There’s no hiding from the fact that we as a society have an enormous plastic problem, and it’s something that won’t be solved unless we all make a conscious effort to reduce our single-use plastic consumption. That’s why we’ve been supporting Plastic Free July this year – we want to cut plastic out of our lives and hopefully help you do the same, with info on where to shop and what brands to buy from. We also want to acknowledge the individuals and businesses that are doing their bit, whether it’s through creating innovative plastic free products and packaging or offering expert tips and tricks on how to make your lifestyle more sustainable, with our Plastic Free Awards 2022.
Best Food Delivery Packaging
DabbaDrop is all about curry with a conscience. You sign up for either weekly or fornightly deliveries and you will be sent a regularly changing selection of veg curries, dal, rice and roti all made with fresh, quality ingredients. With your first delivery you’ll also get a reusable tiffin box for an extra £15 charge – each time you get a new delivery you just give back your old (clean!) tiffin box and keep swapping it out. You can even use it as a lunch box in between deliveries.
Most Innovative Toiletry Solution
Get rid of those plastic shower gel bottles in your bathroom and swap to refillable soap instead. ETHOSA is a 100% plant-based shower gel that comes in a powder with a resuable aluminium bottle, to which you add water at home to activate. Not only are the range of shower gels PH neutral and made from natural ingredients, ETHOSA is saving on emissions by shipping lighter ingredients and is saving on single-use bathroom plastic too.
Best Plastic Free Resource
Founded by Beth Noy after she started to hate how much plastic she was being forced to buy, Plastic Freedom is a one-stop shop when it comes to plastic free goods. The site collates a ton of plastic-free brands, covering everything from make-up to homeware to food, in one place and ships everything without any plastic packaging. Beth also provides gives tips and advice on her fave products and how to start making swaps of your own.
Best Plastic Free Store
Herne Hill’s Jarr Market is packed with packaging-free grains, pastas, nuts, condiments, coffee, tea, toiletries and cleaning supplies as well as reusable containers for you to use in the shop. Founder Jess prioritises suppliers with closed-loop systems and she pays extra to have everything properly recycled by First Mile.
Best Sustainable Swimwear Brand
F & Wild
Founded by Njoki Muchuki, all F & Wild pieces are handmade by a small team in Greenwich using Econyl, which is regenerated nylon made from plastic waste like fishing nets cleaned from the ocean. As well as finding a way to reuse plastic waste, F & Wild takes a slow fashion approach to production by making pieces that are timeless and designed to last rather than introducing new collections every season.
Best Conscious Fashion Brand
Newt London is encouraging you to wear bold and bright clothes and accessories all the time and they’re helping you do so by making them out of plastic waste. The majority of Newt’s fabric is digitally printed using non-toxic inks in Worcestershire (the rest is done in Italy where the stretch fabrics are made), and the material they use is either made from recycled plastic bottles or ECONYL, made from post-consumer plastic waste and things like fishing nets, with biodegradable Corozo nuts used to make buttons.
Best Cleaning Products
Most cleaning products are 90% water, which is wasteful to ship (especially in plastic bottles) when we’ve already got it coming out of the tap at home. With Homethings, you buy non-toxic cleaning tabs – they have Allthings, Shinythings, Dishthings, Floorthings and Baththings ones – which you drop into reusable bottles (they have recycled plastic and glass versions) filled with tap water, and once they’ve dissolved you can spray away.
Plastic Free Ambassador
Founded by Ella Shone in lockdown whilst she was on furlough, TOPUP TRUCK is a zero-waste delivery service running from an old milk float. It’s stocked with over 180 products including tea, coffee, pulses, toiletries, household goods, oils, spices, and more, all free of packaging, so you just fill up whatever containers you like with your goods and pay for them.
Readers’ Choice Award
We bin over four billion toothbrushes a year, which is a lot of waste (it’s enough to circle the planet 12 times). Enter SURI, who have created a sustainable electric toothbrush that is reusable, repairable and recyclable, and still delivers an effective clean. The body of the toothbrush is made from aluminium rather than single-use plastic, and the brush heads are made from plant-based corn starch with castor oil bristles, and they can recycle the heads for your for free.