In 2017, a piece of television aired that changed the attitudes of Brits all over the country. The programme was Blue Planet II, narrated by the legend that is Sir David Attenborough. The episode was certainly traumatic, and an eye opener for the nation about the amount and use of plastic all over the world.
Since then, plastic awareness, particularly with single use, has skyrocketed. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Anita Rani set out on a mission recently, recorded for BBC One’s War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita, to see if a standard street in Bristol could cut their use of single use plastic in 4 months – they managed to cut it by 45%!
This year’s Glastonbury Festival (which one of our staff members went to), also cut out single use plastic, by setting up refill water stations all around the festival; potentially saving hundreds of thousands of plastic water bottles from being thrown away! Even Sir David himself made a special appearance!
This month is Plastic Free July, so we want to let you know just a few ways Team Wellbeing has reduced single use plastic use over the years; we didn’t win the Gold Award for Green Tourism for nothing! And when the Blue Planet II episode aired, it only inspired us even further.
The biggest area to change was the bar – the problem being that we cannot use glasses in our bars. Why, you might ask? It all came down to a horrible accident in which one of our llamas cut his foot open on a bit of broken glass someone put out in the field – not nice!
Therefore, we moved to plastic glasses, but not disposable ones! We use glasses made out of a polycarbonate material, which means we can wash and reuse them just like a standard glass! Just note however that we do realise that no one wants plastic glasses as part of their table settings, so we do use proper glassware for your table wine and your toast. Cheers!
A simpler change was to immediately ban the use of plastic straws and stirrers – in fact, personally, I have come to give the evil eye to anyone who offers me a plastic straw! We now order paper straws and wooden stirrers from Stephensons, who have taken the extra mile in beating plastic – before ordering from themselves, we had to sign their pledge to help make Manchester a plastic-free city. In return, we get their special paper straws labelled with the Manchester bee!
Cute, and saving the planet at the same time!
We also do not serve bottled water on our bars, instead our water urn station, where you can have free tap water refills throughout your wedding!
We’ve also been cutting down on waste in turns of our cleaning materials. A lot of our materials already can be filled up with 5L refill bottles, but we are looking at using all of our cleaning products this way to cut down on smaller single use plastic bottles.
Another, perhaps less obvious way we have cut down is in our Prop Shed. Not just helpful for planning your wedding, but also greener too, as it would save a lot of stuff going to landfill (or let’s face it, at best given to a charity shop, sold on eBay or recycled), and also saves on your fuel – no need to go karting around the shops. Many items in our Prop Shed are shared from couple to couple to couple – definitely a big fat green thumbs up!
Plastic is everywhere. We know that going completely plastic free in our age is almost impossible. But we know that everyone can do their part, including us as a business. After watching War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita, I was hugely inspired by the individuals featured on the programme to see whether we can use less single use plastic as a business, despite us recycling everything on site.
There’s a way to go, to be sure, but becoming even greener is something that we are constantly working on.