Innovative ways to reduce waste

You’ll be surprised to hear that each year, 2.12 billion tonnes of waste is produced causing significant harm to our planet. Although authoritative bodies around the world have introduced schemes and initiatives to encourage recycling — most of our waste continues to end up in landfills; which is leading to severe consequences for the environment. This figure is also expected to grow to 4 billion by 2100.

Because there is so much of it, sometimes waste is disposed of illegally — in our oceans. According to some studies, 1.4 billion pounds of rubbish ends up in our waters each year which is having a profound impact on marine life — so much so, scientists have estimated that the amount of plastic will outweigh the fish by 2050.

99% of the products we buy are disposed of within the first six months, one attribute to the high volumes of waste. Because of this, more businesses around the world are looking at more sustainable ways to create their products in a bid to help better the world that we live in.

Traidcraft Shop: Recycled Tableware

Glassware is a real tradition throughout eSwatini, and since 1979, original pieces have made great environmental impacts. Originally set up as a Swedish Aid Project, Ngwenya Glass now trains over 60 people in the art of glassblowing to create one-of-a-kind pieces of ethical homeware.

Company Ngwenya Glass are always looking to improve the surrounding community. All products are handcrafted from 100% recycled glass, sourced from throughout eSwatini by local people. Ngwenya Glass encourages communities to come together for clean-up days along main roads in the area to gather discarded glass. Most of the glass used to be soft drink bottles!

People who gather glass for the organisation are paid by the kilo. The business also works with local schools to educate young people in the importance of environmentalism and recycling, and supports schools with building materials and learning resources.

Fjällräven: Re-Kånken and Eco-Shell

This company has finally made its way to the UK — with their famous backpacks. Originating from a small town in Sweden, the company focuses on outdoor clothing and equipment and is committed to making nature more accessible for adventurers alike while having a focus on the simplicity of their products.

Although the products are simple in design, the creation of them is quite complex. To play their part in helping the environment, they released the Re-Kånken bag which is made entirely from polyester recycled from plastic bottles. As well as this, it is dyed with SpinDye technology which ‘radically reduces’ the amount of water, energy and chemicals used.

Another popular product from this company is the Eco-Shell. Eco-Shell is also made from recycled polyester and unlike many other products on the market, perflourinated chemicals are not involved in the creation.

Wasteboards: Skateboards

Wasteboards is a company based in Amsterdam and have created a popular skateboard that has an environmental twist. Benefiting the environment as research has suggested that there are 20,000 plastic bottles are being bought every second, this forward-thinking company collect plastic bottle tops to create the deck of the board.

The company encourages people to collect bottle tops from a range of different places such as events, they can then be used for the actual board. As well as this, fishermen who use the canals in Amsterdam are also asked to collect as much as they can.

Many people like the design of the product as it is handmade and moulded professionally into what looks like a conventional skateboard — the design is also aesthetically pleasing for its young demographic. This company loves the idea of being sustainable and being able to sell a sustainable product, so even if your wasteboard breaks — they’ll recycle the broken plastic and create you a new one!

 

Lush Cosmetics: Naked Products

You’ll have heard of Lush Cosmetics and their approach to being environmentally friendly. So much so they claim to be 100% vegetarian, promote ethical buying, fight animal testing, craft their products by hand and offer naked packaging products which is helping reduce the chaotic packaging crisis Britain is now facing.

Did you know that you produce 200 pounds of plastic each year? 60 pounds of this is disposed of almost immediately. This has highlighted a huge problem and put great responsibility upon businesses internationally and through innovative design, Lush Cosmetics were able to develop several products that didn’t require packaging to sell.

There are countless naked products available on the market too. As well as this, all of plastic used by Lush is 100% recycled.

Listed above are only a few of the many businesses trying to play their part in helping the environment. Today, more and more businesses are beginning to consider their environmental impact and change their ways. This proves that the ability to be creative and think outside of the box can truly have admirable benefits that help both people in the planet — could you become more ethically focused?

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