The Better Planet Project: Reducing The Negative Impact Of Plastic

(AD) A few years ago I wasn’t too worried about our plastic consumption. I avoided single use plastics where it was easy to do so, but most of what we did use we put out on the roadside with our recycling. Then I watched a programme that revealed a huge amount of plastic sent to be recycled isn’t actually recycled and I was shaken. One study suggests over 70% of material collected for recycling is not actually recycled and can ending up in landfill, incinerated or in the ocean! There are lots of reasons for this including: contamination, resources and cost, but the end result is that lots of the plastic I thought was being recycled could now be in landfill (or worse).

A pile of plastic ready for recycling
Worryingly a large amount of plastic sent for recycling actually ends up being recycled

My council is excellent at collecting recycling, the range of materials they accept and how much we can put out for each collection is really good. At my previous address we were only able to leave one box of recycling a week. That’s a huge difference in the amount that could be collected. It’s not just the amount that differs across the country, but what they will accept. Paper, glass and metal collections are pretty universal, but the types of plastics that are collected varies hugely between local authorities.

Although my council collect a lot of recycling, I don’t actually know how much of it ends up being recycled. The way the government incentivises councils around recycling makes a big difference. In the past it has been financially beneficial for councils to send plastic abroad to be recycled rather than sort and process it in the UK. Once abroad though it may not be recycled and the UK has effectively washed their hands of it. This has to change.

An air plant in a glass dome with a little wooden sign saying the Better Planet Project
The Better Planet Project from BetterYou includes a commitment to a more sustainable approach to plastic packaging.


The Better Planet Project

I think the confusion over what is collected and recycled is having a big impact on what households actually recycle. I would always choose to reduce and reuse over recycling, but the UK really needs to improve the information and processes around recycling. BetterYou is campaigning for a single and universally adopted recycling programme which every local authority should sign-up to. It would involve all recyclable plastic being collected, sorted and processed. Alongside this they hope to educate their customers on how to recycle their packaging. 

BetterYou are passionate about reducing their impact on the environment. As part of The Better Planet Project they have done extensive research into packaging and find plastic continually comes out on top for the most lightweight, durable and versatile material. It gives the products a long shelf life and is an energy efficient way to to transport their products. But they wanted better plastic.

They have developed 2 new types of plastic: a 70% ocean waste, 30% post consumer recycled plastic which removes tonnes of plastic from the ocean each year and a 90% plant based, 10% post consumer recycled  plastic. Half of their product range will be packaged in the ocean waste plastic and the other from plant based polymers. Both kinds are fully recyclable.

A fabric bag saying The better planet project next to part of a plastic BetterYou magnesium cream which has a logo saying "I'm green" to indicate it comes from plant polymers
BetterYou have redeveloped their plastic packaging to make them more sustainable


How can you help to reduce plastic going into landfill?

Reduce

Think carefully about the products you buy and how they are packaged. Only buy what you need and make informed choices about what you do buy eg the BetterYou products packaged in plant based or recycled plastic.

Reuse

We try and avoid as many single use plastics as we can at home. Some of the plastic we do use we wash out and reuse eg: Our margarine tubs are reused for storage or plant pots. We buy many of our plastic toys second hand and pass on toys that we no longer use. 

Recycle

Try and recycle as much of the plastic you use as possible, but this may be limited by your council.  If your local recycling facility is unable to recycle your BetterYou packaging you can email recycle@betteryou.com to be sent a freepost envelope and send the used BetterYou packaging back to them for them to recycle.

Encourage Change 

Sign the petition and help get Parliament to debate the need for a national unified programme of household and industrial waste plastic collection/recycling.

Lobby your local MP to put pressure on your local authority to provide greater clarity and accountability for the amount of recycling process.


A fabric bag saying "BetterYou" a plastic magnesium lotion and Vitamin C spray next to a booklet called "Plastic Pollution to Plastic Solution"
BetterYou have improved their plastic packaging and are campaigning for better plastic recycling too

***Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with BetterYou. The need for plastic recycling is something I am really passionate about.***

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