of two plastic bottles who are able to fall in love thanks to being recycled over and over again. The aim of the ad is to highlight the value of packaging, the importance of recycling, and to reinforce the fact that Coca-Cola’s packaging is 100 per cent recyclable and can therefore be recycled many times over.

Continue reading Coca-Cola ad made entirely from 100% recyclable packaging

10 plastic items you can easily cut out of your life

Humans produce 300 million tonnes of plastic per year – 5 million tonnes of which ends up in our oceans. This is a huge, worldwide issue that isn’t going to go away, and so it’s time we all made a change. The use of plastic is mainly habitual, and so by breaking our usual daily habits and making new ones, we can make a real difference, one step at a time. Below are 10 plastic items you could easily cut out of your life, with the minimal fuss. Why not start by eliminating these items and see where you end up?

Continue reading 10 plastic items you can easily cut out of your life

Presence of ‘beacon’ litter causes more litter

A study conducted by Keep Britain Tidy’s Centre for Social Innovation has found that the presence of large and brightly coloured litter leads to further littering by others, as people feel it must be socially acceptable in the area they are in. The research also showed that if an area is free from this bold litter, it is less likely that people will litter there.

The research

The ‘Beacons of Litter’ social experiment was conducted in two locations: Stourbridge in the West Midlands and Stoke Newington in north-east London. Within each location, three areas were cleaned up; one area was kept clean, one had ‘beacon’ items planted in it (large/brightly coloured litter), and one had smaller items of litter planted in it, such as small pieces of paper and tissues.

All of the areas were then monitored for litter and human behaviour regarding litter, with observations in this study totalling 72 hours. The experiment was conducted six times within a two-week time period at each location.

Continue reading Presence of ‘beacon’ litter causes more litter

Scientists develop plastic-free microbead alternative

Scientists at the University of Bath have developed a plastic-free microbead alternative that won’t pollute our oceans.

Microbeads are manufactured solid plastic particles of less than 5mm in width, which are often found in beauty products such as body and facial scrubs, and toothpaste. These tiny plastic beads have met heavy criticism in recent years due to the fact that they slip through sewage filtration systems, ending up in our waterways and oceans, where they are innocently consumed by marine life and birds. In fact, a recent study estimated that nine in 10 of the world’s seabirds have plastic in their stomachs.

Continue reading Scientists develop plastic-free microbead alternative

How to live a zero waste lifestyle outside of a major city

I love reading zero waste blogs, and articles about zero waste advocates such as Bea Johnson. However, with enjoyment and admiration comes frustration at the zero waste lifestyle they all discuss being so difficult to achieve in smaller towns and cities which don’t often offer the option of purchasing an array of loose produce.

Certainly the town I live in doesn’t have anywhere dedicated to selling loose produce such as nuts, seeds, pulses, spices and household cleaning liquids. The local market sells loose fruit and vegetables, but that is where the line is drawn. Even if it did sell the loose items I required, the journey to and from the market wouldn’t be very earth-friendly as it is far away from my home and I couldn’t cycle with all my goods.

So, what do you do if your circumstances aren’t ideal for living a zero waste lifestyle? You try your best with the options you have available to you, because some waste reduction is better than no waste reduction. Try the below suggestions to cut your waste.

Continue reading How to live a zero waste lifestyle outside of a major city

Straws suck: UK pub chain clamps down on plastic straws

Peter Borg-Neal, the boss of UK pub chain Oakman Inns, was recently shown a YouTube video of a turtle having a plastic straw removed from its nostril, with the turtle in obvious pain and discomfort. This video had a huge impact on him personally and therefore on his business, too. Borg-Neal said:

“My response when I saw the video was the same as anyone else. It’s appalling and horribly unnecessary. Those straws simply should not be in the sea.”

In a direct reaction to the video he watched, Borg-Neal decided to restrict straw availability in his chain of 17 pubs, which had been collectively working their way through 100,000 plastic straws per month. He rolled out the campaign across the chain on 22nd April 2017, only giving out straws when they are requested; no longer giving them out automatically.

Continue reading Straws suck: UK pub chain clamps down on plastic straws