Did you know less than a fifth of all plastic is reycled globally? 40 percent of plastic produced is packaging, which is used just once and then discarded. As a result, 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the oceans every year from coastal regions*. From poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our waste streams and landfills, the exponential growth of plastics is now threatening the survival of our planet. The UK recently announced it will ban the use of plastic straws, earbuds and stirrers from April 2020 and public figures like Greta Thunberg, are making us question what kind of future we want for ourselves and our children. It can seem very overwhelming and futile, but it doesn’t have to be, as there is so much more we can do as individuals with the choices we make in the home from regularly recycling, reducng our plastic bottle consumption by buying things like hand soap from local manufacturers like Friendly Soap, to more significant choices, like where we buy our furniture and more permanent household items. If you don’t know where to start, here are some eco-friendly manufacturers who are producing some stunning products for the home which may even surprise you when you realise they are made out of recycled plastic.
Originally started in Brixton, South London. MAIK produce a variety of brightly coloured, geometric pattern inspired products ranging from trays, placements and coasters, to tea towels, wash bags and socks. We just love the bold choice in colours used for their placemats, adding a certain vibrant personality into any modern family kitchen or dining area. The wood used is sourced from sustainably managed forests and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and even their packaging are biodegradable and recyclable, down to even the tape they use which is made from paper!
You might have read our article on Terrazzo a few weeks ago, as this trend is allowing recycled plastic to really come into it’s own. Adam Fairweather and Rosalie McMillan of Smile Plastics are two pioneering furniture manufacturers out there who are creating incredible bespoke furniture for various clients including Stella McCartney, Christian Dior, Selfridges, Liberty, The National Trust. Their mission is to change people’s perceptions around waste via innovation, combining art and technology to unlock the hidden potential in recycling. Hoping customers will, as they describe it, “open their eyes to the unexpected beauty of scrap”. The range of finishes which go beyond terrazzo, are gorgeous and perfect for various sized surfaces from side tables to dining tables.
I came across Weaver Green in my local home interiors shop, Jo’s House. I was completely blown away to find out these rugs are in fact made from recycled plastic. The material feels soft to the touch and comes in a range of natural tones not normally associated with this hard man-made material. The founders were inspired to develop this new form of weave when they came across a very rudimentary fishing rope, made from unraveled plastic bottles on a beach whilst travelling in Asia. All textiles are hand loomed, just the throws themselves are made from 300 plastic bottles. We’re particularly in love with the Juno, Oslo and Herringbone patterned rugs at the moment.
If you’re looking for something environmentally friendly to go in your office or study, the Pod Privacy Chair by De Vorm designed by Benjamin Hubert could be the choice for you. These chairs are out of this world and look like Intergalatic escape pods. The recyclable material called PET Felt is made from plastic bottles again, resulting in a strong and durable dense material which can be molded, and is thick enough to help dampen out sound in any busy office environment. We would love to see these chairs being used as par of a reading nook in a children’s bedroom.
Swedish furniture giant, IKEA dominates every home so it’s great news to hear they have now invested in a Dutch plastics recycling plant, pledging to make all their plastic products from recyclable and/or recycled materials by August 2020. This means happy customers will be able finally to shop with a clear conscience. I do love their fitted kitchens, so I’m really pleased models like the Kungsbacka kitchen, which are already made from recycled wood will now have cabinet doors covered with this new plastic foil made from recycled PET bottles.
For more ways to reduce your plastic waste visit Earth Day.org.
Love Omar x
* Statistics from National Geographic Facts about Ocean Pollution