We are encouraging people to give up single use plastics this month for Plastic Free July. Plastic Free July is a global initiative which challenges people around the world to reduce or give up plastic and help save our planet. Our goal in setting up Bray’s first zero waste shop was to help the local community to minimise household waste and the amount of unnecessary plastic packaging headed to people’s homes with each shopping trip. To mark Plastic Free July we are adding a click and collect service to our website from July 16th to make shopping without plastic even easier, and inviting you, our customers, to share your little wins, the ways in which you are eliminating the need for plastic in your lives bit by bit.
To get the scary stats out of the way, in Ireland over 1 million tonnes of food is wasted each year. Across the globe, more than 25% of all food produced goes to waste. It is estimated that food waste generates up to 10% of global greenhouse emissions. Plastic packaging also contributes to food wastage as well as being harmful in its creation and oftentimes in its disposal. According to sustainability charity, Wrap, pre-packaged food contributes to food waste because it encourages or forces customers to buy more than they need, leading to food languishing in cupboards or fridges until they are no longer good to eat. But by shopping at bulk stores such as Planet A you can combat this. At Planet A everything works by weight, meaning you buy only as much or as little as you need, filled into containers, bags or lunchboxes brought from home, or paper bags picked up in store. From a mountain of Irish oats, to a teaspoon of fennel seeds, there is no need to buy any more or any less than you want. And ,as an added bonus the inside of your kitchen cupboards will be so much prettier to look at.
So as everyone returns to normality and their busy lives, at Planet A we are trying to make sustainable living more, well… sustainable! With click and collect, you can either drop your empty containers in to the shop and we will fill them for you while you go about your day, or you can simply order online and your items will be filled into paper bags ready for you to collect.
It has been a huge joy to see so many people adopting new habits and coming together to share tips and recommendations for recipes and cleaning, stuff like that. That sense of community is something we were really hoping to make space for, so it’s lovely to be able to see it happening. Zero waste shopping is really all about community, it’s about trying to reduce our impact on the earth and by doing so helping our global community, but also about helping our neighbours.
At Planet A we distribute bulk prices evenly amongst our customers, whether you are buying 2kg or 200g, meaning that people who are usually unable to avail of bulk-buying discounts, such as older single people, are able to get only as much they need without paying a premium or wasting excess food.
So, how will you be the solution to plastic pollution this Plastic Free July? At Planet A we recommend starting your switch with something easy like refilling washing up liquid and laundry detergent instead of buying new bottles. Since our opening we have saved over 3,000 new plastic bottles, 10,000 new plastic packets, and 1,000 new spice jars from entering people’s homes in favour of refilling. It’s truly amazing to see the difference we can make when a lot of people start to make a small change in their habits.