Recently, we have been working with #NoSuckingPlastic, a new environmental campaign in Leeds to replace all plastic straws by encouraging bars, cafes and restaurants across Leeds to search for alternatives and educate consumers on the impact of single use plastics. Already, consumers are beginning to refuse plastic straws!
And it’s got us thinking…
Consumers are demanding change. Some are calling it the ‘Blue Planet Phenomenon’ after the award-winning BBC programme opened our eyes to the full effects of plastic waste in our oceans.
We have seen several announcements from big brands bidding to reduce plastic waste and eliminate single use plastics. Our client Diageo have introduced a policy to phase out all plastic straws and stirrers and brands such as Pizza Express, Wagamama and JD Wetherspoon have also banned plastic straws. Iceland made their announcement as the first supermarket to ban plastic packaging by 2020.
Single use plastics, or disposable plastics, as the name dictates, are only used once before they are thrown away and over the past 20 years we have seen a dramatic increase in the use of plastic bags, food packaging, straws and water bottles.
In the UK almost every grocery item is covered in plastic, which we then carry home in another plastic bag. It is down to us all to change the way we shop and make a conscious decision to act differently and challenge the plastic waste in our society.
How can consumers play their part?
We’re predicting a backwards shift in society – we have already seen news of the ‘rise of the milk man’ and consumers are becoming more aware of the efforts they can make to reduce their plastic waste.
Maybe the solution could be to go back to traditional shopping methods, why fix what wasn’t broken? Simple swaps can make a huge different to the planet, such as:
- Milk and juice in a glass bottle from the milk man
- Reusable water bottles
- Loose fruit and vegetables, not pre-packed
- Meat from the butcher’s counter and fish from the fishmongers, not pre-packed
- A bar of soap rather than liquid soap
- Butter bought in paper and stored in a butter dish
- Washing powder in a cardboard box rather than plastic tubs and bottles
- Wooden cutlery for on-the-go
- Paper straws instead of plastic straws
We’re excited to see how more brands react to the no plastic movement and what PR campaigns come out of it. We already have a few ideas up our sleeves!