Monday 30 September 2019

Microplastics in Your Wash

Why washing your Clothes could be adding to Plastic Pollution
As we are becoming more and more aware, plastic is finding its way into your home and garden in many ways. Not just what we see in packaging and plastic derived products, but also hidden in clothes, the air, rain water, salt and even food.

A recent BBC documentary showed lint collected from synthetic clothing (for example polyester, acrylic) after each wash was full of microfibres ,which are little plastic fragments that can be even tinier than the width of a human hair.

These minuscule fibres contain micro plastics which flush down our drains through a daily wash. They then make their way out into the sea, where marine life inadvertently takes them in as mistaken food. We are eating fish and crustaceans, ingesting some of the plastic ourselves.

Clouds can pick up fragments and rain plastics down on us. Even the arctic has not come away unscathed with snow being found to contain plastic particles.

Sea salt is being contaminated too plus a BBC program found plastic particles circulating in the air of households in the UK.  It's shocking stuff. 

Washing Machine ImageProf Richard Thompson, who studies marine micro plastics at Plymouth university, found that each UK washing load - 6kg (13lb) of fabric - could release: 

*140,000 fibres from polyester-cotton blend
*Nearly half a million fibres from polyester
*More than 700,000 fibres from acrylic


Bio-plastics are a possible solution, for instance trees, fermented food waste, even pineapple could be used to make bio-plastics or vegan leather (see BBC link above for more details!)

The article above mentions though that alternatives like cotton, can be hard work for the environment too. Professor Blackburn from the University of Leeds states that, 'Growing 1kg of cotton consumes the amount of water you've drunk in your lifetime.'
So what can we do? 
Making Roots site has some useful tips on reducing plastic pollution from your clothes. I hope that microfibre catching wash bags will become more widely available, as at the moment they seem to be quite expensive.

There's an insightful video from Friends of the Earth plus useful tips on how to reduce microfibres being washed down the drains here at: 

Maybe check out this video too if you have a quick moment!

Thursday 26 September 2019

Review - Kick the Plastic Habit

This is my fourth review on plastic alternatives.

Scoring system: 

❤ = Will keep, I love it / 👀 = Not sure, will try some more / 😐 = Oh dear, it's not for me

Review Four - Book on Plastic Free Living

I haven't finished this book yet but wanted to shout its praises from the rooftop as it contains so much useful information (I have since finished it and still rate it highly!)

'How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too' by Beth Terry is an inspiring read that also provides a mass of information. The book itself is made using 100% recycled pulp.

Thoughtfully broken down into sections including what those pesky recycling symbols mean; which items are more recyclable than others; how to reduce plastics in the supermarket, at home or on the road and whether plastics, paper or glass is best for the environment. 

Some home making ideas are also included and plastic replacement tips from the author. Plus focus pages from others who have started companies selling ethical and environmentally friendly products, interspersed with tips from eco minded warriors alike.

My Verdict?

Beth Terry, an Accountant details her own change to plastic free living including some of her successes and challenges along the way. This is well worth a read and good value for money, given the huge amount of info. contained within! A huge love ❤ from me! 

How I Kicked the Plastic Habit Book by Beth Terry

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Review - Eco Friendly Toothbrush

This is my third review on plastic reduction or replacements. 

To help you follow my progress so far, I have started a section called reviews in the right hand menu which will build up over time.

Scoring system: 

❤ = Will keep, I love it / 👀 = Not sure, will try some more / 😐 = Oh dear, it's not for me

Review Three - Plastic Free Toothbrush

When I decided to go plastic free I decided that things like throw away plastic razors and plastic toothbrushes had to go. 

After reading up about alternatives, I came across brushes made from bamboo. Bamboo is super fast growing and has become popular as a plastic alternative. 

The added bonus is being able to compost down any used up products (although you'd need to pull off the nylon bristles first).
My Green Vibes Toothbrush from Amazon

I found a great product, by My Green Vibesa set of four toothbrushes with bamboo handles, each presented in a card box which is useful for travelling. 

Each box has a coloured dot at the end which matches the different coloured heads on the brush. 

Excellent for family members to choose their own colour and remember whose is whose.

