Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - these are the three 'R's of waste management. As a society we have become a lot more conscious in recent years of the serious impact that we are having on our planet and are increasingly aware of the need to adjust our lifestyles in order to limit the damage to our environment.
Here at Harts Of Stur we take our responsibility as a retailer seriously and always look to limit our own impact where we can. It is for this reason that we look to recycle as much as we can ourselves as a business. We also use a biodegradable packing filler inside our parcels. You can find out more about our own environmental credentials here.
However, we know it is also important to ensure that we are stocking products that can help to provide an alternative to single use plastics, and are always on the lookout for products which are eco-friendly, or which can help us all to reduce, reuse or recycle. Here is a list of those that we stock.
Historically, both cling film and tin foil have been popular options for covering or wrapping food. However, many of us are now looking for alternatives. Cling film is a single use plastic that is difficult to recycle and takes hundreds of years to biodegrade. Although tin foil can now often be recycled, it is still often only suitable for a single use. As part of efforts to reduce waste and to increase reuse, we stock a number of environmentally-friendly alternatives!
Food Storage Containers
There's no denying that plastic is a convenient material, and it can have its place. The key is making sure that plastic items are reusable, rather than single use, and that they are hardwearing and long lasting so that they won't need throwing away and replacing for some time. We stock a number of reusable food containers that are great for food on the go, or for meal prep at home. Some are even made from recycled plastics for extra green credentials!
You’ve probably noticed that takeaway coffee cups have been in the news over the past few years, and for all the wrong reasons. With most containing plastic interiors, they are difficult to recycle and often end up in landfill. Many coffee chains now offer discounts for patrons who bring their own recyclable cup or a charge for those requiring a takeaway cup. As a result, there is now a great selection of reusable travel cups on the market, including those which are made from 100% natural and/or recycled materials.
Water Bottles & Hydration
We stock a wide range of water bottles from a number of top brands. As with some of the other items featured here, water bottles are more about providing a solution to single use plastics. Instead of buying bottled water consider purchasing, refilling and reusing a water bottle of your own. Water bottles are generally made out of plastic or stainless steel and are designed to be hardwearing for use again and again. For hygiene purposes and easy cleaning, most are also dishwasher safe.
Composting food waste is a simple way to help reduce your environmental impact. It prevents food waste from ending up in landfill when, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t just harmlessly breakdown. Instead, it produces large levels of methane which is a harmful greenhouse gas. Wasted food is also a waste of the energy required to product and/or package it and composting provides a useful and usable benefit rather than simply a waste product. We sell a number of kitchen caddies and larger compost bins which are great for filling with food waste and scraps before adding to either your home compost bin or a council food waste bin. Just make sure you check what can be added to either!
It's also important when using compost caddies and bins to make sure that you are using compostable bin liners. We stock the below products.
Straws are another item which have been the focus of press coverage in recent years and months. Single use disposable plastic straws are used for only a few minutes yet do not break down for hundreds of years. A number of companies have already committed to removing them from use in the face of public pressure, and the UK government has declared that a ban on plastic straws will come into force soon. Alternatives are already available, including paper and stainless steel versions, which we stock.
We have been paying 5p for plastic bags in supermarkets and other large retailers now since 2015. This was one of the earliest attempts to limit our reliance on single use plastics in the form of carrier bags. With this tax looking likely to double and be extended to shops of all sizes, a reusable shopping bag is not only a better choice environmentally, but is also more cost effective. We stock a number of different shopping bags. In addition, we also sell reusable produce bags and pantry bags. Reusable produce bags are a great alternative to the clear plastic produce bags that you see at the supermarket, whilst pantry bags play their part by helping to provide the best environment for your vegetables and keep them fresh for longer, thereby reducing waste!
Bamboo is a great material for the manufacture of eco-friendly products and there are a few reasons for this. As a plant, bamboo is extremely hardy. It doesn’t require pesticides and has antifungal and antibacterial properties meaning less reliance on chemicals to grow it. It absorbs more carbon dioxide and produces more oxygen than similar plants, giving benefits from the growth stage. Bamboo grows quickly making it a very sustainable source and is a strong plant that passes on this property to products that make use of its fibres. Above is a selection of the eco-friendly and biodegradable products that we stock that are made from bamboo.