Less than 10% of all plastic ever made since the beginning of time has been recycled.
There is no shying away from a statistic such as this, so we decided to do some further digging...
- The proportion of all plastic waste in the whole world that has NEVER been recycled is 90.5%
- 42% of E.U waste (including plastic) is incinerated potentially causing harmful off gassing.
- Only a few Plastics are recyclable and only a couple times vs. all glass that is infinitely recyclable.
So even if your plastic is recyclable, biodegradable or compostable the likelihood of it being responsibly recycled, broken down or regenerated is shockingly small. Glass, on the other hand, benefits from a much healthier statistic - in the EU 75% of glass is recycled with some countries, like Belgium, recycling 96% of their glass.
We’ve taken this information on board and have decided to make the move from plastic to glass in all our stores. We hope to take advantage of the mature and efficient glass recycling infrastructure to harness the greatest benefit and impact from our actions.
Hereunder a table of the various progress to date and initiatives to phase out our plastics going forward:
During our research we also considered Compostable Plastics but it became quickly apparent that these these required to be processed by Industrial Composting facilities - and thus another initiative lacking proper infrastructure. There’s no designated collection for compostable plastics from your local council, and there’s only a few of these facilities in the whole of the UK. Industrial Composting is not to be confused with Home Composting ( means you can put it in your food waste bin along with your banana skins and apple cores). We are a big fans of Home Composting and continue to look for packaging options that are Home Compostable friendly.
We encourage discussion, debate and expansion of knowledge on this topic. If you have any resources you think we ought to read, or information we need to see then please let us know. ‘No one is perfect’ is a cop out, but we are trying our best to make conscious decisions that will positively impact our planet and our oceans. We’ve put the references and resources we found useful in compiling this article below, and we urge you to read them and engage critically in the discussion.
More news to come - stay tuned.
Glass Recycling Rates
5 Recycling Myths
Should we burn or bury waste plastic?
Biodegradable vs. Bioplastics: What’s the Difference?
10 Facts About Plastic Pollution
UK lacks capacity to deal with biodegradable
Recycling Symbols Explained
Types of Biodegradable Plastics
For a simple infographic on the differences between plant plastic and normal plastic: Click Here