The bristles are very soft. At first you do have to get used to the friction of wood against your cheeks as you brush, although wetting the brush first can help with this. 

I have found so far that the brush heads do seem to last well. 

At the end of its life I was able to pull the bristles out with pliers (with some force) and placed the handle in the compost heap. 
My Verdict?
I am giving these a big thumbs up. I like that the brush handle is compostable. It comes in recyclable card packaging which cuts right down on the plastic and even the little fish on the end is a nice added touch, so it's a ❤ love from me!

My Green Vibes Eco Friendly Bamboo Toothbrush

Monday 23 September 2019

Second Hand September

'Will You Take the Pledge?'
Oxfam has declared this month as Second Hand September and they are asking people to pledge to say no to new clothes for 30 days. 

I was looking at their site and was astounded by some of the figures.

  • Every week 11 million items of clothing end up in landfill.

  • Buying just one white cotton shirt produces the same amount of emissions as driving 35 miles in a car.

  • In one month alone, the carbon footprint of new clothes bought in the UK was greater than flying a plane around the world 900 times.

  • From growing the cotton to the dyeing process, it can take an estimated 20,000 litres of water to make just one pair of jeans and one t-shirt. (It would take more than 13 years to drink this amount.)

Throughout the month of September, Oxfam have been holding competitions* for folks to share their second hand or up-cycled clothes projects.

*Closing date is 
Friday 27th September 2019.

For more on this check out:

Autumn Leaf

Climate Strike & Beach Clean

Other events happening this September was the climate strike Friday 20th (will do an article on this later), plus a Nationwide Beach Clean most of which took place weekend of 21st/22nd Sept. There are other beach clean events throughout the year. 

More details at:
Climate Change Summit
2019 marked the first year for the UN Youth Summit held on 21st September 2019, the first UN climate summit for young people. UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit was then held on 23 September in New York.

Teen activist Greta Thunberg made a passionate speech to the summit. She said: “You come to us young people for hope – how dare you? You have stolen my dreams, my childhood with your empty words.

“How dare you continue to look away, and come here saying that you are doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.”

Recycling Week
Recycle week in the UK is between 23rd-29th September 2019. There's a great video and some recycling tips here at:

'A shocking 79% of plastic ever produced is still in the environment.
By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea.'
Art Activism
Also taking place Mid Sept to Mid October 2019 is the 'Art of Activisim Exhibition' sponsored by Friends of the Earth. 

They say on their site, 'Friends of the Earth has partnered with theprintspace and The Guardian to host a month-long exhibition featuring artistic interpretations of the current climate emergency. Whether you're an artist, an art lover or activist, there's something for everyone.'
Saving Trees
Worried about the burning of trees in the Amazon? Why not donate to WWF for their Amazon appeal? 

See bottom of this post for more details: 

Meanwhile a great eco site Floral Fox, are pledging to plant 2 new trees for every order received in Aug/September. 

You can also donate more trees (via the Eden Reforestation Project) on their site, why not tag that into your order?

Also see my Trees for Life article on more ways trees are being saved.

Waste Reduction

Don't forget also Waste Reduction Week is coming up in November. More details at:

Autumn Leaves by a Lake

Friday 20 September 2019

Review - Beautiful Wax Wraps

This is my second review on plastic free reduction or replacements as I continue my quest on plastic reduction

Scoring system:

❤ = Will keep, I love it / 👀 = Not sure, will try some more / 😐 = Oh dear, it's not for me

Review Two - Wax Wrappings to Brighten Up Your Day!

OK, so I'm hooked. These great colourful wraps are perfect for when you have a bowl of something that needs covering. Dinner left overs? Covered. Tin of pet food? Covered. 

The set I bought from Amazon online has different sizes. The smaller ones are great for opened packets of cheese or tops of tin cans. The medium and larger ones are good for covering your bowls or casserole dish with leftovers.

Bees Wax Wraps by Two White Bears - Set from Amazon

Wax Wraps Various Designs for Covering Bowls

To start with they feel pretty sticky & you do have to scrunch them up to A. warm them up and B. to re-distribute the wax. Once you've done this you can lay it flat over the top of the can or bowl & fold down the edge to seal. 

