The War on Plastic

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According to the National Geographic, nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute around the world, and some 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the oceans every year from coastal regions.

With less than a fifth of all plastic being recycled globally, consumers who care about these shocking statistics are turning away from plastic and seeking more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Consumer consumption habits are predicted to change as an increasing number of products offering plastic-free alternatives come onto the market. Click To Tweet

KeepCup, whose coffee cups are described on its website as the ‘first barista standard reusable cup’, which means they come in the right sizes for standard coffee drinks such as flat whites and espressos.

KeepCup

They are made from glass and BPA/BPS-free plastic, cork and silicone, with replaceable components available to order. The business started in Melbourne in 2009 and now has products available in 65 countries around the world.

Ethique solid beauty bars are a range of plastic-free bars of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face cleansers, moisturisers and deodorants, which started life in New Zealand in 2012 and is estimated to have saved the planet from more than three million plastic bottles so far.

Ethique

With more products set to be added to its portfolio – it even has a shampoo bar for dogs and horses – Ethique is now available in 44 countries worldwide and launched in the UK earlier this year.

Another brand riding the eco wave is Chilly’s, makers of cool-looking reusable metallic water bottles that keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours using double wall vacuum insulation technology.

Chilly’s

With a broad selection of colourful designs, the bottles are more like stylish accessories than a means to carry water around, and costing upwards of £20, they don’t come cheap.

The brand has broadened its reach via collaborations with designers such as Emma Bridgewater, and also sandwich chain Pret A Manger, which partnered with them in a bid  to reduce the amount of plastic it sells in its outlets and to boost its eco credentials.

According to Government figures, the sales of plastic bags at the UK’s seven biggest retailers have fallen by 90% since the 5p charge was introduced in 2015 – proof that consumers’ awareness of environmental issues is undergoing a transformation.

As an increasing number of products offering plastic-free alternatives come onto the market, the more consumer consumption habits are predicted to change. A consequence of that is that their expectations of how brands behave, and the measures they adopt to behave responsibly and sustainably with regard to plastic is also changing.

However, those that aren’t taking responsibility will need to make some alterations soon – subject to consultation, a tax on plastic packaging that does not meet a minimum threshold of at least 30% recycled content is being introduced in the UK in April 2022.

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