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Helen McGonigal – County Durham

Helen McGonigal is a happily married, mum of three from County Durham. She’s a writer, author of ‘Mummy Makes Milk’ and literacy workshop consultant. Helen blogs at Spot of Earth, where she writes about her passions which include education, parenting, the environment, cooking and children’s literature, among other things. The family’s zero waste journey kind of crept up on them!

As a family, we try to live as waste and plastic free as possible. This involves buying locally where possible from independent butchers, where we can use our own containers, and greengrocers, where most of the produce is loose. We also minimise plastic in the bathroom. We try to reuse any plastic that comes into the house as much as possible before it is disposed of.

I spread the word through my blog. I have also just added a plastic free assembly to my literacy workshop service, because I feel passionately that children can carry this message forward and make bigger changes.

A bit more…

This post was written by the contributor. It 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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Jerry Bottles

Jerry sell sustainable steel water bottles to raise funds for water projects around the world.  They love water so much that they give away 100% of their profits to bring water to those that don’t have it.

We sell steel water bottles to raise funds for water projects.  We are committed to promoting the #zerowaste movement and encouraging a cultural shift towards re-useables and sustainability.
Links – twitter – Facebook etc

https://twitter.com/jerrybottles

https://www.facebook.com/jerrybottles/

https://www.instagram.com/jerrybottle/

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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The Plastic Challenge

 

Do what?

The Plastic Challenge takes place every year in the U.K. in June.

It is organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCSUK).

The MSCUK is a UK charity “that cares for our seas, shores and wildlife”.

The Challenge

The MSCUK are deeply concerned about the amount of plastic polluting the sea and trashing the beaches. And understandably so. Since the ocean is downstream, much of the plastic trash generated on land ends up there. ” It has been estimated that 6.4 million tons of debris end up in the world’s oceans every year and that some 60 to 80 percent of that debris, or 3.8 to 5 million tons, is improperly discarded plastic litter “. Encyclopedia Brittanica.

You can read more here and see See lots of pictures documenting plastic beach pollution here…

But back to the challenge. The MSCUK “have a vision of a world where plastics don’t end up in our seas and on our beaches, where they persist and impact our marine life.”

So they challenge you to give up single use plastics for a month (June), and get sponsored whilst doing it. The money goes to support MSCUK projects which are many and very worthwhile.

Join In

Should you decide to join in, The Plastic Challenge web page has loads of information including;

  • ideas on fund raising and sponsorship forms;
  • a forum for posting questions and plastic free tips;
  • even a shop selling everything from highlighter pencils to menstrual cups;

Visit now to sign up and join in over at  @mcsuk and #plasticchallenge

Too Late?

Too late for sponsorship? Don’t let that stop you. No matter when you read this, cutting your plastic consumption will benefit you and the environment – whenever you do it. So even if it’s the last day in June… or the first of February… join in anyway.

Other Great Schemes

The MSCUK organise other projects to help combat plastic pollution including The Great British Beach Clean on the 16th – 19th September 2016.

Plenty of advance warning. Check out the details here.

Resources

Plastic Is Rubbish Facebook Group where plastivists discuss issues and share information about unwrapped compostable and reusable products. The fun never stops….

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WiseOceans

We are a marine education company passionate about reducing plastic pollution

Our team Lent plastic challenge profoundly affected us all and we are now dedicated to helping others reduce or remove plastic from their lives which in turn helps protect our wonderful oceans and the creatures that live within them. We have regular blogs about reducing plastic as well as informative articles about marine life. 

WiseOceans is a leading resource in marine conservation jobs, advice, news, events, marine education, information and recruiting marine educators. We are a specialist marine education and conservation company, striving to spread awareness for our wonderful yet fragile oceans and the fantastic creatures that live within them. The oceans are facing many threats and plastic pollution is one of top issues. We passionately believe that education is the key to helping the oceans and the marine life it supports: “In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught” Baba Dioum

If engaging in a plastic free/waste free life has encouraged you to do more for the environment then our jobs page has lots of information about jobs, internships and volunteer positions in marine conservation (for novices as well as marine biologists).

