As Kiwis, we're infinitely proud of our clean green image, but it doesn't take much digging under the surface to uncover a more sobering truth. And when it comes to plastic waste, we're not much chop.
New Zealanders each consume around 31kg of plastic waste from packaging adding up to 250,000 tonnes of plastic waste headed to landfill every year.
With inconsistencies in recycling programmes provided by councils, we're not all that flash at recycling either, with less than one-fifth of what we consume getting to recycling centres, and even less than that deemed able to be recycled. This is because when just one container in an entire load is not clean, the whole lot is labelled "contaminated" and heads directly to landfill.
But there's nothing we Kiwis love more than rallying together and making change swiftly. So this Plastic Free July, at Corbin Rd. we hope to inspire you to make small, incremental daily lifestyle changes that contribute to making a big difference to our shared New Zealand future.
How to go plastic free this July
So to help you kickstart your zero waste journey, here are our 5 easy ways for you to start your Plastic Free life this July:
1. Say 'No!" to plastic in the first place
BYO shopping bags have paved the way for us all to think differently about our consumer behaviour. The next step is breaking the cycle of buying (or inadvertently buying) plastic in the first place.
It starts with saying a polite no plastic straws, coffee cups and sushi containers, and taking your own. A stainless steel straw pops easily into a handbag, reusable coffee cups are readily available to buy, our amazing Travel Flask is perfect for brewing specialty teas is, and there are amazing, durable reusable containers for your lunchtime takeaway salad or sushi.
And when you're choosing your beauty products, seek out compostable, biodegradable cardboard packaging, or glass, which can be used again and again, and when it's recycled, becomes an aggregate used to strengthen products like concrete.
2. Reuse before you recycle
Recycling is an end of line activity only when packaging has no further use. At Corbin Rd. we have carefully designed our Restorative Cleansing Balm glass jar to be used again and again in multiple ways.
The sticker easily peels off and the jars are ideal for storing herbs and spices, seeds, salt, nuts for your desk at work, jewellery, buttons, safety pins, hair ties and much more. The only limit is your imagination!
3. Replace plastics with sustainable options
Our households accumulate so many plastic items that we once didn't think twice about purchasing. But now that we're more informed, when these items need replacing, it's the perfect time to seek out environmentally-friendly, durable options.
Replace plastic pegs with stainless steel ones, when plastic coat hangers inevitably break, buy wooden ones built to last a lifetime to replace them. Replace plastic laundry baskets and kitchen, bathroom and storage containers with woven ones, and use glass jars instead of plastic containers in your pantry and fridge.
4. Ask retailers to stock the plastic free products you want
People are expecting more from their local supermarkets, chemists, fruit and vegetable outlets, grocers, butchers and more. So it won't be unexpected if you'd like your favourite shops to stock your preferred items.
Talk to store managers and ask for bamboo toothbrushes, ear buds and dental floss. Or switch where you shop and head to bulk food stores and take your own containers to fill up on everything from grains, rice, pasta and cleaning products.
5. Streamline your beauty regime with multipurpose products
If your night time routine involves a myriad of different products, change it up and seek out fewer products that do the same thing. Our multipurpose balm deeply cleanses while drawing out impurities, wiping away stubborn makeup, while restoring hydration. So just this one product replaces four: a cleanser, an eye makeup remover, a face mask and a deep moisturiser.
Or buy one product that replaces many. So instead of buying jar after jar of exfoliation products, end the cycle by stocking up on a few of our Viteve™ Silk Exfoliating Cloths and never have to buy an exfoliation product again.