“Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.”
We should all be looking after our planet all year round, but we love that Plastic Free July, a campaign initiated by the Plastic Free Foundation, gives us a much needed nudge to remember the importance of cutting down on plastic waste, and stop and think about the impact of plastic pollution.
The plastic problem
At least 60% of plastic waste ends up in our natural environment or landfill. Large quantities of this then ends up in our oceans. Indeed Surfer’s Against Sewage state that 12 million tonnes of plastic finds its way into the ocean every single year. And sadly there are many more mind-boggling and upsetting facts that can be found in their resources and also on Earth.org:
- One out of three fish caught for consumption now contains plastic
- 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million seabirds are killed by marine plastic pollution every year
- The UK produces 15 million single use plastic bottles a day
- It is estimated that roughly 40% of the ocean’s surface is covered in plastic debris and scientists warn that if current trends continue there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean as soon as 2030
We’d recommend taking a look at Surfer’s Against Sewage website for quite a sobering review of the current state of plastic pollution and the impact it has on wildlife, our environment and also human health.
Reducing plastic usage
Whilst we are all aware that we should help to cut the use and production of single use plastic, we’re not always great at putting it into practise. Sometimes swaps are pretty easy - like carrying around a reusable water bottle, using beeswax food wraps or taking a canvas bag to the shops. Other times swaps or substitutes can feel more challenging. They might involve a little more research, be more time consuming or just take a bit more active thought to develop that eco habit.
No plastic in our tea bags!
Did you know that some tea bags can be part of the plastic problem? Research from one Canadian university showed that plastic tea bags released nearly 12 billion microplastics and over 3 billion nanoplastic particles into a cup when steeped, which then ended up in the drinker’s digestive system. Even paper tea bags are often misleadingly sealed with plastic glue, which won’t break down in household waste or compost and will go on to cause plastic pollution.
However, you can rest assured that here at Small & Wild our tea bags are totally plastic free and we’ve done our utmost to ensure our production and packaging as a whole is as sustainable as possible. Of course there will always be more we can do so we keep a keen eye on new eco developments and make changes where and when we can.
- Carry or borrow a reusable coffee cup - or use the excuse to take five and drink your tea of coffee in your local cafe. Some places like the lovely Homestead Cafe at Beckenham Place Park even lend reusable cups to their customers, which you can use for your walk around the park and then return to be washed and reused at the end.
- Keep a light and compact canvas bag stashed on your handbag or backpack for any unexpected shopping trips.
- Planning a party? Look for eco-friendly party bag fillers (such as our tea envelopes) and go all out with paper or material bunting.
- Use eco sanitary products. There are so many brilliant brands out there producing reusable fabric pads, period underwear and menstrual cups. We’re big fans of Saalt.
You can find loads more ideas and swaps here.
A little more about Small & Wild’s sustainability credentials
COMPOSTABLE TEA BAGS
Our lovely pyramid tea bags are made from a material called Soilon, which is produced from a biodegradable cornstarch. This then fuses together with heat so we don’t need to use any glue. Our strings are also made from cornstarch and the paper labels are printed with vegetable inks.
PLASTIC FREE INNER BAGS
Our clear inner bags look deceptively like plastic… but they are actually made using a material called Natureflex, which is created from biodegradable cellulose derived from wood pulp. Like our tea bags and tags, these bags are fully compostable and we recommend disposing of them in your council food waste bin.
RECYCLABLE & BIODEGRADABLE CARTONS
Our FSC-certified cartons are produced using sustainably sourced renewable resources. The printing process is chemical-free with vegetable-based inks. The cartons are not only recyclable but also compostable - so these can also be collected with food waste and will biodegrade within 12 weeks.
We would love to hear your thoughts and tips also. Drop us a line to email@example.com or message us on instagram @small_and_wild_company
Happy (plastic-free) tea drinking