Reducing Plastic Waste

Many of you will know that I’m on a mission to reduce plastic usage, plastic waste and plastic litter. Most of you will also know about my passion for food.


We have been making changes at home of regular use plastic items, and trying to stop our single-use plastic which come along with the food that we purchase, is so difficult! The retailers and manufacturers are against us, but slowly, and quietly, there is starting to be an uprising!

After being so frustrated by the amount of plastic that couldn’t be recycled from our weekly shop, and discovering that up to 25% of our weekly bill was paying for packaging, it just seemed that something HAD to be done about it.  I started looking for alternatives, both in the way we shop and in the things we regularly use. I found it hard to believe that there was no longer a way to purchase dried goods packaging free in Lancashire. There used to be lots of ‘weigh and save’ shops in town centres but these have all pretty much disappeared. So I started researching how I could open a shop which sold dried goods, dispensed in a hygienic way and without packaging. And I discovered a shop in Totnes, Devon that was already doing just that. A little far to travel to for me, living in Preston though, and it may negate the beneficial effects of buying without plastic to begin with. So as nobody else was doing it, I went ahead and started setting one up myself. Did all the research, found the suppliers and even found premises.
In doing this, I came across LOTS of amazingly lovely ethical products which I thought would be so lovely alongside the wooden ethical toys I already have in my shop, and couldn’t help but order a few lines in. I’ve ordered a few more since, and have an ever-growing list of brands to order next as I can expand.
I did a pop-up shop at the Great British Food Festival, to test the water with the zero waste food and reusable products, which was a great success. I met so many amazingly lovely people who, just like me and you, were frustrated by the retailers and wanted a new way to shop.
And when I say an uprising, I mean it. I’ve also discovered an online group that has been set up to support those wanting to open a zero waste store in their area! We shall all soon have access to packaging free shopping of dried goods, oils, vinegars, cleaning products, bathroom products and more, as zero waste stores are starting to pop up everywhere. People seem to have realised we can beat the retail giants and create what we’ve all been longing for ourselves.

What changes can we make?

Just some really easy changes. The concept behind zero waste doesn’t mean throwing away all the plastic you have to buy alternatives, it’s about getting the maximum life out of what you already have, and when it’s time to replace them, to replace with something sustainable, that will last a lot longer. To step away from our disposable world, spend a little more on something that will last for years rather than weeks, hours or some cases minutes, and help bring our planet back to what it should be.

Reusable Straws

it's only 1 straw
Straws last sometimes only for seconds and yet take years to break down into microplastics, that then, are consumed by sea life. These bamboo and stainless steel alternatives are long-lasting, sustainable and hygienic, thanks to the straw brush. An easy swap to make, just carry a couple of these in your bag for when you’re out and about and refuse a straw wherever you go.

Stainless Steel Boxes

An easy switch to make to make your lunch and picnics not only more ethical but safer too! These stainless steel boxes are perfect for lunches, contain no harmful chemicals to leach into your food (unlike tin foil and cling film)  and don’t cost the earth!

Water Bottles

Did you know that when you buy water in a plastic bottle, you are contributing towards the tons of plastic waste which not only heads towards landfills each year, but unfortunately often results in being sent to the other side of the world on ships. If it’s lucky, it reachhhes a legitimate recycling plant, but all too often, they are dumped in villages that don’t have facilities to deal withh it, or just into the sea and left to float around. 

Despite all the publicity around the damage that plastic is causing to the environment, both from a waste perspective and from the fossil fuels required to make all the plastic, plastic water bottle consumption is still increasing, by 8% in 2018. Environmental campaigners agree that the best way to consume water is by refilling a reusable water bottle with tap water.

We have a great selection of reusable stainless steel bottles here in the shop.

Bamboo Toothbrushes

Did you know that every plastic toothbrush you have ever used, still exists somewhere. With the recommendation from dentists that a toothbrush is changed every 3 months, that’s a lot of plastic over your lifetime, it’s estimated that 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes are used worldwide every year so it’s not hard to see why there is so muchh plastic waste in the world. Our recycling facilities just can’t keep up.

Why not swap to one of the bamboo handled toothbrushes and reduce plastic waste for good. Like any toothbrushes that you’ll be used to, there are good ones and bad ones. One of the best currently available is the Truthbrush. Designed by two ladies from the south coast of England, these have bristles made from 62% plant based castor oil and just 38% nylon. The handles are made from moso bamboo (a variety that panda’s don’t eat) and are naturally biodegradable.

Safety Razor

So they first convinced us that two blades were better than one, then that three blades were better than two. Every few years the blades increase, but then the recyclability of them decreases. It’s not just metal blades, there is plastic wound around them and they’re almost impossible to recycle. They can’t be added to your kerbside collection as they’re just not safe.

Many people are taking up a more traditional method of shaving, with the safety razor. Just like the name suggests, these are a safe way of shaving with a traditional razor blade. Don’t be nervous, they give an excellent close shave, you just don’t need to add very much pressue as the razors themselves are weighted.

This is a great switch to make and personally, I would never go back to a disposable razor again.

There has been lots on TV and in magazines about the devastation that plastic waste is having on our environment and our wildlife. And I say our, as I truly believe that it is our responsibility to clean it up and take care of it for our children and theirs. When we were at Lake Windermere the other day, somebody stopped to comment on me and my girls picking up plastic waste on the beach while we were feeding the swans, but we just do it without thinking now. Plastic kills. It shouldn’t be there. We pick it up. If everyone did, our world would be so much nicer, and safer.

Please consider reducing the amount of plastic waste you create, and if you see it on the ground, pick it up and put it in your recycling.