Five Top Tips To Help You Reduce Your Plastic Footprint + Save Our Seas
Happy Friday you beautiful people, you! We know you’re probably getting all sorts of weekend vibes right now (is it cosmo o’clock yet?) but before we get carried away, we’d like to talk about something that’s way more important.
Eight million tonnes of plastic end up in our seas and oceans each year, harming and killing a whole host of marine life, from sea birds to sea turtles and beyond. In fact, our seas are being choked to death as we speak. How does that feel, to know that our actions are slowly but surely suffocating our marine life to the point of no return (yes, it has actually reached the point that we may not even be able to undo the damage done by our human population)? Not great, right?
Now, although it may be a cheap, flexible and long-lasting material to manufacture, plastic comes at a significant cost to our planet. Two of the biggest causes for concern are its energy-intensive and non-renewable production, and its inability to biodegrade. This is turn affects both the planet’s atmosphere as it’s constantly being pumped full of harmful fossil fuels, and also its wildlife as we struggle to keep the waste at bay.
So, if we know plastic production and usage is so detrimental to our natural environment, why do businesses use and waste so much of the material? Because it’s cheap! Obviously there are countless reasons why this synthetic material is now an inherent part of our day-to-day lives, but low production costs mean greater profit margins, so why would a business choose a higher-cost greener alternative, such as glass or bioplastic when it means they’d lose their margin?
It’s soul destroying (to say the least!) to see quantity of sales given more prevalence over product quality and environmental impact - there are so many brands out there that haven’t even considered, let alone implemented, steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their processes. Alternatives, such as bioplastic, are compostable, emit 70% fewer greenhouse gases when they biodegrade and use just one third of the energy needed to create plastic from carbon.
So, if you’re looking to reduce your plastic waste or even give up plastic for good, join us in the fight against plastic pollution with our top five tips below that will help you get on your way to saving our seas. But remember, while every conscious decision you make really can make a difference, positive changes won’t be truly seen unless we all work together, so please do share this with friends, family, even neighbours, and let’s all fight to make our world a healthier place.
Limit your plastic usage on the go
We all need our caffeine fix every now and then, especially when it’s been a seriously challenging week and it’s only hump day, but there’s no real need to keep getting your favourite barista to use those ghastly takeaway cups. Most coffee shops now sell reusable cups - granted they’re a bit pricey, but they’ll also help you to cut down your plastic waste. You can find cheap reusable, ceramic coffee cups online too and coffee shops often offer you a discount if you’re using a non-disposable cup.
Around 2.5bn coffee cups are thrown away every year in the UK alone - do some quick maths and you’ll realise that’s seven million per day! With fewer than 1% of branded disposable coffee cups being recyclable, most spend up to a staggering 50 years in landfill - when it’s spent minutes in your hands, does this feel right to you?
Plastic bottles are also one to be mindful of. They’re one of the most frequently found items on beach clean ups globally, with the lids often found in dead seabirds’ stomachs.
Say no to plastic cutlery + straws
While some may like the convenience of having a back up draw of plastic sporks or emergency straws, they’re not actually doing our environment any favours unless you reuse them and don’t keep stocking up on them after each takeaway or party. By choosing to carry a fork, reusing your plastic cutlery or going for a compostable alternative, you personally could save 466 items of unnecessary plastic every year!
Straws are also another commodity that are literally sucking the life out of our oceans. They can take up to 200 years to decompose, so either opt for paper straws or ditch them completely. Many delivery brands now give you the option to check a box to say if you want cutlery/straws or not, so just do the washing up instead of choosing the lazy route and start taking those small steps that really will make a big difference.
Think again before you douse yourself in glitter next glasto’
Glitter is the plastic party that never ends. It’s made from microplastic that’s especially lethal to our seas and oceans, as well as the marine life within them. But it’s not just the sea life that is ingesting this lethal material. It can eventually end up in our food chain, as plankton and shellfish can consume it.
Next time you’re looking to get your festival outfit ready, be sure to choose a biodegradable glitter so you can still sparkle guilt-free!
Change how you brew
Teabags are actually sealed with plastic, making them difficult to biodegrade. With 165m cups of tea consumed each day, that can equal a lot of tea bags finding their way into landfill. Disposing of tea bags ultimately leads to microplastics entering our waterways, and, eventually, our food chain and our stomachs, which isn’t healthy to say the least.
In order to drink tea guilt-free, choose loose tea with a strainer instead of teabags, or give plastic-free tea brands a go (we love Pukka and Teapigs). If you’re a fan of nation-favourite PG Tips, you can also sip your brew guilt-free as they introduced biodegradable tea bags last year.
Be bang on with your beauty
There are so many beauty and skincare brands out there that have taken positive steps to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing or even replacing the plastic they have historically used in their production. However, it’s not all down to them to make changes and there are still a number of brands out there that carry on regardless, so it’s down to us to choose more wisely when shopping for our day-to-day lives.
Switching to a more conscious brand of cotton buds that use paper over plastic, or using a razor that has replaceable blades over a disposable razor makes a difference. These are all small changes anyone can make to their daily routines - it’s really not that much of personal change, but helps to make a positive global change.
At Freya+Bailey, we’ve taken the utmost care when developing and manufacturing our products and are committed to ensuring that we are limiting any negative impact our natural skincare collection may have on the environment, including:
Recyclable packaging + business collateral - all of Freya+Bailey’s product packaging, from cardboard boxes to plastic bottles, are made from recycled materials.. Even our business cards are made from recycled t-shirts!
Made in the UK - from how they’re made to how they’re disposed of, each beauty product you purchase has a lifecycle carbon footprint - the potential amount of greenhouse gases released into the environment during these processes. All of our products are lovingly made in the UK, meaning we have made a conscious decision to limit the carbon footprint of our products, from raw material extraction to the end of a product’s life (which is also known as the ‘cradle to grave’ impact).
Carbon Neutral - with the UK government announcing this year that they plan to take their commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 even further to now ‘net zero’ greenhouse gases by the same date, we’ve just this week confirmed that our business is now ‘Carbon Neutral’. What this means is that any carbon emissions caused by Freya+Bailey will be balanced out by funding an equivalent amount of carbon savings elsewhere in the world. For us, we are planting trees for each employee as part of a 10-year carbon offset commitment. If other countries and businesses followed the UK in this journey, there is a 50-50 chance of staying below the recommended 1.5C temperature rise by 2100 - which is considered the threshold for dangerous climate change.
Do you have any more top tips to help our FaB fans reduce their plastic footprint? Share them below, or over on our Facebook or Instagram pages, and let’s club together to make a difference so that we can all enjoy a brighter, healthier future. Keep glowing.