Last year, the #PlasticFreeJuly campaign inspired over 250 million individuals across 177 countries to give up single-use plastic and combat plastic pollution. On average, each participant saved 23kg of plastic from entering our waterways, streets, and natural environment in July alone - the impact of making plastic avoidance a permanent habit would be immense. We’ve put together a handy list of plastic-free brands to get you started.
Naked Toilet Paper
Sustainable toilet paper delivered to your door at the click of a mouse, packaged only in a cardboard box, may sound like a dream, but Greencane Paper has made it reality. Naked Toilet Paper was created in response to customer pleas for a zero-packaging option, the paper itself primarily made from recycled sugarcane and fast-renewable bamboo. It’s GMO, BPA, and chlorine-free, but just as strong and soft as high-quality, wood-based toilet paper.
Launched by Geoff and Helen Arden nearly ten years ago, Greencane has long been committed to providing its toilet paper, kitchen towels, napkins and tissues in 100 percent plastic-free and biodegradable packaging. Now, the innovative paper company is taking a step further, offering their online customers bulk deliveries of 48 rolls of unpackaged toilet paper.
When Geoff Arden came across a local forest being felled for pulp, he began to question why 30-year-old trees were being chopped down to make low-value products like toilet paper. ‘It’s just wrong when you have a sustainable alternative that takes just one year to grow. We launched Greencane as a change initiative. It was never as much about starting a business as it was about giving people the opportunity to live more lightly,’ he says. Today, Greencane Paper is quickly becoming a global brand, its sustainable products stocked in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
The world recycles less than nine percent of the plastic it creates. Every single piece of plastic and silicone ever produced still exists somewhere on the planet today.
Consider your morning cup of tea, for example. Brewing your tea using many supermarket brands’ bags can release 11 billion microplastic particles and 3 billion nanoplastic particles into a single cup. The Swag believes that the only truly sustainable way out of this mess is through compostable solutions, which means considering the practical and long-lasting steps we can start to take, no matter how small or large.
If you are just starting out on your sustainability journey, The Swag urge you to start with the simplest things, like swapping out ‘x’ for ‘y’. That cup of tea we mentioned earlier? You can swap out your ‘x’ tea brand for a set of Tea Swags paired with your favourite loose leaf tea. Tea tastes better when brewed from loose leaf tea or herbs, anyway, and the reusable Tea Swag Set is made from chemical-free, 100 percent unbleached, unseeded cotton. And, most importantly, there are absolutely no nasties or plastic infused in them unlike most single-use tea bags. Once you’ve taken your last sip, the set is both compostable and machine washable.
Established over 20 years ago, Envelopes Ltd have grown from a small family-run company to one of the largest envelope and postal packaging stockists in the UK. With the goal of reducing harmful products from the world of postal packaging, promoting sustainable materials, and minimising their environmental impact, they are taking steps towards replacing plastic packaging with biodegradable alternatives and looking at how recycling can become the default in their warehouses.
‘We take pride in being able to supply customers with eco-friendly products such as our new Black Combelopes. Combelopes are packed full of recycled card to give the contents of the envelope a robust and protective feel while protecting it from drops and squeezes,’ say the creators of Envirolopes’ newest range. Sealing the envelope is a quick peel-and-seal method, the glue used being super strong to keep the contents safe and secure with no risk of coming apart.
Combelopes are fully compostable and 100 percent biodegradable, and for anyone looking to make greener choices, Envirolopes’ growing range also include recycled envelopes, bamboo envelopes, eucalyptus envelopes, board back envelopes, book mailers, and glassine bags. All products are unbranded and available in all shapes and sizes, so, no matter your specifications, Envelopes have the perfect solution every time.
Plastic-free kitchen towels aren’t the easiest to come by. In partnership with Ocado, Ora has launched Ora Refill to make sustainability accessible and affordable.
Ora Household Towels are the round towels with a unique one hand grab function, meaning people can take just one towel at a time, reducing over-usage and unnecessary waste. In these hyper hygienic times, innovations like these lower the risk of spreading viruses, droplets, and bacteria through shared towels and cloths in the home.
Ora was born out of a desire to create a towel which uses the bare minimum of raw materials to do its job. Removing the corners, which are rarely used in household towels, and eliminating the inner tube have led to the creation of Ora’s sleek design, which is especially beneficial during shipping - fewer delivery journeys are needed thanks to the Ora stack being so much more compact than a conventionally designed towel.
The Ora Refill is packaged in recyclable, completely plastic-free, FSC-certified paper bags, and is currently available as a twin pack of two stacks of 100 sheets. Simply lift out a stack and place it onto a temporary or permanent Ora base, and reseal the bag until the next stack is needed. There are plans to extend the range to larger packs to contribute to the environmental benefits of bulk-buying.