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13th July 2018 | Blog

The T Plus Guide to Recycling Like a Pro

Bottles, straws, lunchboxes, nappies, pens, kettles, wrappers, coffee cups, paddling pools, cars, clothes, that gum you’re chewing, that chair you’re sitting on- plastic is everywhere. Since David Attenborough graced our screens with views of the beautiful and complex world of the deep blue, and how our plastic obsession is threatening it, awareness has exploded.

Why is plastic an issue?

In a natural system, like your back garden, everything is in balance. The trees produce leaves and fruit in spring and summer, creating food for animals and insects. They do this from energy of the decaying leaves from the previous autumn. And so, the cycle continues, so that all is replenished at the same rate as waste is absorbed.

This is where plastic becomes an issue. Plastic breaks down very slowly, for some products this will take hundreds if not thousands of years. Not only does this cause mountains of waste, with tonnes of the stuff ending up in the sea, but it also releases harmful toxins in the process. These easily get into the food chain and damage marine life, with the toxins having the potential to reach humans through contaminated fish.

We understand that with plastics having confusing recycling labelling, and some not being suitable for recycling at all, many of us feel like this is a losing war on waste. However, with just a little information, we can all massively increase the plastic that is recycled and avoid products with plastic that cannot be recycled.

So, what better time than #PlasticFreeJuly to tackle this issue head on and knowledge ourselves up.

WHAT ARE T PLUS DOING?

We here at t plus have decided to tackle this issue head on, and we are proud to say that our tea bags are polypropylene-free! Yay! This will mean there should be no guilt brewing in you when you pick up a box of t plus tea!

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Thirsty: Invest in a metal reusable water bottle, and download the refill app. If you’re out and about, just look at this and it will show you nearby business that are happy to refill your bottle for free

Hungry: Buy in bulk with your food shopping, look for packaging that avoids plastic such as paper. Don’t be tempted by the plastic bags in supermarkets for veg, either bring some material bags or just pop it all straight in your trolly!

Lunch break: Save yourself from the expensive and unhealthy meal deal and try to start to bring lunch in from home. Not only will this save you minimum £15 a week but will massively reduce how much plastic packaging you use.

Washing: There are loads of innovative companies doing great things for the environment, and one of these is the sustainable cleaning brand, Ecover. From washing up liquid to hand soap to oven-cleaner. These products clean just as well as their high-street competitors, but without the harsh ecosystem damaging chemicals, and with the option of refills so you only need to buy one container!

BUT WHAT CAN I RECYCLE?

What plastic is recyclable often bamboozles people, there’s so many types!

To help this situation, we’ve devised a handy guide to the plastic recycling symbols and what that means for you!

PETE Plastic

Used for: plastics jars, drinks bottles, carpets.

Recyclable: Yes

Made into: Carpets, Clothes, Pillow stuffing

 

HDPE Plastic

Used for: Plastic bags, milk bottles, Shampoo and Conditioner bottles, toys.

Recyclable: Yes

Made into: Plastic crates, fencing.

 

Used for: Clingfilm, shoes, window frames, pipes.

Recyclable: Yes- check with your local recycler (council)

Made into: Flooring

 

Used for: Sandwich bags, squeezable bottles, shopping bags.

Recyclable: Yes- check with your local recycler (council)

Made into: Rubbish bins.

 

Used for: Nappies, female sanitary products, Tupperware, kitchenware, prescription bottles, bottle caps, disposable cups and plates, some tea bags (not ours!).

Recyclable: No

Solution: Use re-usable sanitary products such as a moon cup or washable pads, use steel boxes in place of Tupperware, don’t buy disposable cups and plates.

 

Used for: Disposable coffee cups, plastic food boxes/ cutlery.

Recyclable: No

Solution: Use a re-usable coffee cup and stainless-steel containers.

 

Used for: CD’s, DVD’s, baby bottles, large water bottles, glasses.

Recyclable: No

Solution: Use online platforms to watch films and listen to music, use reusable water bottles, choose non-plastic glasses when available.

 

 



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