Main Website: www.wiseoceans.com

Plastic blogs: www.wiseoceans.com/?s=plastic

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WiseOceans-190387421023845/ 

Twitter: Twitter.com/wiseoceans

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wiseoceans/ 

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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Kedel Recycled Plastics

The Problems Presented By Plastic Misuse & How To Combat Them 

Today plastics dominate our lives. We use a shocking amount of plastic on a daily basis, often without even realising it. Some of the day to day plastic that we use includes plastic carrier bags, water bottles, the packaging that our food is wrapped in, beauty products, sanitary towels and cleaning products.

According to the United Nations Environmental Program, between 22 percent and 43 percent of the plastic used worldwide is disposed of in landfills. All this plastic is being wasted and more importantly, causing huge environmental problems.

It releases toxic chemicals into the atmosphere when burnt, kills ocean life and leaves unnecessary waste all over our planet. Experts are now describing some of the oceans around Australia as a ‘plastic soup’ filled with all sorts of plastic debris. Is this really how we want to treat our planet?

Plastics are here to stay. Literally. In the environment plastics will photodegrade which means they break up into smaller and smaller pieces, but they won’t disappear. To manage the build up of our waste we have a few different options: landfill, burn, or attempt to recycle.

Plastic is a killer. It kills millions of seabirds and ocean creatures every year who get caught up in plastic debris and discarded fishing nets, or end up trying to ingest plastic. In recognition of their impact countries such as Bangladesh or China banned the use of single plastic bags fourteen years ago.  The UK introduced a charge on single use plastic carrier bags in 2015.

What can you do to help?

Environmental and health issues are down to human behaviour. The good news is that this means that there is a recognisable solution, behaviour change. The bad news is that changing people’s behaviour worldwide isn’t an easy task. Plastic is one of the biggest environmental problems, yet it has a pretty straightforward solution: change behaviour.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle kendal plastics features 2

Three simple words to live by.  If we can reduce our consumption that is great.  If you have to buy plastic then at least make an effort to reuse it. Many things can be safely reused over and over again. If you cannot reuse something then recycle it.  A lot of plastics can’t be recycled so do check with your local authority.

Plastic water bottles

Can you invest in a long lasting bottle and save yourself the hassle and money of buying single use plastic bottles? People spend a lot more than they realise on plastic bottles each year, you could save quite a bit of money by investing in a reusable water bottle.

If you are caught out and you need to buy a plastic bottle, try and remember to take the lid off and rinse it out when you recycle it.  Young children overseas painstakingly unscrew every bottle top from the plastic bottles so that the bottles can be recycled (different plastics) that high income countries ship for recycling.

Food shopping

Instead of using plastic bags, get into the habit of carrying a small foldaway bag in your handbag. Also when you are buying your weekly food shop, or any products, try and avoid buying things with lots of plastic packaging.

Make a song and dance

We need to start questioning companies not only why they are using so much plastic (it costs the earth but it also costs them and therefore us). Excessive packaging equals higher charges for us.

Can they look at innovative ways to protect our produce?  Does a beauty or hygiene product really need plastic in it? It’s frustrating that more supermarkets don’t provide biodegradable bags such as corn based for fruit and vegetables. Don’t be afraid to question companies and try and inspire change.

These are just some of the things you can do to help. There are so many ways you can alter your lifestyle in order to help the environment. You might not think you can personally make a huge difference, but every little helps.

David is an expert on recycling and is passionate about helping to save our planet. He regularly writes for environmental, eco-living and recycling websites and is a key writer for kedel.co.uk, a company that sells recycled plastics.

