Plastic Free July
Plastic Free July is a great initiative for anyone to get involved in. It may seem like it’s something that doesn’t seem achievable right now or your hectic life get’s in the way of being mindful of Zero Waste. Unfortunately ‘Going Green’ hasn’t been all that easy. Retailers are now using probably double the amount of single-use plastic they have been using, to protect their customers from possible food contamination.
Our prestigious building on Lapp’s Quay in Cork City has been delegated by RMP (Responsible Plastic Management) as a supporting partner of their plastics programme. We are over the moon with this acknowledgement and wish to push a positive message around non-biodegradable, single-use plastics and the implications around misuse as much as we can this Plastic Free July.
Our Green Team here at Glandore, has come together to offer some helpful tips on reducing your consumption of plastic especially during Covid-19, where we have all seen an increase in single-use masks, gloves and many bottles of hand sanitiser.
Refill stations have increased in various health food and organic stores across Ireland. Many stock a wide variety of shampoos, conditioners, household cleaning products and washing up liquid. The concept is simple, you take your empty shampoo bottle or washing up liquid bottle and refill it in the store. It can seem difficult or weird the first time you do it, but these stores are so used to newbies who aren’t quiet sure how refillables work. So they will be happy to guide you. Each time you refill a shampoo bottle or a bottle of bleach , you keep one less bottle out of the bin and extend its life for longer.
Loose Fruit, Vegetables and Fresh Bread
The importance of buying local Irish grown food goes without saying. It reduces your food carbon footprint and provides employment and industry in our communities but our fruit and veg aisles have become a mountain of soft plastic, which can’t be recycled in your kerbside bin in Ireland. Check out your local independent fruit and veg store or farmers market – the vast majority of food there will be without any plastic at all. If you must put items in a bag, try use paper bags or even better reuse an old pillow case or cotton shopping bag, they make great bread bags or bags for oranges, apples or potatoes.
Reusable Cups & Water Bottles
During the recent pandemic there was a reluctance by some cafes to refill your reusable coffee cup, due to a fear of contamination. Recently over 119 virologists, doctors, chemists and epidemiologists signed a Greenpeace letter stating reusable cups and bottles are completely safe once they are washed properly. So do try get back into the habit of using your refillable coffee cup and water bottle.
With the increasing use of face masks across the globe, we have all seen used face masks dumped on the side of the road or outside a supermarket. Thankfully numerous stores are now selling reusable face masks and at Glandore we can also offer our members their own order of masks from our products booklet. Speak to any of our operations team to find out more.
While we should all aim to put as little as possible in our general waste bin. This doesn’t mean we should throw everything in our recycling bin. Putting non recyclables into a recycle bin, contaminate it and can result in the entire lorry load of recyclables being sent to landfill if the contents are too contaminated. In Ireland, the only type of plastic that can be recycled is hard plastic, such as bottles, food trays etc. Your bottle of hand sanitiser can be recycled, Just give it a quick rinse out before placing it in the recycling bin. Soft plastics such as sweet wrappers or the plastic wrapped around your vegetables is not recyclable. As always, remember to rinse out your plastic bottles and containers. Food waste on packaging will grow bacteria and contaminate the recyclables, resulting in it being sent to landfill or for incineration undoing everyone’s good work.
Terracycle is a private recycling company, where you can recycle a wide variety of difficult to recycle items. So while sweet packets can’t be recycled with your kerbside recycling, they can be recycled via Terracycle. It is simple to do, sign up to the free recycling programme on Terracycle’s website. Collect 1kg of plastics such as sweet wrappers or crisp packets or makeup/cosmetic containers. Once you have 1kg, you can ship it back to Terracycle free of charge. Our tip is to re-use an old shoe box to store up your sweet wrappers or crisp packets and then you can use that box to courier it back to Terracycle.
Keep an eye out on our social media channels or have a look back over some of our older relevant blog posts on Glandore’s Green Initiatives for more information on Zero Waste through the month of July. We are truly all in this together! @glandorenetwork