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2017 March

In this post you can read about
New Stuff
News & Events
Plastic Free…This Month
Planning Next Month

New 

Found a place that sells shea and coco butter in Leeds
And wrote a quick introduction to shea butter here
P-F U.K. Directory
There is a new page  U.K. based enterprises that provide plastic free/reduced products and services. These people state plastic/packaging reduction as part of their business ethos.

Talking of businesses we have a sourced #plasticfree toilet roll delivered to your door in a cardboard box. Result. 
Plus another reason to visit . A new Refill store has been sourced in Bath. Bulk buy or refill stores are places you can buy food loose.You take as much as you want/need from a larger container and you can usually use your own packaging.

A Biodegradable Cornstarch Toothbrush?
 The interchangeable head of Smiti is made of 100% biodegradable PLA. The aluminum alloy handle can be used for years, and at the end of its long life, be recycled.

Learn more by checking out the Smiti campaign page: http://kck.st/2kbnkZN
Find pictures and more information in the Smiti Press Kit:

U.K. Sourced Cotton Produce Bags  At last a U.K made produce bag. Thanks to DoYourBit who make the bags right here in the U.k. using  material sourced from a fair traded fabric company. Read more right here.

Updates
An update #plasticfree dental care can be found here
Plus a new look personal care page
An up date on oils and creams

News & Events 

Plastic Free…This Month

well not exactly #plasticfree but good news all the same. Spring has sprung. The 2017 vernal or spring (or fall) equinox comes on March 20 at 10:29 UTC (March 20 at 5:29 a.m. CDT).
And it marks the beginning of spring – the is here in the Northern Hemisphere.The sun crosses the celestial equator going from south to north and from now on sunrise is earlier, nightfall comes later, the soil is warmer and plants start sprouting.

Mothers Day March 
In the UK, Mother’s Day falls on Sunday March 26 this year.
Here are some excellent ideas on what to get the old dear including plastic free sweets and flowers. And if you do go down the gift route, and how to wrap it up – plastic free natch.

Plastic Free Lent
Lent 2017 begins on Wednesday, March 1 and ends on Thursday, April 13
Last year some folk are took part in a plastic free Lent. I would love to tell you more about this project but I don’t know a great deal myself. It is organised by peopel in Bristol (I am pretty sure of that) and has run for a couple of years now. It has a great FB page.
Here’s some blurb “Welcome to the Lent Plastic Challenge. A group for all those who are ready to challenge themselves and take on the pesky single-use plastics that pile up in our modern life.
To support your challenge, each week we will have different theme. So you can start off in the first week with one item and build up gradually”
Hooray for them.

Sign Up

There are now so many plastic free petitions I am now listing them on a separate page. So get your pens out and head on over to the petitions page.
Don’t be silly. I know nobody uses pens, or paper petitions come to that – but if you ever do want to write something try these refillable fountain pens… 

Latest Campaigns
But I’ll just mention this latest campaign.
http://news.sky.com/video/supermarkets-urged-to-create-one-plastic-free-aisle-10764981

Product Of The Month

Check out  the updated plastic free office… did you know rubbers were plastic? PVC no less. No me neither. You can get plastic free rubbers and other office supplies here…

Planning Next Month

The life #plasticless needs forward planing

Easter
Easter Sunday will fall on April 16th – start looking for foil wrapped eggs now. See our  guide to a #plasticfree Easter here.

The Plastic Free 2017 Calender

Events 

 

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Do Your Bit Produce bags

DoYourBit is an organic cotton reusable bag company locally run in the UK that aims to put an end to the excessive amount of plastic packaging we find in shops and supermarkets like Tesco or Asda. The goal is to focus on package-free items which produce zero waste. From fruits and veg to bread or nuts, to be used for non-food items or also as gift wrap instead of using the disposable one time use stuff most people use nowadays – you can use these bags any way you wish!

Originally from Canada but now living in the UK, when I first moved here it came as a shock to me how much plastic there was and how few zero waste options there were. I began searching and it wasn’t even possible to buy produce bags locally. I had to order them online and have them shipped from elsewhere in Europe. Since then, I decided to start up DoYourBit with the hope of spreading the word of using less plastic disposables and creating change in a world where plastic is everywhere. My goal is to help everyone do THEIR bit to reduce the environmental impact they have on the planet.

