There’s no hiding from the fact that we as a society have an enormous plastic problem, and it’s something that won’t be solved unless we all make a conscious effort to reduce our single-use plastic consumption. That’s why we’ve been supporting Plastic Free July this year – we want to cut plastic out of our lives and hopefully help you do the same, with info on where to shop and what brands to buy from.
We also want to acknowledge the individuals and businesses that are doing their bit, whether it’s through creating innovative plastic free products and packaging or offering expert tips and tricks on how to make your lifestyle more sustainable, with our Plastic Free Awards 2020.
Best Food Delivery Packaging
DabbaDrop is all about curry with a conscience. You sign up for either weekly or fornightly deliveries and you will be sent a regularly changing selection of veg curries, dal, rice and roti all made with fresh, quality ingredients. With your first delivery you’ll also get a reusable tiffin box for an extra £15 charge – each time you get a new delivery you just give back your old (clean!) tiffin box and keep swapping it out. You can even use it as a lunch box in between deliveries.
Most Innovative Toiletry Solution
There’s a hell of a lot of plastic in tampons and pads – there are nine applicators for every kilometre of beach in the UK and one disposable pad can take up to 800 years to biodegrade. Now thanks to innovative new brands, you can still use tampons and pads and be conscious about the environment. DAME has created the world’s first reusable tampon applicator, made from medical grade Mediprene. It works with all sizes of tampons and you just have have to rinse it after use.
Best Plastic Free Resource
Founded by Beth Noy after she started to hate how much plastic she was being forced to buy, Plastic Freedom is a one-stop shop when it comes to plastic free goods. The site collates a ton of plastic-free brands, covering everything from make-up to homeware to food, in one place and ships everything without any plastic packaging. Beth also provides gives tips and advice on her fave products and how to start making swaps of your own.
Best Plastic Free Store
Set up by Ingrid Caldironi and Bruna Martins, Hackney’s Bulk Market stocks a range of packaging-free dried goods, bakery items, eggs, and fresh fruit & veg, most of which is organic and comes from within a 50 mile radius of the shop. You can also bring in containers to refill with natural and organic cosmetic products, like mineral clays, essential oils, natural waxes and dried flowers, at the DIY Beauty Bar. All these ingredients can be mixed to create a range of beauty products.
Best Sustainable Swimwear
Stay Wild Swim
Stay Wild is helping fight the scourge of plastic in our oceans with their eco-friendly swimwear made from a genius little thing called ECONYL®, a yarn crafted from regenerated fishing nets collected from the ocean as well as other scrap materials, which is turned into high-quality fabric.
Best Conscious Fashion Brand
Hackney-based brand Labo Mono makes waterproof jackets using 30 recycled plastic bottles and an eco-friendly water-repellent covering. The jackets have all the technical bits you need for city life, including concealed pockets, breathable fabric, taped seams and pit zips.
Best Buys For Your Kitchen
Clingfilm undoubtedly has its uses in the kitchen but it can’t be recycled so every time you wrap food in it, it ends up in the bin. These silicone lids from Green Island are a great alternative – made from food-grade silicone, they can stretch over a variety of differently shaped items to create an airtight seal, keeping your food fresher for longer. They’re even safe to use in the microwave, freezer and dishwasher so it’s a triple win.
Made by Green Island
Plastic Free Ambassador
Trying to reduce your plastic intake is harder than it sounds and it can be a bit overwhelming knowing how or where to start. That’s where a site like Trash Plastic comes in handy. Run by Londoner Sophie Tait, it’s an incredible resource of sustainable swaps for the whole house, with everything from plastic-free dental care to pet food and kitchen goods. If you’re serious about going plastic-free Trash Plastic will come as a huge help.
Readers’ Choice Award
Surfers Against Sewage
After starting as a grassroots movement in Cornwall to tackle the issue of raw sewage in the ocean, Surfers Against Sewage has grown into one of the most active environmental charities in the UK. The organisation works to clean up the country’s beaches and now taking on plastic pollution is their main priority, which they’re doing on both a local and national level through beach cleans, school programmes, campaigning for deposit return schemes and plastic bag charges, and lobbying government, and they have so many ways that you can get involved to help create change.