Be the solution to plastic pollution in July

Bray’s Zero Waste Shop is encouraging people to ditch single-use plastics this month for Plastic Free July.

Plastic Free July is a global initiative that challenges people around the world to reduce or ditch plastic and help save our planet. Mother and daughter, Barbara and Nicola founded Planet A in September 2021 primarily because there is (ahem) no Planet B.

Their goal in creating Bray’s first zero waste store was to help the local community minimize their household waste and the amount of unnecessary plastic packaging that arrives at people’s homes on every shopping trip. “We want everyone to be able to reduce the amount of plastic in their lives as much as possible.” To mark Plastic Free July, they are adding a click and collect service to their website ( from July 16 to make plastic-free shopping even easier and invite their customers to share their small wins, how they are gradually eliminating plastic from their lives.

To put these scary statistics to rest, in Ireland over a million tonnes of food is wasted every year. Worldwide, more than 25% of all food produced is wasted. Food waste is estimated to generate up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Plastic packaging also contributes to food waste while being harmful when created and often when disposed of. According to sustainability charity Wrap, pre-packaged foods contribute to food waste because they encourage or compel customers to buy more than they need, causing food to languish in cupboards or fridges until until they are no longer good to eat.

But by buying from bulk stores such as Planet A, you can combat this. At Planet A, everything is by weight, which means that customers buy only the amount or quantity they need, filled in containers, bags or lunch boxes brought from home, or plastic bags. paper recovered in store. From a mountain of Irish oats to a teaspoon of fennel seeds, there’s no need to buy more or less than you want. And according to Nicola, as a bonus “the interior of your kitchen cupboards will be so much prettier to look at”.

As everyone returns to normalcy and their busy lives, at Planet A they try to make sustainable living more, well… sustainable! With click and collect, you can either drop your empty containers off at the store and they’ll fill them for you as you go about your day, or you can simply order online and your items will be filled into paper bags ready for collection. .

“It’s been a huge joy to see so many people adopting new habits and coming together to share tips and recommendations on recipes and cleaning, stuff like that. That sense of community is something we were really hoping for. make room, so it’s nice to be able to see it happen.

Zero waste shopping is really about community, it’s about trying to reduce our impact on the earth and in doing so help our global community, but also help our neighbors. At Planet A, they evenly distribute wholesale prices among their customers, whether they buy 2 kg or 200 g, which means that people who generally cannot take advantage of bulk purchase discounts, such as single seniors , can only get the amount they need. without paying a bounty or wasting excess food.

So how will you be the solution to plastic pollution this July without plastic? At Planet A, they recommend starting your switch with something simple like refilling dishwashing liquid and laundry detergent instead of buying new bottles. Barbara and Nicola estimate that since opening they have saved over 3,000 new plastic bottles, 10,000 new plastic bags and 1,000 new spice jars from entering people’s homes in favor of refilling. “It’s amazing to see the difference we can make when a lot of people start changing their habits a bit.”

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Bryce K. Locke