Not only is DoYourBit a local company but the material is also locally sourced from a fair traded fabric company which helps us do our bit by buying locally as well! You can use these bags for everything; at the bakery, farmer’s markets, supermarkets etc. They are 100% handmade and machine washable.

Details:

  • Drawstring bag 34x28cm (with olive green cord)
  • Sets of 3 or 5 bags available

*Different bags sizes can be requested and custom-made for customers

For more information, you can visit DoYourBit at

FB @doyourbituk

Instagram @doyourbit.uk

Etsy doyourbit.etsy.com

Ebay ‘DoYourBit produce bags’

More 

You can find more reusable produce bags here

And check out our guide to buying food plastic free here…

Loose Food A to Z

Find out if a shop near you sells bulk food loose. This is stuff that that normally comes plastic packaged ie rice, pasta and salt. And yes these shops do exist in the U.K. There’s just not many of them. Heres a list of towns with shops selling loose food,  organised alphabetically.

Please note…

This post was written by the contributor and  is  a PfU.K. Directory submission.

And the Pf U.K. Directory is…?

…a directory of UK-based groups, organisations businesses and individuals who are responding to the problems presented by the misuse of plastic. That does not mean anti-plastic necessarily but certainly plastic-problem aware.

The DIRECTORY is to promote their fantastic work. Read more here…

Got a project?
It is very easy to get a project featured. Each contributor submits a short synopsis of their project, focussing on the plastic aware element and I post it. You can read the submission guidelines here.

 

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Pet Food

Pets are not really my area of expertise. I had a goldfish once but that’s it. So please if you can add anything useful to this post, dive in.

Homemade Dog & Cat
When we were pet sitting in Loas, we would buy meat from the market and boil it up with rice. That kept 2 dogs and 3 cats going.
1 kilo rice
1 kilo mainly liver and a bit of intestine
Boiled the meat – drained the water used that to boil the rice.
Mixed the two together.
Lasted for 9 feeds they were fed twice a day.

U.K. Wide General
Range home stores do loose dry pet food. For everything from dogs to hamsters.
Some Weigh & Save shops also do it.

Local (West Yorkshire) General
Huddersfield market has a pet food stall that does loose dog chews and birdseed.
Earnshaws timber merchants do loose WILD birdseed.

Remember to take your own bags..


Packaging

While these shops provide bags and they are almost always plastic ones. You will need to take your own plastic-free /reusable bags, tubs and bottles.

Tare

The weight of the container may make a difference at checkout. Some shops  subtract the tare weight but other don’t. The tare weight is the weight of the empty container.

More

Useful post on pet poop composting at home, here.

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Dog poop bags and composting waste

This is something I really hate …. plastic bags of dog @*%! hanging from the bushes.

But then plastic bags of dog poop anywhere are a bad idea and a big problem!

According to PFMA (Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association) the dog population of the U.K., in 2014, stood at 9 million. The average dog according to Streetkleen produces 340g of fecal matter per day x 9,000,000 dog population = 3,060 tonnes of poo per day x 365 days per year =1,111,900 tonnes of dog poo annually.

Why Not Landfill?

Putting plastic bags of poop in landfill is problematic for the following reasons

  • Biodegradable waste does not do well in the unnatural conditions of landfill. It bubbles away producing methane another more potent greenhouse gas.
  • The non biodegradable waste, plastic, is there for ever.
  • As of April 2016 Landfill Tax is £84.40 per tonne . At over a million tons that poop costs a lot.
  • we are running out of holes

What to do?

But how do you dispose of dog poop  responsibly and environmentally?

This might be an answer –use compostable plastic bags such as  BioBag dog bags and get a pet poop composter. You can read more about compostable plastics here and you can find cheaper than Biobags by Googling.

Pet poop composter

I believe that composting is the future. A household that can turn its own waste into food for the plants is truly sustainable and delightfully green. And who wouldn’t want to be any of those?  I have a number of compost bins BUT I don’t have a pet so cannot try this. I thought of getting a puppy but apparently  they are for life, not just for composting.

How they work…

Now as I understand it, the pet waste composter is a bin set in the ground. Chuck the pop in and nature will deal with it naturally. It will compost away. Just to reiterate, the resulting material is left in place. It is not meant to be used as compost, rather that the composting process is used to naturally dispose of dog poop!

