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Did you know that even if you live hundreds of miles from the coast, the plastic you throw away could make its way into the sea? Once in the ocean, plastic decomposes very slowly, breaking down into tiny pieces that can be incredibly damaging to sea life. 80% of plastic in our oceans is from land sources. The plastic you throw in the bin will head for landfill, but because it’s so lightweight much of it can be blown into drains and washed out to sea, threatening hundreds of species of marine wildlife and littering our seas and shores. Plastic has been found in the stomachs of almost all marine species including fish, birds, whales, dolphins, seals and turtles.

If, like us, you care for your coastline, then you may be interested to know that this weekend, 20th- 23rd September is the Great British Beach Clean. This annual event is run by the Marine Conservation Society and sees volunteers from up and down the country come together to clear their stretches of the shoreline of as much waste as possible, most of which is plastic which has been washed ashore. This event has been leading the way in tackling ocean pollution for 25 years now and has helped make some of the most significant impacts on beach litter ever - the plastic bag charge, banning microplastics in personal care products, better-wet wipe labelling, and supporting a tax on single-use plastic items.

If this sounds like something you’d like to get involved with then take a look at their events calendar to see where the nearest event is to you.

Here at the Square Peg Online, we’re always looking for ways that we can reduce the amount of plastic we use. We recycle all the packaging that our orders arrive in which is why you’ll often find that your orders arrive in re-used boxes or wrapping and in our Sandwich Bar we use only Vegware compostable products for serving our hot food and drinks. We’re also really pleased to see a number of our lovely card companies revising their packaging choices – some have chosen to replace the cello wrap around their cards with recyclable or compostable wrap but you also may have noticed a big increase in unwrapped cards in the shop, which we’re really supportive of.

We do our very best to work with companies that share our values when it comes to reducing waste and caring for the environment and we know that our customers appreciate this, as we’re often receiving really positive feedback on the products and their effectiveness at reducing plastic use within the home. So, we thought we’d share some of these with you too…

Introducing the rCUP -  The world's first reusable insulated travel mug made from recycled paper coffee cups. We love the simplicity in design of these, they have a one handed open and close mechanism and offer 360degree drinking, hurrah! They are tough, durable and designed for 10plus years of coffee drinking life, after which, it is still 100% recyclable. We stock two sizes 8oz and 14oz and should you bring one with you to our Sandwich Bar for your takeaway coffee, we’ll discount the price of your drink by 25p.

Bumblewraps are made from 100% natural ingredients and are a natural alternative to cling film and plastic boxes. Made from cotton coated in beeswax, the wraps keep food fresher for longer, and are breathable and washable. Simply using the warmth from your hands, you can mould Bumble Wrap over a bowl or round a sandwich, creating a seal. The wraps and all packaging are biodegradable and recycled too. We stock various sizes, including a pack of assorted sizes and the designs are all really fun and pretty. If you give them a go, we’re sure you’ll never go back to plastic wrap again.

Eco Chic Bags are hardwearing nylon foldaway shopping bags made from waterproof rip-stop nylon. They are the most attractive and strongest shopping bags that we’ve seen and will hold up to 15kg without a problem. They pack away to a fraction of their size, so you can easily keep one tucked in your handbag or nearby for when you need it and you can shop safe in the knowledge that you’re not supporting the plastic bag economy, whilst saving yourself a lot of 5pences!

Our final recommendation is a product that we knew we had to source after seeing the horrifying images of a sea turtle who had a plastic straw embedded in its nostril. We have only ever stocked paper drinking straws in the shops in the past but when we found these stainless steel drinking straws from Kikkerland we were delighted, we felt like this was a product that could really help those that use drinking straws to finally ditch the plastic. They even do a single travel straw set which is telescopic and comes in a handy case. The most impressive and user-friendly feature of both of these products is that they come with their own cleaning brush – utter genius.

If you’re feeling inspired and would like to browse more of our plastic reducing products, then have a little look at our We Love Our Planet collection online now and help us turn the tide on plastic.