A shocking 7.7 billion plastic bottles are bought across the UK each year, resulting in substantial amounts of single-use plastic waste. A reusable water bottle takes less oil to produce, replaces all the plastics that you would have used and thereby reduces your carbon footprint. Choosing reusable bottles helps reduce the plastic burden on landfills, oceans, streams and other places that plastic waste ends up.

Reusable bottles are important not only for environmental reasons, but are also better for your health. They are made from higher quality materials (glass, stainless steel etc.), that don’t break down in rising temperatures. This stops toxic chemicals from transferring into your water.

Why now?

You’ve probably heard the Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now” – well the same goes for adopting reusable bottles as a daily habit!

Seriously, the sooner we cut down on our use of single-use plastics as humans the better it will be for the environment. We’re using the banner of Plastic Free July to raise awareness of the evils of single use plastics and bring you tips to cut down on plastic use. We know there are countless ways of switching to better sustainable practices – it can feel overwhelming. The trick is to start small. We consider that this small step could kick start something bigger for people who wouldn’t necessarily consider themselves eco thinkers. No step is too small to start your sustainable journey.

reusable bottles on site at a kitchen fit

Plastic Free July

Did you know that every year up to 13 million tonnes of plastic waste leak into our oceans? Plastic Free July is a key initiative that aims to raise awareness of plastic pollution and encourages people to reduce everyday single-use plastic. Millions of people across the globe take part every year, with many committing to reducing plastic pollution far beyond the month of July.

What are we doing as a business?

Last Christmas, we gave all our team members reusable, heavy duty metal thermos bottles. Apart from wanting to keep our team hydrated on-the-go, we are of course keen to promote refillable bottles. This will eliminate any temptation to buy single-use plastic bottles.

Although our team are passionate about sustainability, we wanted to make it as easy for them to adopt this habit. We hope that by encouraging sustainable practices such as these in their work life, our staff will also carry over these practices into their personal life.

Sheffield sustainable kitchens reusable water bottle

What can you do?

Start now by using a refillable bottle! It sounds like such a small thing, but actually, it can make a massive difference to the environment. A great scheme that is encouraging people to reuse bottles and reduce single use plastic is Refill UK.

What is Refill UK?

Refill UK is an initiative that aims to provide people with places to fill up their bottles wherever they are. Businesses that sign up to the app put a sticker in their window, alerting passers-by that they’re welcome to come on in and get a refill.

If you are out and about and your reusable water bottle needs topping up, just search on the app for a business that is participating. Surprisingly there are a lot of cafes that have joined the scheme, so head for the sticker in their window.

In June 2019 Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens signed up to the campaign to increase the network of re-fillers. Since the campaign started it is estimated that 100,000,000 single-use bottles have been saved from entering our waste stream.

refill uk infographic

Need other ideas to start a reduced plastic lifestyle? In honour of Plastic Free July we chatted to local zero-waste shop The Bare Alternative, who champion plastic-free shopping in the Abbeydale Road area in Sheffield. We chat to them in this blogpost, and hear their tips for embracing a plastic-free lifestyle.

For more news and behind the scenes, visit our blog.

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