July- the seventh month of the year. For many, it signals the beginning of Summer, with schools ending for 6 weeks, festivals making their annual appearance, the time when everyone tries to venture off around the world in search of some sun.
For us, it means Plastic Free July!
What exactly do we mean by ‘Plastic Free July’?
Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.
How can someone be ‘plastic free’?
Being plastic free is choosing to refuse single-use plastics and use other more sustainable materials that are better for the environment and planet. For example, instead of buying a single-use plastic carrier bag at the supermarket when shopping, bring a reusable ‘bag for life’ or tote bag.
Buy loose fruit and veg instead of pre-packaged plastic wrapped groceries.
Take a reusable water bottle out with you instead of purchasing a single use pre-filled water bottle.
These are small things we can do that whilst they do require a little more planning and forward thinking, will be better for everyone overall. You can find more plastic free swaps and ideas here.
Why do we need to reduce plastic waste?
As a society, our reliance on plastic waste has only increased as more and more demand for an ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle has been adapted by many people. Things such as online clothing orders results in the use of plastic mailer bags being sent out all over the world, making a corporate giant like Amazon look like a saint for using cardboard boxes. The need for quick meals and easy snacks has meant more plastic for ready meals, plastic to create longer expiration dates, and tubber ware to bring food with you.
Using plastic makes sense- its ‘strong, light, cheap and very versatile’. However the majority of it cannot be recycled since at least half of it is single-use which cannot be reused again - such as water bottles, plastic packaging and grocery bags.
Whilst a lot of different types of plastic are recyclable, it can be an energy-intensive process to actually recycle. Many governments simply do not have the infrastructure in place to carry out, particularly since the process also requires a large amount of water.
Making plastic also takes a lot of energy, with more than 90% being produced from fossil fuel resources that aren’t renewable energy sources. The production process of plastic is a leading cause of carbon emissions contributing to global warming, and experts believe that if current trends continue, in 30 years’ time 20% of global oil consumption and 15% of global carbon emissions will be associated with plastic production.
So what are we doing to be plastic free?
Here at Cajuu, we recognise that as a business, we cannot operate if our gain is at the cost of our planet.
We were able to go completely plastic free last year in all of our packaging. For example in our cashew and date Bites, whilst the packaging might look plastic, it is actually made of cellulose - a plant based material. The reason it's not completely replaced a lot of single use plastic is due to its extraction efficiency, which can make harvests inconsistent, essentially meaning its more expensive than regular plastic. It is also recyclable and biodegradable, not reusable unfortunately. However by being made from plant materials, it is a renewable product that can be produced multiple times.
If you’re someone who likes reusable packaging, our Tubes are great for that. After a quick clean they can be used to create a whole range of different items, from pen to plant pots, and from food to sauce containers - the list is endless!
Similarly, whilst our Trays cardboard itself is recyable and not reusable, the Dip jars inside are made from glass and metal. Similarly, after a quick rinse and dry, these can be used to store other sauces, creams, beads, nails, pins - whatever takes your fancy :)
Let us know if you’ve been able to reuse your Cajuu packaging in any great ways, or if there’s any plastic-free hacks you think the world needs to know about!