We have a plastic problem.
In 2016, world plastics production totaled around 335 million metric tons, more than half of which was single use products like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers and food packaging.
According to earthday.org, single use plastic is rarely recycled. Approximately 32% of the 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced annually is left to flow into our oceans; the equivalent of pouring one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
Earlier this year the EU introduced tighter guidelines around single use plastic. Under the new guidelines, single use plastic products will be banned in situations where an alternative product is available.
While all these measures are deadly, it takes some time for new guidelines to trickle into the grocery aisles. In the meantime, the onus is on us to seek out plastic-free options for our bits and bobs.
Here’s your guide to plastic-free living in Dublin.
(Psst! This week's Before Brunch podcast is all about sustainability... follow us on Soundcloud to never miss an episode!)
The Dublin Food Co-Op has been at the forefront of plastic-free living for decades. They’re the home of organic fruit, veg and pulses and encourage shoppers to bring their own containers and bags to pick up their goods. They’re bases in Newmarket Square Dublin.
Nutty Delights in Dublin is also a great place to pop into for nuts, seeds and dried fruits.
The SuperNatural Foods Market on Pearse Street is the Disneyland of organic, plastic-free shopping. They have everything from food to body products, supplements and cleaning goods.
One of the best online solutions is Zero-Waste-Club, another store with a selection of beans, pulses, legumes, coffees, spices and dried fruits as well as these gorgeous biodegradable toothbrushes.
The Little Green Shop is a family run business based in Mullingar. Their online shop offers brilliant eco-friendly cleaning and household goods, including biodegradable sponges and importantly, reusable food wrap.
Minimal Waste Grocery has range of organic plastic-free beauty products including toothpaste, cleanser and conditioner. You can buy (and refill your bottles) in person in Clontarf or choose paper or biodegradable packaging online.