Now more than ever, we need to be more aware of the waste - and specifically plastic waste -that we create in our daily lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a lot of our good routines and habits to slip, with limitations and restrictions in place for the good of our health meaning that we are much more likely to use single use plastic items - either because we have no choice, or because it is seen as easier or more sanitary.
Before COVID, global awareness of and action towards the plastic pollution crisis was growing hugely (especially in developed countries such as the UK), sparked by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II and initiatives such as Plastic Free July and the Marine Conservation Society’s Plastic Challenge. This huge shift in public opinion and knowledge was aided by government initiatives, bills and laws such as the 5p charge for single use plastic carrier bags in all UK shops (introduced in 2016) and the actions of big businesses, such as Costa Coffee, who introduced a 25p reduction in the cost of your drink if you use a reusable cup.
Sadly, the COVID 19 pandemic has put the breaks on all this progress - and in some places, even reversed it. In the name of cleanliness and hygiene, we are all using MUCH more single use plastic in our daily lives - from single use masks, disinfectant wipes and single use coffee cups and drink cartons. Even for those very plastic conscious amongst us are having to use single use plastic where they otherwise wouldn’t have done - for example with COVID testing, which produces a huge amount of plastic waste per test.
It is therefore key, that we do our best to reduce our plastic usage in areas where it IS possible to avoid it - in our homes.
In 2018, UK households produced a total of 26,411,000 tonnes of waste, of which, only 45% was actually recycled. However, this is just the waste that was collected and counted and therefore doesn’t consider consequential waste such as microplastics from scrubbing brushes and sponges - which are in many ways, much more dangerous than the large pieces of plastic that we are all aware of in the environment.
However, Leo’s Box provides a very easy solution to these issues, as their brilliant subscription boxes mean that you can have plastic free items for your home delivered straight to your door! By switching your plastic scrubbing brushes and sponges with the natural coconut bristle ones available in their “One Off Kitchen Box”, you will be preventing the loss of microplastics into the ocean. Or by using the water soluble oven cleaner and kitchen anti-bac in glass spray bottles, you won’t be accruing empty plastic bottles which then go into our already overwhelmed recycling system, or else to landfill.
All of the swaps I mentioned are easy to make and make a real difference to both the plastic pollution crisis and the climate crisis - as the two are irrevocably linked through the manufacture and burning of fossil fuels. Therefore, if you are conscious of the impact that you are having on the planet, they are absolutely brilliant swaps to make!
Please know that other options and products are available not just from Leo's Box.