Updated: Jul 1, 2020
The best way to end all the garbage floating in our oceans is NOT by recycling it, but by NOT CREATING it in the first place.
If we start saying “no” every time we are given a new bag when we go shopping, we wouldn't be arriving home loaded with bags which we instantly throw in the garbage.
In the UK, a regulation banning the distribution of single-use plastic bags came into force on March 19, 2019. The objective of this measure was to ban a product which is generated from fossil fuel and which, after very short use, ends up polluting seas, oceans and damaging our wildlife.
As an alternative, companies started offering more sustainable options, but how good of a replacement are they?
A few months ago, the expert group Green Alliance specialising in climate change warned that compostable and biodegradable plastics could also increase marine pollution. Many consumers carelessly dispose of biodegradable bags believing they are less harmful to nature. The truth is that, currently, there are not enough resources to ensure efficient processing of these plastics.
Compostable plastic bags only decompose under certain conditions which only occur in industrial composting plants. Not all cities have industrial composting facilities and many of them can't recycle compostable plastic, so this type of plastic can often end up in landfills anyway.
Something very similar happens with biodegradable bags. Although the name suggests that due to its composition - it carries part of organic matter - they can decompose naturally in nature, the conditions necessary for heat and humidity rarely occur in the natural environment. Therefore, when biodegradable plastic disintegrates, it may sometimes only break down partially into smaller pieces such as microplastics. What happens next we all know. Animals ingest it and in this way, the particles enter the food chain.
Other alternatives, such as paper bags, are not much better either, and promoting their use only means moving the problem to another ecosystem - to the already degraded forests.
Besides, the study says that in many countries, paper recycling systems are not able to produce recycled fibres of sufficient quality, making paper and cardboard useless in landfills.
Textile bags stand out. They are characterised as the most durable, but only if we reuse them enough. According to a report from the British Environment Agency, each textile bag would have to be used at least 131 times to compare its environmental impact with a conventional plastic bag. It should be noted that the cotton with which it is manufactured generally comes from intensive cultivation fields that use large amounts of natural resources, fertilisers and pesticides.
The only truly sustainable alternative is to recycle the bags we already have at home as often as possible and always carry them when we shop not only at the supermarket but at any other store.
Changing our habits requires a little effort, but it means a lot to our Planet.
Furoshiki and Wrapuccino fabric wraps can be reused many years to come and repurposed as we please. In this way, each piece of fabric, depending on whether it's 100% organic cotton, velvet, silk or linen can one day be a gift wrap, another day a lightweight handbag, a picnic blanket or your personal accessories such as a scarf or a hairband. Options are truly never-ending and only limited to your own creativity.
The lightweight handbag can be combined with a strap that is made from pineapple leaf fibre that is sustainable, vegan and ethically sourced. Sign up to our newsletter to be notified when they come back to our store.
By putting a modern twist on the ancient Japanese art of Furoshiki & introducing contemporary designs, we are advocating wrapping in fabric as a sustainable & no waste alternative to single-use paper wraps and bags.
All wraps are sourced in Europe from carefully selected fabrics and are then finished by hand to perfection by our artisans in Poland.
Head over here to see our collection, but don't be discouraged if you don't find what you're looking for.
We don't stock many designs to avoid unnecessary production but we do have access to hundreds of different occasion designs and tens of various types of fabrics.
You can email us directly here to request a brochure or just to tell us what it is exactly that you're looking for.