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It's a Real Problem: Your Guide to Plastic Free Living

The world currently has a huge problem with plastic. Half the plastic we use, we only use once [1] and 8 million tonnes of it ends up in our oceans every year! [2] That amount of waste is insane to even fathom. If we want to keep planet Earth as our home for many future generations to come, we need to cut down on plastic waste, and we’re here to help you on your waste-free, plastic-free journey.

 

Here’s why plastic is harmful:

  • It’s made from oil or gas (fossil fuels) [3]
  • We produce more than 80 million tonnes of plastic packaging on all sorts of products [4]
  • Plastic clogs up landfills, pollutes oceans and destroys the ecosystem [5]
  • Almost every piece of discarded plastic still exists today [6] That's right. The very first disposable pad you ever used and tossed still exists somewhere on Earth. Mind blowing isn't it?

So how can you make a difference? First look at the plastics that you purchase regularly and find sustainable swaps. Once you've incorporated these eco-swaps in your routine, you can consciously refuse any plastic that's offered or comes into your life.


Some easy switches:

  • Reusable coffee cup
  • Lunchbox 
  • Reusable drink bottle
  • Reusable menstrual, postpartum, LBL products (i.e. hannahpads, menstrual cup, period undies)
  • Soap bars
  • Reusable cutlery
  • Tote bags
  • DIY beauty, skin care, and cleaning products

 

Plastic and disposable menstrual products

Did you know that the average disposable pad is estimated to equal the same amount of 4 plastic bags? [7] This doesn’t even include the excess packaging it comes in! Furthermore, the average Australian menstruator disposes up to 12,000 disposable menstrual products every year [8] which is a huge amount of plastic ending up in all corners of the world. 


hannahpads are a great solution to reduce plastic used during menstruation, pregnancy, postpartum or for LBL management. Our pads are made from certified organic cotton and can be reused for 2-3 years or even longer! When it’s time to retire your pads most of it can be composted or recycled.

All organic cotton layers are biodegradable and compostable. Buttons and stitching are recyclable. Discard external patterned layer (waterproof coating) in regular household garbage. 

 

The plastic bag problem

2 million plastic bags are being used and discarded every 60 seconds… [9]

Reusable bags are readily available and are an easy switch! Always carry a reusable bag in your car and backpack/handbag. Shop our sturdy and perfectly sized eco tote here.

Shop this beautiful tote and hannahpad pin collection here.

 

Recycling

Just because you’re recycling, unfortunately doesn’t mean it’s sustainable. It takes energy to create the items you recycle and only a select few items end up being fully recycled and/or repurposed. So the first step is trying to avoid plastic in the first place. However, for plastics that are unavoidable recycling is the next best option. In Australia most supermarkets have a soft plastics recycling program. At hannahpad, any soft plastics that are brought into the business are recycled at these locations.

Marcus (Director of hannahpad AU & NZ) making his run to Woolies for the recycling drop off. Every little bit counts for a greener future.

There are so many aspects to plastic free living and we've only scratched the surface in this blog. We hope that this read has given you a look at the bigger picture and impact. "Nothing changes if nothing changes" right? Please consider some of the eco ideas we've provided (in this blog) as you continue on your sustainable living journey because we can all do our little bit towards greater positive change.

It's best to start out by choosing one area in your home or work space to focus on before gradually expanding to other areas with greener reusable options. This journey will open you up to a more simple and minimal approach to everything you own and will bring into your life.

Happy Plastic Free July! 


References:

[1] [3] [4] [5] [6] [9] Isaacs, Natalie Every Woman's Guide to Saving the Planet (2018)

[2] https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/plastics-in-the-ocean/ 

[7]  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-43879789

[8] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-27/which-period-product-is-best-for-the-environment/9090658

July 02, 2019 — hannahpad Australia & New Zealand