Plastic is the dominant material for many of the items we use in our everyday lives. However, plastic is a huge problem for our environment. It’s estimated that only 6% of the EU’s plastics waste is recycled – and globally, discarded plastic products are choking our oceans and harming delicate wildlife.
However, this also means we have multiple opportunities each day to help change the situation.
At Positive Luxury, our job is to see the upside of things. We’ve come up with a few super stylish solutions that help you remove plastic from your daily lifestyle habits.
1 – Cut the cups
If you’re anything like us, your day hasn’t started until you’ve picked up a coffee, or a steaming cup of tea is in hand. An estimated 2.5 billion coffee shop plastic-and-paper cups are thrown away every year in the UK, and they take 30 years to break down. Bring your own one-cup flask in on your commute, and ask your barista to fill it up instead. We love S’Well bottles, which come in a kaleidoscope of colours and designs.
2 – Refill your makeup bag
Instead of plastic, which breaks easily, choose other materials which can be used time and time again. Aveda’s refillable palettes allow you to build your own set of unique-to-you makeup products – and start all over again once they’re used up. The professional-grade palettes are made of 50% recycled aluminium, with a lead-free mirror and magnet.
3 – Advocate companies with packaging take-back schemes
Doing good really brings good karma! Several brands are now offering product or packaging Take-Back schemes to help reduce plastic waste, and rewarding consumers for their loyalty, too. Kiehl’s ‘Recycle & Be Rewarded’ program encourages consumers to return any empty Kiehl’s full-size product to their boutique in the UK in exchange for 1 stamp (per empty product). A collection of 10 stamps will give you one free travel-sized product.
4 – Swap plastic for natural rubber
Natural rubber is biodegradable and non-toxic – and so perfect for babies. Nevertheless, millions of baby products are made with plastic or synthetic, petroleum-based materials. Replace your plastic toys and pacifiers with Hevea’s gorgeous all-natural rubber products. Even better, Hevea will happily upcycle your old products into new.
5 – Go microbead-free!
Microbeads are sneaky and turn up everywhere in products – from toothpaste, to beauty products, to detergents. These particles make their way unfiltered past sewage treatment plants and into rivers and canals, and into our ecosystems. Check the ingredients list of your favourite products. Choose natural scrubs and exfoliants who do an even better job than their not-so-friendly synthetic counterparts. If you still need help, the North Sea Foundation and Plastic Soup Foundation have created a Beat the Microbead app, which allows you to scan product barcodes and check if a product contains microbeads.
6 – Make your skincare last longer
Millions of skincare products come packaged in plastic pots – not so with luxury skincare brand Virginia Stone. A Gold winner of the Pure Beauty Awards 2017 for Best News Design & Packaging, her Stone Luxador® pots are 100% recyclable and can be reused. Each pot is handmade from an unlikely material…concrete. Why? It’s a reusable, naturally cool material which keeps formulas fresher and stable for longer than its plastic counterparts.
7 – Rethink your festive plans
In the run-up to Christmas, think about seeking out a sustainably grown real Christmas tree. Their fake counterparts are typically made of plastic, while a real tree can be recycled or chipped by your local council post-festivities, and in the case of live ones, replanted. Or forgo a traditional tree altogether – and opt for a driftwood version.
If you enjoyed reading this, you might also like: Five Ways to Shop Sustainably and Seven Simple Tips to Help you Save Water.
Coming up…our Responsible Diamonds Edit. Stay tuned…