Here are Facebook and Twitter links

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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U.K. water bottle refill schemes

Bristol Water Refill

"Refill Bristol is a practical campaign to make Bristol a city in which refilling your water bottle becomes a cultural ...
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Selfridges Water Refill

Selfridges are setting out to tackle plastic pollution in the ocean by "removing all single-use plastic water bottles from our ...
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Give Me Tap – water bottle, water refill & water aid

We are a social enterprise committed to improving water accessibility in the UK, Africa and the World through our reusable ...
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Bath, Love Tap Water Refill Scheme

A new water refill scheme based in Bath. The following has been taken from their website... Two local women want to ...
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Water Abroad

We sterilize our own water using a Steripen …. but when a bottle refill service is offered we will use that instead. Find refill places here…

Of course water in many countries the water is actually safe to drink – you can find out where here.

And here are a list of places you can refill your bottle abroad

Water Bottles

Check out which water bottle here

Water Bottle Bans

Links to interesting projects that are tackling the problems of bottled water

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Fabric Offset Warehouse

Offset Warehouse is a social enterprise which brings together a huge range of hand-picked eco fabrics and haberdashery, ideal for all textile projects. Whether you’re into fashion, lingerie, interiors, toys, quilts or other crafts, we have everything you need to create a product that not only looks good, but does the planet good, is kind to the workers who produced the raw materials – and that doesn’t harm your loved ones with dangerous chemicals and pesticides!

As well as most of our products being natural and biodegradable we have eliminated all plastic from our packaging. Everything is sent out in recyclable paper and cardboard.

Facebook


Twitter

Pinterest


Linkedin

Instagram – 

Blogs –

The Swatch Book

Sew Obsessed

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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Branded Cups

Reusable plastic souvenir Cups for any event. Premier solution to millions of disposable cups thrown into landfill sites in UK & Ireland each year.

Plastic Challenge – Reduce the millions of disposable cups thrown into landfill sites

Branded Cups pride ourselves on being a supporter of charities wherever possible and being a sustainable organisation not only with the products we supply but also the manner in which we operate. We embrace environmental, social and economic challenges to ensure we are not compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
The philosophy is to supply any and every event with reusable plastic cups, providing a personal service at the most competitive rate possible.
Our knowledgeable experience, enthusiasm and a desire to go the extra mile for each client ensuring they are not simply content but delighted with our service ensures long term growth.
This is illustrated with 100% of our clients returning for repeat orders, we like to be reused just like our Branded Cups. We have a wealth of experience in business and management; complimented with sales, marketing and accountancy

027200860d48b9bbf2db0ef8aab314f7

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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Scotland Our Green Journey Blog

Hi, my name is Charlotte Todd

It is my mission to try and find ‘green’ alternatives for our family and others, for everyday living essentials. By green, I mean things which are biodegradable, recyclable, re-usable, sustainable products that have little or no air mileage, support the local (or failing that, national) economy and generally make the world a better place to live in. The overriding thing that I look for when choosing products to help life happen, is to what extent they are plastic free.

I am an individual who is blogging to help our family and others pursue green alternatives.
To combat plastic overuse, I choose products that are plastic free, blog about viable alternatives for others to read, and make it my mission in life through social media and everyday encounters to help others realise the problems that plastic has and is causing to our beautiful planet, and what can be done about it. I have created the ‘ultimate list’ on my blog for a quick-reference guide for others to see, without having to go trawling through internet forums/social media/ web pages to find such a handy reference guide.

I live in Scotland (United Kingdom) and have an amazing husband and two wonderful small people. Apart from being chief caregiver, activities coordinator, cook, cleaner and counsellor, I teach primary aged kids and have a keen interest in living in a way that has a positive impact on the environment.

Links – http://www.ourgreenjourney.uk/

D

A bit more…

This post was written by the contributor. It 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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Refill/Bulk/Zerowaste Stores

Bulk buy or refill stores are places you can buy all kinds of food like rice, suet, even soup mix – loose and unpackaged.
You take as much as you want/need from a larger container, weigh and pay.
You can usually use your own packaging.
The advantages for the #plasticfree shopper hardly need stating!
These are common in America and Australia, far less so in the U.K. But we do have some.
I have put together a list of stores that sell loose products, listed alphabetically by the location / place name.