Have a look at these ready made dog waste composters. You bury it in the back garden and drop in the poop.

Here is an Australian product called Yard Art in action

Here is a home made one

And an  article,  you can read on the subject.
Using the Compost…nooooooooo

MATT SULLIVAN writes a thoughtful and informative piece about the joys and perils of pet poop composting. As he says “several writers discourage pet owners from the practice at all. Others gave specific warnings of not using the final composted product in any edible gardens. A handful wrote that the compost from domestic animals was safe and could be used in vegetable crops.”

But, despite doom laden warnings, he goes ahead and uses worms to compost his dog dirt. It’s a success and he concludes that “even if you have no desire to add compost to your garden, I believe it makes sense to be a good steward of your animals. You feel good, help out the environment, and have an excuse to spend time outside.”

Wise words.

English: A worm composting bin. Worms are eati...

A worm composting bin. Worms are eating the newspaper bedding and producing compost. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

More

You can find hundreds of different composting methods here  including links to worm bins and underground composers.

This is an interesting idea – biogas from dog poo. 

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How to buy food plastic free

If you want to  shop plastic-free then you need to take your own packaging. Seems like a lot of bother? Well, here are  some reasons why you might wish to consider this option:
You don’t like that hormone inhibitors and toxic chemicals can leach from plastic packaging into your food,
You hate plastic pollution,

You love being zero waste

You find a place that sells your required product unwrapped. This can be  anywhere from your local butcher to the cheese counter at Morrisons.
You take your own packaging and ask them use that. Bit embarrassing at first but stick with it – I do it everywhere.

Reusables 

PRODUCE BAG
These are reusable bags that can be used instead of the plastic bags supplied by shops. Use them for veges, and anything else loose and dry,
I use a cotton or net produce bags.
Find out more about
 synthetic mesh bags
organic cotton produce bags

TUBS 

For meat, fish and other stuff I try to use a reusable plastic tub whenever can.Which means I take my own tub to the butchers and ask them to use that. I use a plastic tub because it is water proof, lightweight, I have had it for ages and there is lots of wear in it yet.

If you are worried about chemical leaching you might not want to use plastic tubs. As you know if you wash plastic at hot enough temperatures to clean the container properly, it is more likely to leach chemicals. And that plastic leaches more chemicals as it ages.

If this worries you can get metal or glass dishes. Glass is heavy so I would recommend metal dishes.

And some times, it doesn’t matter what I take, I get refusals. Supermarkets especially are not keen on this and will argue long and hard. Even some local butchers will refuse.,  in which case I use…..

Disposables

The following products are certified compostable and I compost them at home in my bin once I have done with them. They can also be safely burnt.

For meat and fish I use bio plastic  (corn starch bags – made from vegetables) 

For cheese and such like its old school paper bags.

At the deli counter  where I get humus, pate and the rest, I use these compostable PLA pots.

More

Though I recommend finding reuses for your disposable packaging, (for example using the bio bags to line your compost bin),they are of course disposable. This  might not sound like the greenest option but it is still a whole load better than plastic.

Compostable?

What is compostable? To be classed compostable, items must biodegrade within a certain time (around the rate at which paper biodegrades), and the resulting biomass must be free of toxins, able to sustain plant life and be used as an organic fertilizer or soil additive. For a man-made product to be sold as compostable, it has to meet certain standards. One such is the European Norm EN13432. You can find out more here.

Taking it home 

Carry your shopping home in  a reusable  carrier bag – natch!

My bags of choice are those old granny favourites, string bags.

I also have some tiny fold up carrier bags which come in very handy.

More

Though I recommend finding reuses for your disposable packaging, (for example using the bio bags to line your compost bin),they are of course disposable. This  might not sound like the greenest option but it is still a whole load better than plastic.

I compost all this packaging in my own compost bin. Yes even the cornstarch plastic bags and pots.

Loose Food A to Z

Find out if a shop near you sells bulk food loose. This is stuff that that normally comes plastic packaged ie rice, pasta and salt. And yes these shops do exist in the U.K. There’s just not many of them. Heres a list of towns with shops selling loose food,  organised alphabetically.

