World Recycling Day: It’s Not Easy Being Green
At Babymel, we are committed to making sustainable choices wherever we can. Not just for ourselves but for our babies too, we want to help make sure they have a safe and and healthy planet to live on in years to come. Combined, UK households throw away approximately 11 million pieces of plastic packaging every hour. Shocking right? So we want to help tackle this, both with our products and with a lifestyle. Read more below to find out how you too can make choices and changes to help live more sustainably.
Nearly all of the plastic that has ever been produced still exist (which is mind blowing in itself!) This inevitably ends up in landfill and our oceans. By introducing products made from recycled materials, we are now able to help reduce this waste. As a small business, we don’t have the buying power to develop new innovative recycled materials. Instead we rely on our trusted suppliers to help source new materials that are kinder to the planet, but there is a bit of a supply and demand conundrum and this is where WE NEED YOU! When consumers choose recycled and sustainable options, they are driving demand and so these materials will become more readily available at prices that are affordable. These small steps can lead to real change for everyone.
Often these materials are only available because a wasted material has been recycled. This means we need to remember to effectively recycle the plastics we use everyday to ensure they have a life beyond their single use. To reduce our overall plastic waste we can take an easy 4 R’s approach:
We ‘R’ With You
We don’t claim to be 100% sustainable, simply because this is virtually impossible! Every small change we make to our business and in our personal lives are positive steps in the right direction, and together we are making a difference, so don’t let a small plastic swap feel like nothing, everything contributes to a much bigger picture.
Did you know that on average, more than 15% of the cost of a product is for packaging, most of which ends up being thrown away almost immediately! That’s why in 2018 we removed 100% of the paper stuffing from our bags, and changed the outer packaging to compostable materials. This not only means less waste is produced, but the price you pay is for a great quality product rather than packaging that you don’t want or need.
In 2019 we introduced our first eco collection, made from recycled plastic bottles. It was something we spent a lot of time researching and testing with our factory to make sure the material was right for a baby changing bag and still had the same properties of the other materials we were using at the time. We had to make sure the material was still just as high quality, lightweight, durable and water resistant and it definitely ticked all of those boxes. Almost 5 years later, more than half of our range is made from eco materials and we are continually looking at how to adapt the rest of our range to offer more eco products. Since then, we are proud that we have saved an amazing 425,000 plastic bottles and counting from landfill and our oceans.
‘It’s not easy being green’
- Kermit the frog
It is easy to feel overwhelmed with so much information you can easily turn a blind eye and continue to do what you always have done (which we are all guilty of from time to time!) Just remember, any small change makes a real difference. Recycling a single plastic bottle will save enough energy to power a light bulb for 3 hours or more. Focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t. To help, we have spoke to the Babymel team and put together some of our favourite top tips you can adopt to your everyday lives.
1. Take it back! Supermarkets have recently started a soft plastic (crisp packets, bread bags, toilet roll wrap etc) take-back scheme. You can collect your soft plastics and take to your local store to recycle; it really is that easy! Just look out for the collection (usually by the entrance or tills) or ask in your local store.
2. Start off small. Change one thing at a time to avoid eco burn-out. It can be as little as refusing a plastic lid when ordering a coffee, if you don’t have a reusable cup to hand.
3. Power in your pocket. Carry reusable items so you can easily refuse plastic products especially when travelling or at work. Reusable bags, cutlery, straws, bottles and cups are small, easily transportable and can be used again and again. It’s always handy to keep some in the car or the bottom of a bag if it’s something you use regularly.
4. Reuse or recycle single use plastics as you work towards swapping to infinitely reusable alternatives. Items made from aluminium are a really good choice over plastic as it is easy and quick to recycle with 75% of the aluminium ever made still in use.
Discover our full eco range here >