It can go in the fridge fine although they don't recommend microwaving. I have found some alternatives for those type of jobs which I'll cover later (pardon the pun!)
My Verdict? 
They are cheery and stops me reaching for cling film every time I need to cover any left overs or opened tins. They can be rinsed too in cold water to use again and again whenever you need to. I have since seen small waxers (refresher blocks) you can use, to add a layer of wax when it needs topping up. 

The downside I found is the slightly sticky hands you feel when you first start using it, but hands can be washed no problem. I have stayed away from wrapping sandwiches for this reason (again I have alternatives for that) and also you wouldn't want to use them for raw meat.
I love them ❤ & they will definitely be a keeper!

Beeswax Wrap with Bee Design by Two White Bears

Thursday 19 September 2019

Review - Plastic Free Razor

This is my first review of plastic free, reduction or replacement products. I aim to reduce or swap 50 single use plastic items, for my 50th year on this planet. 

The 'Why I Started This Blog' post explains more about my motivation!

I will be candid and discuss challenges, likes and dislikes as I work through my 50 items adventure! 😊

Scoring system: 

❤ = Will keep, I love it / 👀 = Not sure, will try some more / 😐 = Oh dear, it's not for me

Review One - Plastic Free Safety Shave

I suppose razors aren't single use as such, you can use the same one repeatedly before throwing away, but my husband found that if he kept a cheap plastic handle and buy razor heads he would hit difficulties finding the right head for the right shaver. 

I used to use battery shavers but I hated that tearing feeling when the blades or batteries wear down and admit to using disposable plastic shavers myself.

Naked Necessities Plastic Free Razor in Card Box

I bought this wonderful safety shave by a company called Naked Necessities, which has a high quality chrome head/cap & solid wood handle. It comes with a packet of stainless steel blades and you can buy more readily when these need replacing. The blades just slot in, you're not trying to match a replacement head as the blades just slot into the chrome plated one.

[Please note that if you are used to lady shaves where they have a plastic removable cap with this one you must keep the metal cap on, it helps make the razor blade safe with just the edge exposed to shave you safely, so don't be daft like me and spend ages trying to get the top off! Meanwhile you can unscrew the handle which releases the blade and cap at times where you do need to change it].

P.S. A quick update - it came time to replace the razor blade which was very tricky to do. I found by pressing your thumb on the very top of the chrome cover & 2 fingers underneath you can unscrew the handle without risking cutting yourself. Do the same when it comes to tighten the handle once the new blade is inserted!

My Verdict?

My verdict so far is very good. I like the card packaging, it feels very good quality and despite the hefty initial price it should last many, many years. In my scoring system I'd like to give this a love ❤. I got my plastic free razor from Holland and Barrett (no affiliation). 

Naked Necessities Plastic Free Wooden Razor / Shaver

Wednesday 18 September 2019

A New Life for Old Plastic

 The Poly Roger
The Poly Roger - a cheeky name for a 'Plastic Fishing' boat. It is made from plastic itself and designed to carry passengers while they pick up plastic waste from Britain's waterways. 

The first boat made in London was named 'Poly-mer' however it soon became clear that more awareness (and more clean ups!) were needed nationwide.

Poly Roger and its volunteers have toured UK sites during Spring and Summer 2019, including Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham and Central Scotland.

Together they collected over 2,233 plastic bottles and over 192 bags of general waste. 

To get more information on their achievements and tours check out:
Meet Poly the Seal!
Poly the seal is made entirely from washed up plastics found on a beach in Essex. Seals have been injured in the area due to plastic pollution.

This life size seal and pup was designed by Sue Lynas. She was approached by the Wildlife Trust to come up with a design for Marine Awareness week.

Sue says most of the beach waste was plastic - including a toy dinosaur, a Barbie doll leg, crisp packets, cotton buds - and some items which were more than 20 years old.

For more on the story and pictures of Poly and her pup head on down to: 

Fancy Joining a Beach Clean?
The Marine Conservation Society are looking for volunteers in the Great British Beach Clean event 2019. Supported by the Ocado Foundation and the People's Postcode Lottery, this event is due to take place nationwide from the 20th to 23rd September. (If you can't make those dates don't worry, there are some smaller events throughout the year too). 

