Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) reports plastic pollution is found on every beach in the world, from busy tourist beaches to uninhabited islands. Scientists have recently found microplastics embedded deep in the Arctic ice. Every day around 8 million pieces of plastic find their way into our oceans. It is estimated that there may now be 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in the ocean, weighing up to 269,000 tonnes. Recent studies show plastic pollution affects 100% of marine turtles, 59% of whales, 36% of seals and 40% of seabirds examined. Over 150 plastic bottles litter every mile of UK beaches.
Something needs to change and people are looking at ways they can reduce the use of plastic at home. The kitchen is a good place to start. For instance sandwich bags for packed lunches, food packaging, milk cartons, carrier bags and even the kitchen cupboards.
The Huffington Post has put together a list of 12 sustainable alternatives to plastic bags that are just as easy to use. There are lots of different types of reusable bag to choose from. These will do away with the need for cling film and plastic sandwich bags.
Home Made Cleaning Products
Make your own cleaning products for the kitchen. Lemon, white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda all make cleaning in the kitchen easy and save you buying multiple plastic bottles. Many products can now be bought in bulk or in refill pouches. Dettol say their multi-surface cleaner refill pouch uses 70% less plastic. Simply pour the refill into your spray bottle instead of buying again.
Good Housekeeping have some great ideas for creating your own cleaning products and how to reduce plastic use in the kitchen.
Greenpeace state that UK supermarkets produce almost 1 million tonnes of plastic packaging each year. A recent report from Friends of the Earth Europe and Zero Waste Europe concludes that an increase in plastic food packaging has not lead to a decrease in food waste. Plastic packaging extends the shelf life of food but it doesn’t mean that we eat it before its sell by date. In fact, almost a quarter of food wasted in the UK is thrown away whilst still wrapped in plastic packaging.
Fruits and vegetables often have their own skin so don’t need to be wrapped in plastic. Take your own plastic-free bag to the supermarket for fruit and veg and when you buy from a local greengrocer or market stall. All supermarkets should be offering loose fruit and veg. Big multi-packs are unnecessary and encourage waste. Laser labelling is growing in popularity. Marks and Spencer have started using it to label avocados and doing away with the packaging. When you compare products in the shop, always choose the one with less packaging.
There are many shops throughout the UK that will allow you refill your own bags and containers. This will save on food and packaging waste. Such shops can be difficult to find so The ZeroWaster has a handy directory to help you find places in your area. Just take along your own bags or containers, and fill with as much or as little as you need.
Drink Bottles, Straws and Cutlery
There are increasing options for refilling water bottles now. The Refill scheme has an app which shows where you can fill your water bottle for free in your area. More and more businesses across the country are being signed up as part of the scheme. Many pubs, restaurants and takeaways have switched from plastic to paper straws. You can also buy your own stainless steel straw to take with you if your prefer. If you regularly eat on the go, rather than using single use plastic cutlery, you can bring cutlery from home or buy a set of bamboo cutlery to keep with you.
Recycling Your Kitchen
If you are considering a new kitchen how about buying an ex-display kitchen from a kitchen showroom? You can get a quality kitchen with appliances at a fraction of the original cost. Or maybe buy one of our beautiful used kitchens? Kitchens can be reconfigured to fit your space and, with ex-display kitchens, you can often buy additional cabinets if needed.
When you replace your kitchen don’t send the old one off to landfill. Get in touch and we’ll help you sell it on. There are lots of people looking for recycled kitchens like yours. You’ll get some cash and at the same time you’ll be helping to save the planet.
Give us a call now on 0203 002 0005 or visit our website at www.usedkitchenhub.com