We can all appreciate much more now the pure joy of a picnic with family or friends – and with a few easy choices we can make it plastic-free.
As we venture out after the lockdown and really start to enjoy the outdoors again, there’s no need to be adding to the mountains of plastic in local garbage centres and the millions of tonnes polluting our oceans and waterways.
Being free from single-use plastic not only helps the environment, it also gives us a sense of feeling good – small positive steps do make a big difference in our daily lives.
As you plan your picnic, there are a few easy swaps that deliver great results and help you to ditch the plastic, from beeswax wraps, to bamboo cutlery and eco-friendly food covers.
No more single-use clingfilm and bags
You can get rid of the clingfilm habit and say goodbye to plastic sandwich bags by choosing versatile beeswax wraps, or our vegan wrap alternatives. They are a great sustainable way to wrap and carry your picnic food – from sandwiches to fruit and vegetables, cakes and snacks.
Quality products sourced from the Beeswax Wrap Co. are made from organic cotton with GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification. The wraps are made with low impact dyes, organic jojoba oil and pine resin.
What’s more, they also use beeswax produced in the UK, and that’s a great help in reducing CO2 emissions and your own carbon footprint – fewer exhaust fumes from ferrying goods across continents and seas. On their vegan wraps, they use a palm oil and soy free plant-based wax.
You can use the wraps over and over again, every time saving the planet from more plastic pollution. The beeswax wraps are easy to take care of: you simply wash them with soap in cold water and then hang them out to dry. Every few months you can refresh them in the oven or with an iron. You can also get a beeswax or vegan wax refresher block that will give your wraps a new lease of life after prolonged use.
The beeswax wraps are not only for the great outdoors – they make great single-use plastic replacements in the home as well. They can be used in the fridge, and can last for up to a month in the freezer too!
They work really well with the Non Plastic Beach BOLL**KS to Cling Film reusable silicone food covers that can be washed and reused again and again.
Goodbye to disposable plastic cutlery
Plastic cutlery first surfaced in the early 1940s and, believe it or not, was meant to be washed and reused but with the throwaway culture that ballooned from the 1960s, these utensils became single-use and so added to the plastic pandemic.
It’s a little crazy to think of dumping these utensils after a nice day out at the beach or park and woodlands. Most are made of polystyrene and can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, while burning them releases toxic chemicals.
And one big problem is that many animals living in our seas think that the floating fork, knife or spoon is a delectable morsel and chomp them up. Over 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution annually. That’s why eco charity Ocean Conservancy ranks them the second most dangerous plastic next to fishing nets.
These pesky utensils also pollute our beautiful beaches and surveys by the Marine Conservancy Council report that they make up a big and increasing proportion of the plastic waste found there.
So, it’s a great idea to invest in reusable bamboo cutlery. The Bambaw Bamboo Cutlery Set is the ideal choice and the utensils are packed in a practical cotton travel pouch. The compact and lightweight design means it won’t take up much space when travelling.
Bamboo is a pretty amazing material. It’s the fastest growing plant and can grow 3 feet in height in just 24 hours in the right conditions. While commercial crop trees can take 30+ years to grow, bamboo is ready to harvest in only 3 to 5 years. It also releases 30 per cent more oxygen into the atmosphere and absorbs more carbon dioxide than other plants.
In a Bambaw pack, you get a knife with serrated blade, a spoon, a straw and cleaning brush. The bamboo utensils are strong, durable and leave no aftertaste. They are also dishwasher safe and as they are biodegradable they can be composted at the end of their long life.
So, it’s not hard to make a big difference by ditching the single-use plastic by swapping to beeswax wraps and bamboo cutlery, joining millions of people reducing their plastic waste. You can also be part of the Plastic Free July global movement for cleaner, oceans, streets and beautiful communities.
Take the plastic free challenge
Plastic Free July has inspired over 250 million participants in 177 countries and urges us to choose eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic. Along with reusable wraps and cutlery, they have some more great ideas for the plastic-free picnic:
- Bake your own crackers – there are dozens of great recipes online.
- Bring water in a reusable bottle (and encourage others to do the same!)
- If choosing to bring soft drink, consider cans instead of plastic bottles or DIY with a fizzy drink maker.
- Bring along nuts and treats from the local bulk food store.
- Buy corn on the cob and make delicious popcorn at home. Bring it along in a reusable container.
- Stock up on cheese at your local bulk food store – remember to BYO container.
- Bake a cake and bring it along as a sweet treat.
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