To find an event near you and register check out: 

crowd jumping on a beach

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Planting Our Sea Meadows

Can Seagrass Help us Breathe?
The UK charity organisation WWF are looking at ways to increase our oxygen levels, not just by re-planting trees but also re-planting seas!
What is Seagrass?
Seagrass lives in shallow, sheltered areas along our coast which captures carbon, up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests. It can absorb 10% of the ocean’s carbon each year.

Additionally, a 10,000 m2 area can support 80,000 fish and over a million invertebrates.

In the UK, up to 92 per cent of our seagrass has disappeared
To turn this around the WWF, Sky Ocean Rescue and Swansea University are coming together to bring these incredible underwater meadows back to life.

As part of the project, one million seagrass seeds have been collected in the summer of 2019 from various sites around the country. The seeds will be cultivated, before being planted in Dale Bay in Pembrokeshire where they will grow into a 20,000 m2 seagrass meadows.

This pilot project will hopefully encourage the government to do more planting to help bring the sea meadows back to our UK shores.  
Forest with caption This is Not Still Life
WWF Amazon Rainforest Appeal

Are you alarmed by the burning of forests in Amazon? Want to do something to help? 

Support the WWF's Amazonian Appeal at:

Do you know your own carbon footprint?
Ever wondered what you carbon footprint might be compared to the national average? 

Why not use this handy tool on the WWF page today.

Thursday 12 September 2019

Supermarket Sweep

The Role of Supermarkets in our Plastic War
Recycling plasticsLet's face it, supermarkets are brimming with plastic produce AND plastic packaging. There's no getting away from it.

What ever happened to the idea of more free time for workers, time freed up by the use of automated machines? All we seem to be doing is doing more work. 

How many of us have printed our own bills, used the self checkout becoming our own till worker, got online insurance, downloaded it, printed it then get charged a fee for cancelling it, when we did most of the administration ourselves?

Even tax returns are completed by us with the aid of HMRC's online tool. If we need an actual person to help they often send us back to an online form somewhere. 

Workplaces are just as busy with checking and responding to emails despite the promise of our streamlined automated lives. 

So we're doing more work. As a result our time has never really been freed up at all and supermarkets realise this and supply us with much appreciated ready meals, convenience food and lots and lots of packaging.

But they are taking notice that plastics are a real problem for many - highlighted in recent news and documentary reports of plastics continually washing ashore, or being transported to other countries, who haven't the resources to deal with it.

Here, we look at 3 market leading supermarkets to see how progress is being made..
In the September 2019 Tesco magazine, they say 'We're using the four R's approach. Remove it where we can, Reduce it where we can't, Reuse more, Recycle what's left.'

Tesco have introduced polyester clothes made from recycled plastics and are encouraging customers to bring containers from home to buy produce from the meat, cheese or fish counters. A trial is under way in Swindon of recycling soft plastics such as cat food pouches and crisp packets. 

'Our ambition is that all own-brand packaging is 100% recyclable by 2025. We're currently at 83% and aim to be 90% by the end of the year (2019)'.

They plan also to phase out black plastics that cannot be recycled and make F&F clothes packaging thinner to reduce polythene use. According to their sustainablity goals they also aim to achieve 'Zero net deforestation in the supply chain by 2020'.

It is reassuring to hear that supermarkets are helping to make the change in our throw away society. We can help too by making measured choices on what we buy and how much we throw away. 

On the Sainsbury's site they list the following goals:

Some examples of the plastic we will be removing, reducing and reusing by the end of this year:
  • 175 tonnes – reducing plastic content from water bottles
  • 5 tonnes – switching plastic trays to wooden on plants and flowers
  • 65 tonnes – ready meals
  • 489 tonnes – removing plastic bags for loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items from all stores
  • 1000 tonnes – removing plastic sleeves from clothing
  • 800 tonnes – reusing and recycling clothing hangers, which are made from 100% recycled materials
  • 14 tonnes – removing plastic cups and cutlery from all offices
  • 61 tonnes – changes to poultry packaging
They have also removed:
  • 50 tonnes – plastic stems from cotton buds, replacing them with a biodegradable option
  • 37 tonnes – plastic straws
'From April, we have offered customers 25p off hot drinks across all of our cafes when a customer brings a re-usable cup. We will also continue to encourage customers to bring in plastic containers to our counters and update everyone on further progress.'