If you know of others please add them, with as many details as possible, in the comments box below and I will incorperperate them.

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.

A to Z

My impressions of Aberystwyth have been mostly formed by the surreal, rather wonderful writings of Malcolm Pryce creator of Welsh noire. His lonely gum-shoe Louie Knight prowls the greasy, sun-lotion ...
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Find refill stores in Barmouth Bath Brighton Bridlington Brixam Bristol What Are Refill Stores? Bulk buy or refill stores are places you can buy food loose.You take as much as you ...
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Kingsmouth Devon Free local delivery – spend £7.50 and we will deliver free – within a 7-mile radius of Kingsbridge. Great for bulk buys. Good review here. Reapers @ReapersTiverton 18 Bampton Street, Tiverton, ...
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is for refill Stores in Edinburgh Emsworth What are refill stores? Bulk buy or refill stores are places you can buy food loose.You take as much as you want/need from a ...
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Pain Au Chocolat - home bake Pain Au Raisen - Home Bake Yorkshire Puds Fruits of the forest and other soft fruits Roast veg - peppers to potatoes Uncooked Vegetables ...
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Whole Foods Market are my idea of supermarket heaven. If there have to be supermarkets,  then let them be like this. 124-134 Fenwick Road Glasgow G46 6XN 0141 621 2700 ...
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A surprise discovery on a day trip to Horsham! Town & Country Weigh is at 7 East Street, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1HH. It has bulk food bins for rice (long grain, ...
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I try not to be bitter I really do but sometimes I think the yanks have it easy with their bulk buy shops. Sounds like you can buy just about ...
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Queensgate Market is a covered indoor market in the center of Huddersfield. It is home to over one hundred shops open six days a week. Bus Stop • Town Centre ...
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Liverpool Lincoln London Loose Foods? Anyone who lives in the U.K.  knows how hard it is to buy staple food like rice, pasta or cocoa loose and unpackaged. Do you ...
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Village Green Co-op Prestwich Village Greens is a Community co-operative grocery in Prestwich with fresh, local, organic, affordable produce . For the plastic free amongst us it has some loose, self-service ...
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Vegetable oil is difficult to source plastic free. Buy in glass and the metal caps will have a little plasticized disc or plastic liner on inside and maybe a plastic seal ...
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Welcome to SESI We are Oxford's longest serving refill station of food products and household detergents. SESI has its own range of laundry and household detergents which create no packaging waste from ...
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15B Causewayhead Penzance Cornwall TR18 2SN One of the incredibly eccentric loose food outlets that can occasionally be found huddled under the idiosyncratic Weigh and Save umbrella. You can read ...
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We always recommend shopping local and of course lots of shops sell stuff loose. Vegetables and meat are easily obtained loose and packaging free, even from supermarkets.  But anyone who lives ...
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The Market Local markets are a great place to find plastic free food and I love Todmorden Market. There is an indoor covered  hall and outdoor stalls. You can get ...
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Long time ago when I was young we used to visit the Weigh & Save shop in the precinct down the road. In it were a number of  big bins ...
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Loose Foods? Anyone who lives in the U.K.  knows how hard it is to buy staple food like rice, pasta or cocoa loose and unpackaged. Do you know how long ...
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Seems like a trip to York is in order... and not just because the Minster is lovely. Ruth tells me of Alligatorwholefoods.com in York. They have bulk bins of Rice, museli base, ...
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 U.K. Wide

Scoop & Save, Weigh & Save ….and lots more related names

The nearest the U.K. has to bulk food buying. As far as I can tell, these shops run as individual unit. They go under a variety of names – Weigh & Save, Scoop & Save, etc. They are extremely idiosyncratic and vary greatly in presentation and  range.  Some go the whole hog with corporate green and yellow displays with a range of stuff to choose from, others a are little more than a few dusty bins at the back of the shop. You can read more here including a list of shops that have closed.


