#EthicalHour Roundup – Packaged Free PlanetKate Stuart
Kate Stuart is an artist, craftswoman and writer based in the North East of England. Owner of The Phoenix Green Store, she is currently in the process of transforming it into Newcastle Upon Tyne’s first zero waste shop. She handles the magazine’s Twitter account every Monday evening from 8pm GMT for #EthicalHour.
Packaging is a big deal. As the world wakes up to the idea of zero waste, plastic free living and the 7 R’s of sustainability*, it’s becoming an even bigger deal. Consumers are starting to think about how their online purchases are being delivered to them, they’re thinking about why their grocery shopping is sitting on supermarket shelves draped in plastic, and they’re starting to wonder why they ever bought into the idea that single use *anything* was a great idea. It’s slow, but it’s happening, and packaging is one of the areas where the reduction of plastic should be easy. Smaller, grassroots businesses are doing it – and really pushing sustainability right into the core of how they operate. Zero waste shops are gaining apace – with companies like Charlotte’s Cupboard and Earth.Food.Love showing the rest of us how it can be done, and done well.
Tonight’s #EthicalHour was a fantastic opportunity to really reflect on what can be done, how, and by whom. There’s a weight of responsibility on big business to make changes to avoid damage to their brand when a lack of sustainability makes them “less” in value terms, than more sustainable, ethical brands, from the perspective of their customers – and as customers/consumers, we can communicate our dissatisfaction at over packaged goods. Demanding less packaging, by choosing to shop where goods are not heavily packaged, if we can – or returning the packaging for the store in question to deal with in line with their legal business responsibilities (read about them here).
At No Serial Number, we offer our readers the chance to go zero waste and read the magazine via a digital platform – find out more here. For those readers who enjoy a paper copy, we post around the magazine out across the globe in Mater-Bi postage bags, a bio-plastic made from cellulose, vegetable oils and starches. You’d expect no less from a magazine that promotes and supports eco friendly fashion, craft and design.
But there is always work to be done. As the co-founder of Charlotte’s Cupboard said this evening – it’s about creating a culture shift. So that one day soon, the very idea of buying goods wrapped in plastic (or even plastic goods) is as alien as building a house stuffed to the rafters with asbestos.
Tonights #EthicalHour was co-hosted by Priory Press, who you can read about in this blog post,recommended by us.
Did you miss out on last week’s #EthicalHour on Twitter? Catch up here!
*Reduce, Rethink, Refuse, Reuse, Repair, Recycle and Rot.