Sainsbury's is a funding partner for the Woodland Trust, helping to subsidise large scale tree planting in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Supermarket Morrisons has been voted the most environmentally responsible company in the UK for its work on plastics reduction at the 'Responsible Business Awards' which is run by HRH The Prince of Wales' Business in the Community Network.

Morrisons has seen over 9,000 tonnes of plastic a year eliminated or made recyclable. This has included being the first UK supermarket to introduce reusable grocery paper bags, introducing loose fruit and veg sections, and getting rid of problematic plastics - such as cucumber wraps and black plastic.

Asda announced in January 2020 that Asda plan to open a trial in a Middleton store in Leeds, to provide refill stations for tea, cereals, coffee, rice and pasta. There will also be plastic free mushrooms and cucumbers available. If the trial is successful this may be rolled out in other stores.

For a run down on which supermarkets are achieving more head on down to: for a league table.

Plastics Pact - It's a Wrap!
As a final note almost all of the UK's major supermarket chains have signed up to the UK Plastics Pact, which launched in April 2018.

The pact, led by sustainability experts at WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), aims to tackle plastic waste by bringing together businesses from across the entire plastics value chain, UK governments and NGOs.

Check out this You-Tube Video of 8 problem plastics to be eliminated by 2020.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Paper or Plastics

So which is Best?
As I begin my journey on reducing single use plastics I'm already seeing quite how much of a challenge this is going to be. Of course it's easy to think 'Oh, I'll just switch to paper' but can we be sure that paper usage is better for the environment than plastics? Seems obvious to me that it would but unfortunately there are some thoughts to consider.

Paper comes from trees, and yep trees help us breathe. So is it in our interest to cut down the very things that keep us going? In the past everything was in paper form - toilet rolls, telephone directories, hand written letters, bills, statements and so much more. 

These days telephone directories are hardly used (I haven't seen one for years!), bills and statements are coming in via online accounts and even toilet rolls can be bought as recycled tissue or bamboo based sheets that are sustainable (as bamboo is much quicker to grow). 

Hand written letters and even physical cards are becoming a thing of the past as email and e-cards are more popular these days. So for me using paper if manufactured responsibly and replaced sustainably could be a compromise.
But there are still points to consider..
Trees take an age to grow and requires massive resources to cut down. Did you know that it takes three tons of wood chip to make one ton of pulp? This in turn requires thousands of tons of water to wash it plus one part pulp to 400 parts water to then turn it into paper? [source: treehugger]

Disposing of the paper bag is more ideal than plastic as it can be composted down in a matter of months. If added to landfill however even compostable materials struggle to breakdown, as they maybe encased in sealed containers to prevent methane buildup, so your paper bag may be sitting around for years. 

Recycling paper uses chemicals to seperate the pulp fibres and then have to be washed again using yet more of Earth's resources before rolling back into paper.

In addition, it takes about 91 percent more energy to recycle a pound of paper than a pound of plastic. [source: betterbagsbetterworld]
The Plastic Conundrum
Plastic meanwhile is a by-product of the oil industry and readily available and quick to make. Plastic bags can be melted down to be recycled (though this requires 2/3 of the energy required for the virgin bags to be made). The material is also downgraded during the recycling process.

Trouble is, plastics have the disadvantage of being used as a throw away item. It can easily catch in wind, be washed into water ways, don't decompose for eons and are capable of leaching chemicals into soil and water (as well as the awful affects of birds, mammals and sea life ingesting them on a daily basis). 

Recycling machines are often clogged up by plastic bags, which is why supermarkets are required to take bags in their collection bins to keep it away from recycling plants. 

Plastic through trees

BBC documentary found plastic bags from the UK were being found in dumps as far away as Malaysia, as our plastics are being dumped on other countries overseas [they found plastics were being bundled en-masse by some councils so not necessarily putting the blame on supermarkets].

