Becoming an eco-friendly ecommerce operation is a never-ending task, and it is important that to continue on our sustainability journey, we must constantly look at ways to reduce our impact on the environment and protect our planet for the future.
As you may have seen, we have removed shrink wrap and plastic strapping from the packaging on all of our integrated labels - saving around 5 tonnes of single-use plastic each year!
What are we doing instead?
As an alternative, we have made the switch to paper strapping - just as effective, but fully eco-friendly. It can be as easily recycled as card or paper, and is fully biodegradable. With 70% of consumers actively taking steps to reduce their use of plastic packaging, it’s important that we offer sustainable solutions so we can all help each other in protecting our environment. 
Why are single-use plastics so bad?
Single-use plastics are damaging to our planet. Incapable of degrading, they break down into microplastics, releasing toxic chemicals into our water supplies, food, and ecosystems. Ingested by wildlife, in particular aquatic animals, scientists have found that microplastics are prevalent in 114 sea creatures, with more than half of those consumed as food by humans. It has been found that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish, and with 80% of marine litter originating on land, it’s up to us to take actionable steps in managing our plastic waste correctly in a way that won't harm the environment, wildlife and oceans.
So, what can you do to help?
Popularly used for packaging and service ware, single-use plastics are meant to be disposed of after use, however over the years, this has led to a multitude of damaging environmental consequences.
But it’s not all doom and gloom - there are many, simple ways you can make small changes to your day-to-day life or to your business that can help.
1. Opt for reusable products
It’s easy to forget the impact that disposable plastics have on the environment, especially with today’s ‘throwaway culture’ and prioritising convenience over considering the long-term effects. Choosing items such as reusable water bottles and coffee cups, or cloth shopping bags and reusable metal straws is a quick fix that everyone can implement into their daily routine.
2. Recycle your plastic waste
It may seem like an obvious solution, but currently only 32% of total UK plastic waste is recycled. Recycling plastic requires less energy than producing plastic products, preserving the Earth’s natural resources and easing the demand of fossil fuel consumption, ultimately minimising its environmental footprint. With many types of plastic circulating, it’s also important to understand what to look out for on your plastic products and how to correctly recycle your plastic waste.
3. Choose plastic-free packaging
As the global war on plastic continues, it’s no surprise that there has been a growing demand for plastic-free packaging over the years. In light of this, eco-friendly alternatives to plastic packaging are constantly being developed, so that no matter what your packaging needs are, there is sure to be a sustainable, plastic-free solution. Implementing plastic-free packaging into your business is a great way of reducing plastic waste, limiting your impact on the environment and wildlife, and decrease your carbon footprint.
4. Look out for microbeads
Commonly found in many cosmetic and beauty products, microbeads are tiny amounts of plastic used in facial scrubs, toothpaste and body washes. Although they might look harmless, they are passed through into water treatment plants and are often mistaken by marine animals as food. There are various natural alternatives available such as oats or even salt, which pose no harm to the environment.
5. Buy in bulk where possible
Single-serving, travel-size, and small packaging products all contribute to greater plastic waste. Consider the ratio between product size and packaging and select the larger container as an alternative to buying several smaller sizes over time.
Ultimately, reducing plastic consumption is the most effective way of reducing waste and the implications of plastic pollution. Whilst we can't all do everything, everyone can do something - the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.
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If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Priory Direct Affiliate Team
Chloe Winsper | firstname.lastname@example.org | Samantha Holmes | email@example.com | Lauren Churcher | firstname.lastname@example.org