Buy Packaging

Being committed to local shopping, I prefer to buy that way whenever possible. I would encourage you to do the same. One of the joys of living plastic free is mooching round the local shops seeing what you can source. If you can’t buy local please do check the links above to the suppliers and buy direct from them and support their online businesses.

If you can’t do that then I have put together and Amazon catalogue. Yes I know…

flip & tumble Reusable Produce Bags- 5-PackEco-Bags Products, Produce & Bulk Bags, 3 BagsEco Bags String Tote Bag Long Handle Cotton Assorted Earthtones, ctWhite Reusable Muslin Bags with Draw String for Spice, Herbs, Tea, Mulled Wine, Bouquet Garni Infuser Sieve - 3" x 3.5" (10 pcs)5 Litre x 180 bags Compostable Bags - Biobag Kitchen Food Waste Caddy Liners 5 Litre - EN 13432 - Biobags 5L Bin Bags with Composting Guide6 Litre x 150 bags allBIO 6 Litre 100% Biodegradable & Compostable Kitchen Caddy Liners25ml Clear Biodegradable PLA Pots with Lids x 50 (Food/Craft/Storage Containers)

Amazon is a very dirty word at the moment and I thought long and hard before suggesting them.  Heres why I went ahead….. No we are not entirely happy with Amazons recent history. However, we have always found their service to be good and their packaging usually compostable.

If you buy a product via this link we do get an affiliation fee for this. This is not why we do it.

 

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Fruit & Vegetables

There are several options
Buy fresh loose at a shop or supermarket.
Vegetable/Fruit Box – where seasonal produce is delivered to your door
Visit a pick you own farm
Grow some
Foraged
Frozen
Dried

Huddersfield

Things to do with fruit

Buy


If you are lucky enough to still have a green grocer do support them and buy your veg there.
Weekly markets are another good option.
If not many supermarkets do sell some veg unpackaged.

BUT when you commit to buy unpackaged, your choice may (will!)  be  reduced. Often  soft fruits like strawberries are almost impossible to find unpackaged and you have to wait till Summer and pick your own. Organic produce is very often packed in plastic to make sure no one tries to pass it off as cheaper non-organic. Sometimes you may have to choose between packaged, fair-trade or unpackaged, not. You have to decide which criteria are more important to you.
Bearing in mind all the above, It is possible to have a varied diet – but you may not be able to have what you want whenever you want. If you choose to buy local fruit in season you will find it tastes better, is more likely to come unpackaged and, in the case of fruit,  less likely to be waxed. In short be flexible, buy local(ish), see what is on offer and think what you can with that.

N.B. YOU WILL NEED TO TAKE YOUR OWN PACKAGING. Check out the plastic-free shopping kit here.

Fruit & Veg Boxes

A vegetable box scheme is an operation that delivers fresh fruit and vegetables to your door. Their are plenty of schemes produce to choose from. Some are small scale organisations but there are a few nationwide operators, many guarantee  locally grown produce, others concentrate on organic. Generally you pay a fixed monthly sum and get what is in season,  some offer a limited choice. But there are new suppliers popping up all the time with different options.
Packaging is often reduced but there will be some. Do check before you choose a scheme.
This Indépendant article on the 7 best schemes is useful read. You can also ask the Plastic Is Rubbish group for tips.

Pick Your Own

Go to the farm and pick your own. Most of them do fruit- usually soft fruit, but some also do vegetable. Find one near you with this great farm finder website.

Grow 

Its easy and fun. You can start with basil in a pot perhaps a few lettuces in a window box or get yourself and allotment. However big or small your project nothing beats home grown fresh food.

Foraged 

Check out mother natures bounty – nettles, elderberries and blackberries are free, wild and so almost certainly organic.

Frozen  

you can buy  frozen fruit & veg loose from these suppliers  

Dried Fruit

Sometimes whats on offer is so boring you might want to turn to dried fruit. There are a few places you can buy  dried fruit loose and unpackaged. Try the loose food list

More

Waxed Fruit

Wax is added to fruit to make it last longer and /or look better. Coatings manufacturers guard their trade secrets and are tight-lipped about their ingredients. There is a big science in wax coatings. Fruit wax can be either natural, like carnuba wax, or they can be petroleum based. Some are also coated in shellac resin which is secreted by the female lac beetle. A lot of vegans are very vocal about this, as it is an animal based product being sprayed on produce. Read more here….