Bio-degradeable plastic however, has a problem all of its own which I'll cover in a future post. So by now you're thinking 'Oh my goodness, just what IS the best for the planet?' 

I guess, reducing our desire to 'use once and throw away' would help. Use longer lasting bags from hemp, cotton or canvas would help cut down on throw away bags. I've also heard of a Chico Bag which is polyester made from seven recycled soda bottles.
What if you're in a store and realise you've forgotten your bags? 
Sometimes we pick up a box that supermarkets may have strategically placed on the way out and use that rather than reach for more plastic!

In future topics I will cover alternatives for plastics, including reviews of some of them I've started to use, plus a look at what supermarkets are doing to reduce waste and what do all those recycling symbols mean anyway? Plus more news and views - stay tuned!
Some useful links..

Tuesday 10 September 2019

Why I Started This Blog?

I'm scared of the future!

There I said it, the reason why I want to make a change is because I am scared that our planet is dying and we humans are causing it. Forget climate change, my focus is on waste and pollution. My focus is on getting clean fresh water and enough oxygen for us all to breathe. My focus is on protection of wildlife and nature which in turn will help protect us and our children who follow.

Some may think that I must have been reckless all my life and only just starting to feel guilty, but the truth is I've been recycling since the 1990's. Glass, plastics, tin, paper, you name it, we recycled it. I thought I was one of the good guys.

A BBC documentary called 'Drowning in Plastic' really made me sit up and pay attention. The spread of waste plastics, particularly in oceans was truly epic and global. Animals, birds and sea creatures were dying from congested digestive tracts. Chicks were being fed micro beads by their mothers. It truly was a stomach churner.

In another BBC program called 'War on Plastic', Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Anita Rani challenged the British public to see how many plastic items they used in their homes. The amount was staggering and was a huge eye opener. Everything from kitchen to bathroom and beyond was full of disposable single use plastics.

Hugh then traced waste plastics to countries overseas where they were shipped, including finding UK plastic bags sitting in an abandoned plastic mountain in Malaysia. In other areas plastics were incinerated causing medical harm to nearby residents. I felt helpless knowing that my enthusiasm for recycling may not simply have been enough.

So here my new blog is born

I will report on encouraging news (we all need a positivity boost) plus reviews on some plastic alternatives I've been giving a try plus some views of my own as I progress on my journey. I aim to reduce the use of single use plastics by making 50 reductions or changes during my 50th year on this planet.

I hope you enjoy following me on my journey. I do not claim to be an expert, I will not claim to get it right first time and my reviews will be candid and hopefully helpful to others. Gradually I will build up a resource of useful links and tips for you all to enjoy.

(P.S. BBC's Plastics Watch is a great resource) 💖
(P.P.S. Check out Beth Terry's excellent book on a Plastic Free Life).

New Update May 2020: 

Good News! I managed to exceed my target of 50 changes in a year - here's a wee look on how I did plus the areas where I tried to make improvements!
Bird's Eye View of the World by Josh Sorenson from Pexels

Stay tuned for more!

Monday 9 September 2019

Compostable Coffee Pods

Changing the planet one pod at a time?
I have to be honest I'm addicted to coffee. Never used to be, tea was my thing. Green tea, white tea, herbal tea, decaf, redbush, chai, you name it, I drank it. Then the unthinkable happened, the other half bought a coffee machine and pretty soon I was addicted. 

I find strong coffee doesn't agree with me but the frothy ones (cappucino, macchiato) I do love and we indulge many a time in an Irish coffee which we used to use filter coffee machines. The coffee pod machines are so handy at getting just the right amount without messing around with filters and coffee grounds.

So that led me to a huge dilemma, what to do with all those plastic capsules when I'm trying to reduce plastics?

Nescafe Dolce Gusto have a trial recycling program which I did experiment with. You have to order boxes online (thereby creating a journey for the van, boxing up of boxes plus the recycling pouch arrives as a plastic bag!) & then you have to squeeze & drain each capsule, a messy process & was difficult to get them fully dry. It became a normal sight to have rows of capsules all laid out to dry on paper sheets in the kitchen. There had to be a better way I thought to myself. 

I resolved in the end to think that the only solution was to go back to instant coffee or indeed go cold turkey & kick my coffee habit into the kerb.

