You may be surprised to hear that each year, we generate 2.12 billion tonnes of waste around the world which is becoming a significant threat to our planet. Although authoritative bodies around the world have introduced schemes and initiatives to encourage recycling — most of our waste continues to end up in landfills; which is leading to severe consequences for the environment. This figure is also expected to grow to 4 billion by 2100.
A lot of the waste heads straight to landfills and hidden underground, but a great deal also ends up in our sea. According to some studies, 1.4 billion pounds of rubbish ends up in our waters each year which is having a profound impact on marine life — so much so, scientists have estimated that the amount of plastic will outweigh the fish by 2050.
Did you know that 99% of the products we purchase are disposed of within six months alone? Because of this, more businesses around the world are looking at more sustainable ways to create their products in a bid to help better the world that we live in.
1. Fjällräven: Re-Kånken and Eco-Shell
Kånken bags have become extremely popular here in the UK. Originating from a small town in Sweden, the company focuses on outdoor clothing and equipment and is committed to making nature more accessible for adventurers alike while having a focus on the simplicity of their products.
However, the creation of the bag to ensure it uphold sustainability commitments is quite complex. To play their part in helping the environment, they released the Re-Kånken bag which is made entirely from polyester recycled from plastic bottles. As well as this, it is dyed with SpinDye technology which ‘radically reduces’ the amount of water, energy and chemicals used.
Rising in popularity is the Eco-Shell coat. Believe it or not, this is made from recycled polyester and unlike many other products on the market, perflourinated chemicals are not involved in the creation.
2. Wasteboards: Skateboards
Turning the regular skateboard into an eco-friendly product is a company in Amsterdam named Wasteboards — with a focus on plastic. Research has suggested that there are 20,000 plastic bottles are being bought every second, this forward-thinking company collect plastic bottle tops to create the deck of the board.
The company encourages local people to collect bottle tops from events to help make their products. As well as this, fishermen who use the canals in Amsterdam are also asked to collect as much as they can.
As skateboards tend to be targeted at younger people, these one-off skateboards are extremely visually pleasing. This company loves the idea of being sustainable and being able to sell a sustainable product, so even if your wasteboard breaks — they’ll recycle the broken plastic and create you a new one!
3. Traidcraft Shop: Recycled Tableware
Handmade gifts specialists, Ngwenya Glass prides itself on the creation of astonishing glassware and has done since the last 70s and can be found at Traidcraft Shop. Originally set up as a Swedish Aid Project, Ngwenya Glass now trains over 60 people in the art of glassblowing to create one-of-a-kind pieces of ethical homeware that are sold alongside Traidcraft’s range of organic food products and handmade Christmas decorations.
The company has a commitment to sustainability too. All products are handcrafted from 100% recycled glass, sourced from throughout eSwatini by local people. Ngwenya Glass encourages communities to come together for clean-up days along main roads in the area to gather discarded glass. Most of the glass used to be soft drink bottles!
For those who collect glass for the company, they are paid by the kilo. The business also works with local schools to educate young people in the importance of environmentalism and recycling and supports schools with building materials and learning resources.
4. Lush Cosmetics: Naked Products
It’s likely that you would have heard of Lush Cosmetics, purely because of its beautiful products and eco-friendly commitments. So much so they claim to be 100% vegetarian, promote ethical buying, fight animal testing, craft their products by hand and offer naked packaging products which is helping reduce the chaotic packaging crisis Britain is now facing.
Did you know that research has suggested that 200 pounds of plastic a year is used by one person? This has highlighted a huge problem and put great responsibility upon businesses internationally and through innovative design, Lush Cosmetics were able to develop several products that didn’t require packaging to sell.
This store has many environmentally friendly products for you to use. As well as this, all of plastic used by Lush is 100% recycled.
Although the businesses above are making great progress to become eco-friendlier, there are a lot more too. This proves that the ability to be creative and think outside of the box can truly have admirable benefits that help both people in the planet — could you become more ethically focused?