We’re thrilled to announce that Sea Soul Blessings have been named as Plastic Free Business Champions and Community Allies by Plastic Free Penzance today!
Reducing our reliance on single use plastics is one of the ways we can all protect and preserve the natural world that so inspires us.
And it seems apt that the place that I first fell in love with the sea – the Isle of Arran – was Scotland’s first community to gain that status!
So why does going plastic free (or even just a bit plastic-less) matter?
Thanks to David Attenborough and others, we’ve all been learning a little more about the negative impact of single-use plastic on the planet every day…
Since the 1950s, around 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced worldwide – and only 9% of that has been recycled.
According to the National Geographic, 73% of all beach litter is plastic, and more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are already floating in our oceans.
It’s a problem that I see on a smaller scale every day when I go swimming. Much of the single use plastic we find on beaches and in landfill comes from plastic containers – bottles used for our drinks, shampoo, washing up liquid – and plastic or plastic-laminated packaging.
In 2017, a report in the Guardian found that 1 million plastic bottles are purchased every minute – a number that’s set to increase by another 20% by 2021 unless we make some significant changes.
According to research by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, up to 13m tonnes of plastic leaks into the world’s oceans each year – and it’s swallowed by sea birds and fish (and in turn, by their predators – including us).
Shockingly, by 2050, it is believed that by weight, the ocean will contain more plastic than fish.
As a family, we collect plastic and fishing debris whenever we’re on the beach, often joining the Surfers Against Sewage community beach cleans (find your nearest one here). But it often feels like a hopeless task. It’s clear that we need to change the way we consume – and stop the problem at its source.
So at home, we’ve made simple swaps – like using refillable washing up and conditioner bottles, refilling these at local shops like Archie Browns, switching to shampoo bars and using soaps instead of liquids, and trying to remember to take our Keep Cups and water bottles with us at all times… But as a new business, we also wanted to ensure that we weren’t contributing to the plastic crisis.
How has Sea Soul Blessings gone plastic free?
So this year, we redesigned a new sustainable Sea Soul Blessings box set, making it totally plastic free.
To become a Plastic Free Business Champion, you have to demonstrate actions you’ve taken to remove single use plastic from their business.
Here are some of ours:
Sea Soul Blessings – the box set
– The card box is now made without any plastic laminate, and is 100% recyclable in any waste collection system.
– The cards are printed without any plastic laminate, and are 100% recyclable in any waste collection system.
– The mini book is printed on 100% recycled paper, and is 100% recyclable in any waste collection system.
– The outer mailing box we use is 70% recycled cardboard packaging, and it’s 100% recyclable in any waste collection system.
– To protect the Sea Soul Blessings within the outer mailing box, we use either waste paper or Biofil.
Strangely, Biofil looks a bit like polystyrene, but it’s actually a biodegradable starch loose-fill – you can literally put it in a cup of water and it dissolves, it’s amazing!
– We use paper bags
– We use recycled tissue paper for wrapping parcels (instead of shiny laminated wrapping paper)
– We stopped using stickers to seal parcels when we realised these were probably laminated too…
– We make paper display cases out of leftover packaging, and use reusable plastic display frames so that we can change whatever message we need to share without buying anything new.
What does it mean to be a Community Ally?
Community Allies are people who are making changes in their own lives and passionate about spreading the message to the wider community.
I guess that’s what we’re doing right now in this post, and in life in general…
Sea Soul Blessings also donates 10% from every sale to environmental charities (which has actually been Surfers Against Sewage since October!) and that means that we’re regularly talking about what they do and why, helping to spread the word to our customers.
This continues in our home life too, where we support charities like Orca Web (the daughter is an Orca Fin Friend…). I’m also a member of Tree Sisters, and donate monthly to their tree planting projects – I’ve funded the planting of 660 trees there so far, which is amazing!
Could you bring Plastic Free Status to your community or your business? There are an amazing group of Plastic Free Champions in Penzance – and we’re proud to be in such good company. You can find out more about the initiative here.
And if you would like to support our little plastic free business by buying something from us, you can do that right here. Thus immediately taking a positive plastic-free action, by buying a plastic-free product, and by contributing to our donations to environmental causes…! Thank you!