Plastic Free July
Tandem are proud to support Plastic Free July this year, individually and as a company, we are actively reducing our single use plastic waste. The global movement has helped millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution, so we can have cleaner streets, oceans and beautiful communities, however, reducing single waste hasn’t been the main objective of the Covid-19 recovery plan.
We have had to accept there is currently an increase in single use waste products such as packaging. The individual baked goods in your local supermarkets now come pre-wrapped in a plastic bag to prevent anyone touching or sneezing on your bread roll, a risk not worth taking during the current pandemic. But just think about all the wrapping from our online home deliveries too!
Even by protecting our health, more single use face masks and gloves are being made and sold so we can use public transport safely, but these are now joining plastic bags and straws and finding their way into the oceans. Ideally we need to avoid the ‘pandemic of plastic pollution’ with statistics already going around on how much our single use consumption has increased since the pandemic started, with discarded PPE and packaging from the surge in e-commerce deliveries contributing to the problem.
In recent years, the successful campaign to encourage customers to use a reusable cup when they buy their daily coffee has resulted in many of us opting for our own eco cup or collapsible mug. But, due to Covid-19 health and safety measures, coffee shops aren’t currently allowed to do this and instead have to give you a fresh cup each time. Yes, this means there will be an influx in single use cups and cutlery, but with more of us working from home and therefore drinking coffee at home, the impact of these single use products might not be that big?
But what can you do to help reduce waste during a pandemic? Even making small changes such as wearing washable masks instead of throwaway ones, using alcohol gel instead of plastic gloves are both safe and eco-friendly suggestions. Staying safe is key, but can we do this in a way that doesn’t disregard how far we have come in recent years to change our habits on plastic usage. Hopefully the efforts from the many organisations campaigning for Plastic Free wont see this as a step back, but a pause on moving forward. It wont be long before we have our ‘new normal’ and can focus on sustainability and our health at the same time.