Soft Fruits Huddersfield  
Summer, a time for soft fruit strawberries raspberries and blackcurrants. Hurrah….but of course they all pre-packed in plastic tubs. We are lucky – we do have an allotment and do grow our own. But what with the slugs and the greedy guests we never quite have enough to see us through so we on a hot, sunny weekend we drive off to our local pick you own farm Bently Grange
Find one near you with this great farm finder website.

Urban Harvest 
Urban Harvest, Leeds: This group harvests unwanted apples and juices them. You can join in or just buy the juice. More details here
Abundance, York is a similar urban harvesting project but it gives the fruit to community groups.
It “identifies fruit growing that would otherwise go to waste, and redistributes it to charities or community groups that will make good use of it.

Fantastic Things To Do With Fruit

Got a glut? Over picked at the farm? Storing seasonal fruit for the hard times ahead? Here are some things you can do:

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Straws – reusable

I don’t use straws but if I did I would go for one of these.

Do note I have not used these myself  so I cannot say how well they perform or what the onward packaging is like. You will have to check with the suppliers. Any one who has tried them, can review them or can recommend some other great product please do  leave a comment.  Together we can make changes.

Bamboo

Super fun for a cocktail party – haven’t tried them myself yet but will do….. You can get them from boobalu  an ecofriendly online store

or these from Amazon

bamboo straw

  • 12 pack of bamboo straws.
  • The ecological choice for your health and the planet.
  • Washable. Reusable.
  • Made from 100% Real Whole Bamboo Stalks
  • Each straw is 10 inches in length
  • You can find a range of reusable straws on Amazon

 

steel strawsSteel Straws

Urban techno chic! I love the look of them, stainless steel straws for the classiest of drinkers.

USA -Can be bought with a whole load of other good stuff from Reusable Bags (USA based).

Or you can make your own

UK – You can find a range of reusable straws on Amazon

Glass Straws

The glass straw man?? Yes he makes reusable glass straws. Glass straws may sound like a bonkers idea, but read this and then decide

I haven’t used them myself but if you fancy giving them a go they are currently available in the UK from EBAY and from this UK based online shop A Fine Choice

Disposables

If you must have disposable straws buy these compostable ones. 

Campaigns

Join the straw wars here.

Buy

Being committed to local shopping, I prefer to buy that way whenever possible. I would encourage you to do the same. One of the joys of living plastic free is mooching round the local shops seeing what you can source. Coffee Evolution were doing take away ceramic cups for instance.

If you can’t buy local, please do check the links above. They look direct  to the suppliers.  Do consider buying from them and support their online businesses.

If you can’t do that then I have put together and Amazon catalogue. Yes I know…

4 Straight Metal Drinking Straw Stainless Steel Reusable Straws Stylish ref.112.z90/4 4 Metal Drinking Straw Stainless Steel Reusable Straws Stylish ref.112.z89
NRS Healthcare Clear Safesip Drinks Glass a…
£5.99
4 Straight Metal Drinking Straw Stainless S…
£5.49
4 Metal Drinking Straw Stainless Steel Reus…
£5.49
6 Metal Drinking Straw Stainless Steel Reusable Straws Stylish ref.112.z89/6 Kitchen Craft Stainless Steel Two-in-One Drinking Straws / Stirrers- set of two Stainless Steel Zack Vitis Straw Spoon Set/4
6 Metal Drinking Straw Stainless Steel Reus…
£7.49
Kitchen Craft Stainless Steel Two-in-One Dr…
£4.75
Stainless Steel Zack Vitis Straw Spoon Set/4
£12.00
Sustainable Bamboo Drinking Straws - 12 Pack
Sustainable Bamboo Drinking Straws – 12 Pack
£6.00
Amazon is a very dirty word at the moment and I thought long and hard before suggesting them.  Heres why I went ahead….. No we are not entirely happy with Amazons recent history. However, we have always found their service to be good and their packaging usually compostable.

If you buy a product via this link we do get an affiliation fee for this. That’s not why we do it.

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Greetings cards

Cards  have been the bane of my life , (I mean greeting cards not gambling  – that’s all in the past), as many come wrapped in icky plastic. So what are the alternatives?

E-cards

I love my friends but I love the planet – what to do.  I know you can send e cards but that’s just mean. No cards = no mates in my shallow social circles….

