You won’t be surprised to hear that every year, 2.12 billion tonnes of waste is produced. Although authoritative bodies around the world have introduced schemes and initiatives to encourage recycling — most of our waste continues to end up in landfills; which is leading to severe consequences for the environment. This figure is also expected to grow to 4 billion by 2100.
But believe it or not, a lot of the waste ends up in the ocean. According to some studies, 1.4 billion pounds of rubbish ends up in our waters each year which is having a profound impact on marine life — so much so, scientists have estimated that the amount of plastic will outweigh the fish by 2050.
Did you know that 99% of the products we buy are disposed of within half a year? Because of this, more businesses around the world are looking at more sustainable ways to create their products in a bid to help better the world that we live in.
Ngwenya Glass, who’s products can be found at Traidcraft Shop (retailers of fair trade and hand made Christmas decorations, have been creating unique glass collectables since 1979. Originally set up as a Swedish Aid Project, Ngwenya Glass now trains over 60 people in the art of glassblowing to create one-of-a-kind pieces.
The company prides itself on their stance on environmental issues. All products are handcrafted from 100% recycled glass, sourced from throughout eSwatini by local people. Ngwenya Glass encourages communities to come together for clean-up days along main roads in the area to gather discarded glass. Most of the glass used to be soft drink bottles!
The business works with local schools to educate young people in the importance of environmentalism and recycling, and supports schools with building materials and learning resources. As well as this, Ngwenya Glass pay glass-gatherers by the kilo, while empowering them to conserve their environment, too.
Bags & Coats
The Kånken has become extremely popular for British consumers. Originating from a small town in Sweden, the company focuses on outdoor clothing and equipment and is committed to making nature more accessible for adventurers alike while having a focus on the simplicity of their products.
The design of the bag is very contemporary, but the creation process is a bit more complex. To play their part in helping the environment, they released the Re-Kånken bag which is made entirely from polyester recycled from plastic bottles. As well as this, it is dyed with SpinDye technology which ‘radically reduces’ the amount of water, energy and chemicals used.
Have you heard of the Eco-Shell coat? Eco-Shell is also made from recycled polyester and unlike many other products on the market, perflourinated chemicals are not involved in the creation.
Putting an environmental spin on skateboards is Wasteboards, who are based in Amsterdam. Benefiting the environment as research has suggested that there are 20,000 plastic bottles are being bought every second, this forward-thinking company collect plastic bottle tops to create the deck of the board.
This is another company that often relies on the help of the public and asks if people could collect any bottle lids they pass on the street or at events. As well as this, fishermen who use the canals in Amsterdam are also asked to collect as much as they can.
As people love aesthetically pleasing products, this is ideal as every skateboard is unique. This company loves the idea of being sustainable and being able to sell a sustainable product, so even if your wasteboard breaks — they’ll recycle the broken plastic and create you a new one!
Cosmetics company Lush is one of the most environmentally friendly brands in the country. So much so they claim to be 100% vegetarian, promote ethical buying, fight animal testing, craft their products by hand and offer naked packaging products which is helping reduce the chaotic packaging crisis Britain is now facing.
Results from some studies have shown that each person uses 200 pounds of plastic a year, 60 of which is thrown away immediately. This has highlighted a huge problem and put great responsibility upon businesses internationally and through innovative design, Lush Cosmetics were able to develop several products that didn’t require packaging to sell which is they have called ‘naked products’. As well as this, all of plastic used by Lush is 100% recycled.
Do you know of any companies doing their bit for the environment? The above proves that the ability to be creative and think outside of the box can truly have admirable benefits that help both people in the planet — could you become more ethically focused?