The Leaf: Issue 1 May 2021 - SINGLE USE PLASTICS
Welcome to The Leaf, Drayton's NEW monthly sustainability blog!
Each month we'll focus on a theme related to our pathway to net zero carbon emissions by 2025, highlighting the tireless work by the dedicated Drayton staff who are making it happen.
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In this first issue, a topic we can all identify with, at work and at home...
Single Use Plastics
Single use plastics (or SuP for short) can be defined as plastic goods that are intended for disposal right after use, for example product packaging. These are difficult to avoid in our daily lives and business, but there are steps we can all take to minimise their use. Reducing, reusing and recycling SuP wherever possible can contribute to:
- > Less plastic ending up in landfill
- > Less plastic pollution in waterways and less damage to aquatic life
- > Less litter in our streets and beauty spots
- > Reduced greenhouse gas emissions from SuP manufacture
We're striving to minimise not just the SuP we use and dispose of on-site, but also what leaves us in our consumer packaging. We have a dedicated team of employees working hard to identify where we can reduce our reliance on SuP and find more sustainable alternatives.
Headed up by Debie Robinson, the SuP elimination team - founded in 2018 - has already made significant improvements by eliminating almost 4 tonnes of SuP from our supply chain, and we're collaborating at all levels from our suppliers to our retailers to improve the sustainability of packaging materials. Find out more below.
"We should consider sustainability and the role we all play in making this happen, as a way of life not a fad. I regret that it has taken me 55+ years to understand and realise how much damage we have done to our world. I am passionate about this subject not only at work, but in my home life as well."
- Debie Robinson, Senior Buyer and SuP Team Leader
What SuPs have we already eliminated from our supply chain?
- Thanks to the cooperation of our retailers, we've significantly reduced the use of blister packs used in our consumer packaging, and they'll soon be phased out entirely.
- We've worked closely with suppliers to eliminate plastics from the packaging of parts delivered to our factory, like polystyrene, polythene bags and plastic carton dividers now replaced with cardboard.
- Plastic-free packing tape has replaced plastic-based tapes for sealing outer cartons.
- Plastic pallet protectors and stretch wrap have been eliminated.
- We've ended the use of plastic cups in our on-site kitchens and cending machines, and ecnourage our employees to use reusable cups and bottles.
What about the SuP we still use?
Since 2018 Drayton has operated as a Zero Waste to Landill site, meaning 100% of our waste is reused or recycled, so no SuP disposed of on our premises will go to landfill. Even still, there's more work to do and the SuP elimination team continue to identify areas where we can reduce our reliance on SuP and find eco-friendly alternatives, that will reduce damage to our environments and help create a more sustainable future.
How can we reduce the use of SuP at home?
There are many simple ways to reduce single use plastics at home, read our 10 tips below to get you started:
- 1. Keep a reusable steel, glass or BPA-free water bottle with you to reduce reliance on dispoable plastic bottles.
- 2. Swap out plastic straws to those made from paper, or go reusable with stainless steel straws.
- 3. Switch from cling film to reusable beeswax food wraps, you can even make your own!
- 4. Visit your nearest low waste shop with your own containers - a chance to reuse those handy takeaway boxes instead fo throwing them out.
- 5. Take your reusable coffee cup to participating cafés and coffee shops
- 6. Shop at local produce markets where goods often have minimal packaging compared to supermarkets, or try vegetable delivery services.
- 7. Swap the wet wipes for washable, plastic-free cleaning cloths (or even cut up old clothing into rags).
- 8. Say no to balloons - we know they're fun, but stray balloons once popped can seriosuly harm wildlife if ingested. Try eco friendly alternatives like paper pom poms.
- 9. Prep your own snacks and reduce the need to pick up food packaged in plastics when you're out and about.
- 10. Be more mindful in your purchases - where you have the choice, choose the product with more sustainable packaging.
Want to know what environment-related awareness days are coming up? Browse our tips below for ways to get involved. And when you do, we'd love to see! Why not tag us in your social posts and you could be featured in a future issue of The Leaf! @DraytonHome on Facebook and Instagram.
Did you know May is National Walking Month? There's still time to get in those extra steps in. Try leaving the car at home and walking short journeys to reduce carbon emissions; good for the planet, and good for you.
Water Saving Week 17th - 21st May - By reducing water use you can help reduce energy used by water treatment facilities, and therefore reduce carbon emissions. It'll even save you some money on the utility bills! Read our March World Water Day article for tips to save water at home.
World Turtle Day 23rd May - Turtles are often hit hard by plastic pollution in our oceans, becoming entangled, drowned and poisoned by the plastics we use every day. Show them some love by committing to swapping a single use plastic with an eco-friendly alternative in your daily life.
The Great British Spring Clean 28th May to 13th June - We've seen a few tips to reduce SuPs, but what can we do about the pollution already out there? Here's your chance to muck in and help remove pollutants and prevent them from causing more damage. So whether you're joining a community litter pick, going solo, or even combining jogging and litterpicking ('Plogging' I believe is the technical term!), every little helps. Find out more on the Keep Britain Tidy website.
Global Environment Day 5th June - This year's theme is Beat Plastic Pollution, so here's another chance for you to help spread awareness of plastic pollution and make some changes - big or small - to help safeguard our environments, whether it's reducing your SuP use or clearing up plastic litter from your local area.
World Refill Day 16th June - Ditch the SuPs on 16th June and remember to refill where you can. And that's not just water bottles, if you haven't yet then try reusable tea and coffee cups, or visit your nearest refill shop with your containers for a low-waste shopping trip. Challenge yourself, what else could you refill?
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