Thanks to greater environmental awareness, stiffer restrictions on the export of waste to China, and, of course, the amazing Blue Planet series, more and more of us are giving up single-use polymers. It can, however, be tricky to find alternatives. Luckily there are places such as Sussex-based, newbie online retailer No Plastic Shop that are supplying zero-plastic, ethical products. We spoke to its founder, Izzy Crouch
“I’m a keen open water swimmer, so spend a lot of time at the beach. Every time I swim I will clear my “area” of the beach of plastic waste, but there is always a significant amount. However, even though I am very aware of plastic pollution I still find it hard in my day-to-day life to cut down on its use. I started the shop to try and change this and to make it easy for myself and others to make simple swaps.
I’ve been overwhelmed with support since starting. I think many people want to make changes, but are not sure how to go about doing so. People from all over the political spectrum are keen for change and trying to change their habits as well, which is very encouraging.
I stock a range of items, from bathroom essentials, such as solid toothpastes, bamboo toothbrushes, shampoo and conditioner to kitchen items, such as lunch boxes and pretty beeswax food wraps. I have a range for children and babies, including books about plastic pollution, cutlery for little hands, bowls, toothbrushes, soaps and sponges. I am in the process of increasing my range and always on the look out for more products.
I try to use local suppliers as far as I can; plastic pollution is only one aspect of being eco-friendly. As consumers we all have a responsibility, and I try to reduce my carbon footprint, but currently this is difficult. I hope more UK manufacturers will become plastic-free very soon. I also try and support local and UK small businesses, as then you are supporting people and families, not just lining the pockets of CEOs of multinational corporations.
My small son helps me out with the business. He doesn’t really understand the concept, as it is an online shop, but I hope to take him to some markets soon. He helped pick out the teddies. He loves the books and he uses the soap and sponge I stock. In the future I hope to keep expanding the range of products I sell. I also hope that the platform I have with the shop will help to increase awareness and help people to realise that they can make small changes in their habits.”