But there may be help on the horizon - Compostable Coffee Capsules™ (a company based in Rotterdam) and Coda Plastics (UK) have announced the launch of mass production of home compostable coffee capsules. A UK first for mass production and a game changer for the single serve coffee market, the new product composts to high quality soil with zero micro plastic contamination. 

60 Billion Coffee Capsules used annually
On CODA's website they say '60 billion coffee capsules are used every year. 25% of these are made of polluting and poisoning aluminum, and the remaining 75% are made of plastics, very often multi-layer plastics. Less than 1 billion capsules are recycled annually.'

At present Coda Plastics is furnishing a new production facility in Norfolk, dedicated to the processing of home compostable polymer. It shows the commitment of Coda Plastics to lead the industry with environmental-friendly packaging.

CODA in the sustainability section say 'We achieve close to 0% waste in our manufacturing operations. We recycle all of our own waste plastic and buy in waste plastics from other factories to produce high quality PCR. Anything we can’t reuse ourselves is sent to be recycled, including our old machinery.

'From the solar panels on our roofs that power our facilities to the energy saving initiatives in our offices, we have implemented a range of measures to make our manufacturing as green as we can.'

Similar to Dolce Gusto, Nespresso also offer a recycling program where you can request a pouch to send back your capsules. They are even planning to produce a bicycle made from recycled coffee capsules, or should I say re-cycled - boom, boom!

It's reassuring to see a plastic company and the coffee company themselves, admit that plastics are a problem & are indeed looking for solutions.

Like or Thumbs Up with Coffee Beans Background

Sunday 8 September 2019

Life of a Plastic Bag!

The Great Migration: A Plastic Bag Story
The video below is Inspired by "The Majestic Plastic Bag - The Great Migration", following an everyday plastic bag on its journey into the unknown. 

"The Great Migration" will premiere at the 2019 Washington State TSA (Technology Student Association) Championship. 

 Credits: Director, Jack Regala Produced by, Jack Regala, David Zhou, Ali Mirzazdeh

The Magestic Plastic Bag: Great Migration Mockumentary 
For Heal the Bay (US). Narrated by Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons reporting on a real creature - the plastic bag which goes out to sea to join its comrades in the great pacific garbage patch in the middle of the ocean. 

Saturday 7 September 2019

Waste Reduction

European Week for Waste Reduction
It’s that time of year again where organisations, businesses, universities and colleges, 
schools and individuals from across Europe are encouraged to take action to reduce waste.

The theme for 2019 is "Waste education and communication for behaviour change".

According to ZeroWasteScotland - This year EWWR is running from 16-24 November 2019 and we want YOU to get involved!

Some ideas for getting involved may be holding a waste free lunch at work or school or hold a stall with info on how to reduce waste in your community. 
Click here for more info.

In Spring there's also the European Spring Clean which takes place across Europe.
More details at:

Country co-ordinators can be seen here at:

Save our Trees

Saving the Planet one Tree at a Time
According to the Scotsman more than 22 million trees were planted in Scotland last year (2018) to help deal with the climate change emergency.

The new trees cover 11,200 hectares of countryside with more trees planted in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK.

Dr Sam Gardner, deputy director at WWF Scotland added: “Woodlands will play an increasingly important role in capturing carbon and reducing Scotland’s contribution to climate change. These statistics show that Scotland can not only meet its own targets, [but can make] a significant contribution to the UK’s response to the climate emergency."

The article is available in full at:
The Northern Forest to take shape
Meanwhile in England plans have been unveiled for 50 million trees in a new Northern Forest over the next 25 years. It will stretch from Liverpool across to Hull with the M62 as its spine.

Tree planting rates are dramatically low with tree planting in 2016 being only 700 hectares against the Government’s target of 5,000 hectares a year. There is a need for drastic change.

For a map of the Northern Forest borders and a much more in-depth article check out:

The Woodland Trust have some subsidised tree and hedge packs to farmers, landowners and schools.

Landowners/crofters/farmers can click here for subsidised packs for 2020. You can also buy wildlife friendly seeds for back gardens too in their shop.

Schools can click here for more information and resources:

Aerial View of Trees