Unwrapped Cards

Look harder….there are unwrapped cards available. The post office in Marsh, Huddersfield sells them loose, and our Tescos had a lot of  unwrapped cards… which surprised me. So, I heard, does Hallmark.

Responsibly Made Cards

but if you can’t find what you want, try Etsy – art cards in compostable PLA cornstarch bags.

Check these out Bradford based company – Great Valentines day cards and plastic free  good loving.

Read the blurb….

100% RECYCLED WITH BIO-DEGRADABLE CLEAR BAG Printed on 100% recycled smooth white board. Each card comes with 100% recycled C6 brown craft paper envelope inside a clear bio-degradable bag. The bag is made from corn starch which is fully bio-degradable and compostable, breaking down to just CO2 and H2O – as green as you can get! Dig The Earth!

Print Your Own Cards

You can find downloadable art work for sale on Etsy or try Mrs Thriftes Free Printables Pinterest Page

Make Your Own Card

Nice ….but sadly crafts are plasticky what with the glue,  felt tips, glitter and packaging.

More

info on special days and parties here

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Green cane Tissues/ Paper Products

A while ago a company called Greencane sent me some tissues through the post. Not just tissues but toilet paper and kitchen roll too. A great big cardboard box full.  Since then I have been busy mopping, wiping and sneezing.  I now feel qualified to comment.
To conclude, the tissue was as soft and absorbent as any I have used.
But it was the packaging that thrilled.

I received a Mixed Box
Neatly packed in a box, a cardboard box, were
32 Rolls of Toilet Paper
(8 packs of 4 rolls)
6 Rolls of Paper Towels
(3 packs of 2 rolls)
3 Boxes Facial Tissues

The products were individually wrapped packs.
All the packaging was paper, card and or cellophone.
The cellophane is certified  as commercially compostable.

Anyone trying to live a plastic free life will know what good news this is!

About

Tissues 

Personally I prefer  reusable handkerchiefs or loo roll but there are times when a box of tissues come in handy and then there are problems. Buy what you think is a cardboard box of paper tissues and  you may find the hole, the one you pull the tissue through, has been reinforced with a plastic collar.
Well these are cardboard all the way. Yay!

Find out more abut plastic free tissues here.

Kitchen Roll

I don’t use kitchen roll. I have cotton dishcloths that can be used to wipe up spills, loo roll for sticky fingers and cotton napkins for fine dining… but if this is your thing you can now get it plastic free.
THIRSTY & STRONG!
Our 100% biodegradable paper towels comes in a convenient 2 roll pack with each roll having 80 sheets.

Toilet Rolls

You can buy  loo rolls in PLA compostable plastic packaging but buy in bulk and the packs come packed in normal plastic!?!
These guys will deliver,  in a cardboard box a
total of 48 rolls thats 12 packs of 4 rolls.
Each roll 300 sheets, 2 ply.
UK £23.80 per carton

Read more about going to the toilet plastic free, here.

More Details

There is a sticky label which peels off at the packet and looks just like plastic but I have been assured that this too is compostable cellophane. I quote: “This is a biodegrable water based coating to protect the core paper of the sticker but over the last few shipments has got thicker and thicker to the stage , I agree ,it seems like plastic.plus is proving hard to compost. So over the last 3 months have been working hard on minimizing this coating.But proved too hard so have made the decision to do away with coating altogether and next week i get first shipment with new label.”

The Paper

From the website: “Up to 70% of our paper is made from a mix of recycled sugarcane and bamboo fibre (bagasse), a byproduct of the sugar refining process. (Bagasse supplies are virtually unlimited worldwide). To obtain both strength and softness we need to then add 30% certified wood pulp = Sustainable.”

In a letter:

Real United Nations thing with our sourcing.
Timber from Canada.
Sugarcane from Thailand .
Bamboo from China.
Bags are supplied by Australia Company.not sure exactly where made .
Then all made in a very modern factory in Southern China.
All these suppliers carry environmental accreditation .
Including no GMO and Bpa.
I have over the years done a lot of work with our supply chain and with over 200 plus organic type stores we have had a lot of questions asked of us.

Delivery

They offer a home delivery service for the UK from their Brighton warehouse which is proving increasingly popular.