Whole Food Market – if we have to have supermarkets let them be like this. They have loose food aisle and you can take your own containers which they will tare for you. They don’t have many branches in the U.K. yet but if there is one near you your problems are solved. Reviews here.

Other Supermarkets & Chainstores

Sometimes supermarkets can surprise you – check out the plastic-free and reduced packaging products here.

Remember
While these shops provide bags and they are almost always plastic ones. You will need to take your own

Find A Milk Delivery Service With Glass Bottles

Here 

More

 Bulk Buy In Polythene

Ok some things you can’t find plastic free and can’t give up. So which plastic packaging has the least impact? The best advice here is avoid the fancy graphics and shiny films and go for the simple, easily recyclable polythene. Find suppliers here

Help Me

Please add any shops you know of in the comments below and I will incorporate them into the post.
Links to reviews particularly welcome.
Dont have a blog? Love guest posts…

More

You can find a list of all other plastic free products over at the A to Z

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Plastic A Lot Less

Plastivist of the month is Michelle Cassar……

I started Being PALL – Plastic A Lot Less in November 2008. I had a life changing day, literally!

I´d always “recycled” but on this particular day I did my first beach clean on a deserted beach on the West Coast of Portugal where I was living. The beach was covered in plastic,  we removed as much as we could carry back up the steep cliff. We took it to the recycling bins, most I didn´t even know was plastic!  That evening I came across an article in The Surfer´s Path that simple said, “Every piece of plastic that has ever been made still exists and much of it is in our oceans.”  There was a you tube link to; A Tale of Entanglement. Which is a pretty graphic film of animals entangled in plastic. I was upset and looked around the camper… at all our plastics.  The next day I started refusing and researching.

Some people may doubt this statement. As some plastics have been burnt and there is still plenty on land, but no one can deny, our Oceans are choking in plastic.

I´m a photographer and I surf (when the conditions are small enough).  I was shooting surfschools. This meant I was spending a lot of time at the beaches, surfing or shooting.

With the Atlantic swell, it´s hard not to notice the ever-changing plastic washing up on the beach.  Especially when I was shooting, often even in small Summer swells, plastic washed up around my feet.  I was constantly reminded of the presence of plastic pollution, so I couldn´t help but do something positive about it.  Firstly be reducing my own plastic drastically and then helping other people reduce theirs.

Although I´m still coming up upon obstacles all the time, I try my best to over come the challenges as refusing plastics is a way of life for me now.  I don´t claim to be perfect, there´s always more anyone can do, but PALL-ing´s a good place to start.

I am   Photographer, Blogger, Educator on plastic pollution, Consultant to businesses, with regards to reducing their single use plastics.

I refuse single use, and many many other longer use plastics. After 3 years I´d calculated I alone had refused in the region of 10,000 SUP items, and that number has continued to grow over the years that have followed.

Over the six years I have also helped many other reduce theirs. Some things are simple but add up to incredible amounts. For example, a Surf School I worked with back in 2008 swopped single use bottled water for a water cooler and filter. Over the years they have gone on to refuse 12,000 SUP bottles and the plastic wrapping. They have also saved themselves over €1,500 and countless hours moving water bottles around.

http://being-pall.com/

https://www.facebook.com/beingpall

https://twitter.com/beingpall

A bit more…

This post was written by the contributor. It 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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Natalie Fee / City to Sea

So pleased to feature Natalie in the Plastic Free U.K. Directory.

Natalie Fee’s a TV presenter, author, songwriter and campaigner for cleaner seas. She founded City to Sea in Bristol to bring together the individuals and organisations working on plastic pollution to create a City-wide initiative for Bristol during it’s year as European Green Capital.
Plastic Challenge – launching City to Sea: a City-wide initiative to reduce the amount of single-use plastics used in the city, including: earbuds, plastic bottles and polystyrene take-away boxes.

City to Sea: a network of individuals and businesses in Bristol committed to lobbying for change in the way we manufacture and dispose of single-use plastics in the City.
Links –

More

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

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 work not mine. 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.

Follow us on facebook here