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15/02/2019

Easy ways to start cutting out single-use plastics for good

Easy ways to start cutting out single-use plastics for good

At this year’s Futurebuild (taking place at ExCel London, March 5-7), we are delighted to be the event’s sole drinking water provider, ensuring delegates and exhibitors stay hydrated without the need for damaging plastic bottled water.

 

Plastic waste statistics are shocking. Around one million plastic water bottles are sold every minute throughout the world, and approximately 38.5 million bottles are consumed every day in the UK. 16 million of these bottles go into a UK landfill, are burned or leaked into the ocean.

Roughly two thirds of the UK’s plastic recycling waste is exported abroad every year, and little is known of what it becomes. In 2018 alone, Malaysia took in 105,000 tonnes and they’re just one of the countries taking in huge amounts. Though recycling is still extremely important, the best way to make a real impact - and reduce the amount of planet damaging waste - is to cut out plastics completely.

Here, at Zip Water, we understand the importance of making changes for a more sustainable future.

As experts on sustainable drinking water systems, we wanted to share easy initial steps you or your workplace can take and start to cut out single-use plastics for good.

 

Plastic straws

Roughly 8.5 billion plastic straws are thrown away each year, ending up in landfills and our oceans. Many companies are taking a stand by removing plastic straws from their outlets, offering sustainable alternatives instead. This is a simple change everyone should commit to.

Two of our favourite alternative eco-friendly materials are stainless steel and bamboo. Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials in the world, with its fast growth and self-regenerating qualities. Bamboo and stainless-steel straws are affordable and can also be washed and reused. However, when the time comes to throw out bamboo straws, they also benefit from being 100 percent biodegradable.

Clingfilm

A staple item in residential and commercial kitchens, clingfilm is one of our most used single-use plastics, with 1.2 billion metres used across Britain every year. That’s enough to go around the circumference of the world 30 times over!

Much of our clingfilm waste inevitably finds its way into our oceans and damages marine life. Though not yet widely used, there are reusable and environmental alternatives available. Beeswax wraps are typically made from organic cotton, beeswax, organic jojoba oil and tree resin. The resulting wraps are washable, reusable – lasting up to a year – and compostable.

 

Water bottles

With 13 billion plastic bottles used every year in the UK alone, and the damage this waste is doing to the planet well documented, cutting down on usage is of vital importance.

Luckily there are many re-usable alternatives. From stainless steel, glass and even bamboo, making the switch helps the environment while also saving you money. If you were to buy bottled water for the recommended amount of eight glasses of water a day, it would cost roughly 3,675 times more a year than drinking mains fed water.

With our advanced filtration technology, our mains fed drinking water systems provide fresh, pure-tasting filtered chilled, boiling and sparkling water, cutting out the need to buy single-use bottled water.

 

Plastic bags

Since the government’s 5p plastic bag fee was introduced, there has been an 86% fall in disposable bags issued in major supermarkets. As a result, in the last two years 13 billion plastic bags have been taken out of circulation, but there’s still more we can do.

Although we may be taking home fewer plastic bags from our shopping trips and using more bags for life, most people dispose of their rubbish at home in plastic bin liners. These rubbish bags can take up to 1000 years to decompose. Biodegradable bin liners are a simple solution that can easily be integrated into our workplaces and homes.

 

Coffee cups

Even though they may look like cardboard, most coffee cups use a combination of plastic and cardboard – which isn’t widely recycled – to create sturdy drinks containers that keep the heat in.

Many high street and independent coffee shops now not only offer biodegradable alternatives, but also offer money off when bringing in your own cup. This will not only save you money, but by making the switch you’d be saving the environment too.

 

With so many easily accessible and affordable plastic alternatives available, there really is no excuse for single-use. Why not encourage your workplace or household to take up the challenge and cut out single-use plastics for good?

 

 

 

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