Buy

For lots more info and to order products  visit the website

Composting Plastic At Home
While most agree that some  plastics are indeed compostable, many say that they can only composted in large scale municipal schemes. As we don’t have many large scale municipal schemes this they say is a pointless advantage.I say the days of large scale municipal schemes is fast approaching as governments aim to divert biodegradable rubbish from landfill sites.
AND I have been composting my PLA plastic for years. We have used and composted a number PLA plastic products (including Biobags , Deli pots  and disposable Cutlery)
It does take longer than other products and  sometimes I have found shreds of it in my compost but I dig it into the soil where it quickly disappears.

Biodegradable, Compostable Plastics

What is biodegradable? Biodegradable products break down through a naturally occurring microorganism into simple, stable compounds which can be absorbed into the ecosystem. More about biodegrading here

What is compostable? To be classed compostable, items must biodegrade within a certain time (around the rate at which paper biodegrades), and the resulting biomass must be free of toxins, able to sustain plant life and be used as an organic fertilizer or soil additive. For a man-made product to be sold as compostable, it has to meet certain standards. One such is the European Norm EN13432. You can find out more here.

Read more about compostable plastics here

More Info

And you might like these other health & hygiene posts

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PLA Starch Bags – compostable plastic bags.

PLA starch bags are described as a compostable plastic.Which can be confusing as they are a very different product from conventional, oil-derived plastics. Many people dismiss the compostable claim despite them being certified compostable  See plastics and introduction for more on this.
PLA plastic  is made  from plant-based materials such as corn starch. You can find about more about starch derived plastics here .
Once again they are compostable and certified as such.

Same, same but different?

PLA bags are almost but not quite the same as conventional plastic bags. However they share enough similarities to make them a very useful substitute and can be a great tool in your plastic free armoury.
They are not quite as strong as conventional plastic bags so are not good as carrier bags but they are water proof for a limited amount of time, ( eventually there is seepage), but you can certainly use them to carry fish or meat home. 
They are compostable and despite what folks might say they can be composted in a garden compost bin. Read more about PLA and composting here

Biobags & Others
One example of PLA bags is sold by the company Biobags. Back in the early days they were amongst the first to sell  in the U.K. They have very good credentials. Their bags are certified to BS N13432 standard and are manufactured sustainably at facilities certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. BioBag is the world’s largest brand of certified biodegradable and compostable bags and films made from Mater-Bi®. Biobags are the bags used in Modbury the plastic free town.

These days many companies make and sell PLA bags and you can buy the from supermarkets.

NB do check you bag is certified compostable.

Compostable? 

What is compostable? To be classed compostable, items must biodegrade within a certain time (around the rate at which paper biodegrades), and the resulting biomass must be free of toxins, able to sustain plant life and be used as an organic fertilizer or soil additive. For a man-made product to be sold as compostable, it has to meet certain standards. One such is the European Norm EN13432. You can find out more here.

What For & Which Size?

I use them for
fish and meat – (I ask that they use my bag instead of a plastic bag).
Buying loose frozen foodstuffs … yes you can frozen peas loose!
As freezer bags.

If you can get it, I find the 6 liter size best to take shopping. The 8 litre is obviously bin liner size, and eyebrows are raised when you ask to have your steak put in a bin liner..

Buy

PLA bags  can be bought from most big supermarkets. Biobags and other PLA bags can be found in hundreds of online shops  including Amazon & Ebay. Some suppliers are listed here.

Composting PLA Plastic At Home

While most agree that PLA plastic is indeed compostable, many say that it can only composted in large scale municipal schemes. As we don’t have many large scale municipal schemes this they say is a pointless advantage.I say the days of large scale municipal schemes is fast approaching as governments aim to divert biodegradable rubbish from landfill sites.
AND I have been composting my PLA plastic for years. We have used and composted a number PLA plastic products (including Biobags , Deli pots  and disposable Cutlery)
It does take longer than other products and  sometimes I have found shreds of it in my compost but I dig it into the soil where it quickly disappears.

Read more about compostable plastics here

More

Find loose food outlets listed on the loose foods list
Other kinds of useful, plastic free bags are listed  here.

Greenwashing

And never forget that bio-degradable plastic bags do not biodegrade where as compostable plastic bags do compost. Not all bio-plastics (plant derived plastics) are compostable. Read more here.