It’s easy to get dragged down by all the problems caused by plastic waste. But what about the positive plastic stories – the pioneers and innovators striving to find new ways to tackle plastic pollution?
We’re all about simple solutions at RAW, and in our work campaigning for a world that’s free from pointless plastic we come across some amazing projects, people and products. So, here’s the first in a new series that will focus on the good stuff we find each month that’s helping to turn the tide on plastic waste.
1 #OneLess – water fountains installed around London
We are right behind the #OneLess mission to enable innovative ways to quench the capital’s thirst and reduce its reliance on single-use plastic water bottles. And sometimes it’s the simplest things that have the biggest impact – like water fountains.
#OneLess has recently installed 10 new drinking fountains across the capital – making it even easier for Londoners to refill on the go. Next we’d love to see this initiative rolling out all over the UK…
Go to their website now to make a personal pledge to stop using single-use plastic water bottles.
2 The net effect – sustainable clothing made from fishing nets
Our seas and oceans are littered with discarded fishing nets – or ‘ghost nets’. Unseen from above, they create huge traps for marine life – and make up 10% of marine litter in every ocean.
Healthy Seas has set up a collaborative initiative that is starting to address this global problem. Divers collect the nets –often entangled in shipwrecks that are home to biodiverse ecosystems – clean them and then send them on to an innovate factory in Slovenia that turns them into a yarn called ECONYL.
If you’ve bought any sustainable clothing, you’ve probably seen ECONYL on the label – not only is it a great way to upcycle ghost nets, the production process is also more environmentally-friendly, using fewer production phases and producing 55% less CO2 emissions than normal nylon.
It’s an effective solution, but it’s only a start. Read Pebble Magazine’s report to find out more about the scale of the problem, and about the changes that need to be made by the fishing industry to continue to tackle this threat to marine ecosystems.
3 Plastic revolution – RAW talks at FuturePlanet event
Our co-founder Chris Johnson recently joined a panel of leading sustainability pioneers from Hubbub, City to Sea, Less Mess and IKEA for a thought-provoking FuturePlanet event looking at solving our addiction to single-use plastic.
The evening was packed with positive solutions, and Chris told his personal story about making his festival, Shambala, a plastic-free zone. “One of the best ways to change the behaviour of events and businesses is to share ideas and learn from what has and hasn’t worked for others,” says Chris. “This event was a great example of how we should be collaborating and taking ideas from one another.”
4 Supermarket sweep – scan your shopping for plastic
Fed up with being forced into buying food that’s wrapped in unnecessary plastic? Supermarkets generate a phenomenal 800,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year – but the Ubamarket app has been developed to change all that. Use the ‘Plastic Alerts’ to scan your shopping and get information on the plastic content of your scanned items,including whether the plastic is recyclable. (Or even better, move on to number 5.)
5 Zero hero – embrace zero waste shopping
More and more zero waste shops are popping up all over the UK, giving shoppers the power to choose products that don’t come with unnecessary waste. We spoke to RAW Bottle customer The Refill Pantry about what makes zero waste shops a great option.
“Our shop is all about reducing unnecessary packaging and waste, and reusing rather than buying new, and the RAW Bottle had the right combination of material and practicality for us,” says owner Celina Mendoza. “Reducing the use of single use plastic is our primary mission and reusable water bottles of course fits with this ethos perfectly.”
Check out our blog on zero waste shops for links to useful online resources to find your local zero waste shop and also discover online shops if there isn’t one in your area.
What positive plastic solutions have you come across recently? We’d love to hear about them – connect with us on Twitter @RAWBottles.