PLASTIC FREE PARTY CHOICE

Lindsay and Glen

Lindsay, 36, a writer from Kent, and her Australian husband Glen, 38, first tried living without plastic in 2012. It started out as a month-long challenge so turned into a way of life for the pair who live in Perth, Western Australia. “I’m more the driver than him but we got involved at the same time,” she says. “I’m the one that puts in more work but he agrees with all the values.” So going plastic free for their wedding, in 2014, was a no-brainer.Table decorationsPlastic finds way into weddings in many forms of food storage, drink packaging, decorations, flower delivery – that’s just the start. For Lindsay, who blogs about living without waste, trying to make her special day plastic free came first ahead of any other wishes. “We said we want to be plastic free ‘how can we do that,’ rather than saying, ‘We want roses, we want to have canapes, can we do plastic free memorable but not break the bank. Simplicity was key. To me simple means no fuss and devoting whole weekends to projects was out, says Lindsay.Food menuInvolving suppliers from outset was the most effective way of making a plastic-free event happen, she says. “It’s really about having conversations with people and explaining why you want to do it. People are willing.” But its about taking matters into you own hands. “If you get stuff delivered to you, that’s when it comes in packaging. It was making sure on the day we went to all the deli, the bakery et cetera so we could guarantee there was no packaging.” Eco Wedding Styles done includes recycled materials.Wedding decorations

  • Invitations: electronic, sent via email or Facebook
  • Flowers: freshly picked by family and friends from their gardens, arranged in old jam-jars
  • Decorations: borrowed lace bunting from old tablecloths and curtains • tins fished out of recycling bins and wrapped in twine and in hessian ribbon, which was also used for table runners • hired tablecloths and tea cups • bought beeswax candles in jars
  • Food: local businesses focused on locally sourced produce • hired pizza oven • cakes from a bakery that didn’t use plastic packaging • Indian snacks donated by a friend as a wedding gift
  • Drink: tap beer and cider • local wine • pre-made soft drinks served in jugs • loose tea and coffee • no straws
  • Tableware: venue’s own crockery and cutlery (although having pizza minimised amount needed) • borrowed glasses
  • Gifts: guests told not to buy presents – to avoid any waste and wrapping
  • Dress: rather than spend hours trawling charity shops, the bride bought a High-Street dress she wore again and then sold on eBay
  • Hair and make-up: used make-up bride had • washed hair with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar
  • Favours/confetti: did without it

Lindsay and Glen's weddingLindsay and Glen married local bowling club in Perth Lindsay accepts achieving a 100% plastic-free wedding also meant relying on other people. For wedding, they hired a pizza oven and used a local deli to provide fresh ingredients without plastic packaging but did they know what went on behind the scenes? “It’s possible some plastic that I didn’t see… whether he got a packet of salad in a plastic bag, I don’t know were counterbalanced by air miles required to fly her family albeit just four people to Australia. “In hindsight, I should have fallen in love with the guy in the village – but I didn’t,” Lindsay jokes. “I fell in love with a guy in Australia, so it’s one of those things you have to compromise. My parents, my sister and brother flying out for a wedding – it’s a one-off.” They did decide to have the wedding as local as possible in the city of Perth, rather than the countryside, to reduce driving distances. How difficult for Eugenie to achieve? Wedding planner Katrina Otter says working with the right people is key, as some of the more “old-school suppliers” are less keen to adapt. “Make sure you have the right team on board, work with a team willing to do it or one where it’s already part of their ethos.” She adds: Bride and groom might not know plastic involved cutlery wrapped in cling film. No royal wedding is complete without a vibrant floral display.The Duke and Duchess of Sussex leaving the chapelFlowers were a big part of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding day And, traditionally, a key part of those has been the floral foam – the bricks of green, spongy foam that provide a foundation for floral arrangements, as well as a water source. Katrina says finding an alternative to the non-biodegradable plastic material has become a big issue for the industry and many florists are looking to do it another way. The florist who created the displays for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding, Philippa Craddock, says she didn’t use any floral foam for their big day. The number of couples requesting plastic-free weddings is on the rise, says Katrina, although it remains a small proportion. Another issue to consider for any bride having live TV coverage is the hair and make-up. Kate Arnell, who blogged about her zero-waste wedding, in 2014, says she found it tricky to find plastic-free make-up and hair products. There are a lot more available and since swapped to plastic-free alternatives she says. Whether Princess Eugenie opts for Lindsay’s bicarbonate of soda, vinegar concoction on hair yet to be confirmed. Eugenie wedding wants plastic free on big day. In addition to venue, food and drink, music, the dress, hair and make-up, a bride’s checklist goes on. And also Princess Eugenie added another factor into equation her wedding to be plastic free. The Queen’s granddaughter, who is marrying Jack Brooksbank on 12 October, told British Vogue the couple’s house was anti-plastic and want our wedding to be like that as well.” So how realistic is it? Lindsay Miles discovered, there are quite a few things to take into consideration. If it is just one day, why bother? “A wedding is such a significant day that it’s even more important to be true to your values than on any other day,” says Lindsay. “You can’t go back on your values just because you’re getting married.”

  • Are you ready for another royal wedding?
  • WATCH: Five ways to break up with plastic

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VEGAN FOOD BEYOND MEAT

The Vegan BEYOND MEAT founder Ethan Brown wants people to eat less meat for healthy eating to save environment. BBC’s weekly The Boss series profiles a different business leaders in the world. This week Ethan Brown, the boss and founder of vegan food company Beyond Meat is featured. Ethan Brown’s 12 year old son eats a burger almost every day. It may not sound like a diet a parent would want for their child, but Mr Brown has no concerns, because the burger patties come from his own company, Beyond Meat. And they are made entirely from plants. “My son gets clean protein and no cholesterol,” he says. “He’s growing like crazy right now so I want him to have that protein.” Mr Brown says he is on mission to redefine the word “meat.” The 40-something’s Los Angeles-based business makes vegan burger patties, chicken strips and sausages from plant proteins. They are formulated to mimic the taste, texture and look of beef, chicken and pork.A Beyond Burger pack being picked off a shelfBeyond Meat asks supermarkets to stock Beyond Meat Burgers next to their packs of meat. Stocks of the company’s flagship Beyond Burger product quickly sold out after launch in the US in 2016, helped by a positive article in the New York Times. And more than 25 million Beyond Burgers have been sold and this summer the company launched product in UK and also mainland Europe. Their High-profile investors are Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams, and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. “There’s no mystery to meat,” says Mr Brown. “It’s amino acids, lipids, trace minerals and water. “And if you can deliver those four things in same blueprint or architecture as muscle – why can’t that be called meat?”Cattle on a ranch in KansasMr Brown is concerned about effects of environmental impact farming animals has causing ozone methane gas and the amount of resources used per cattle. So before launching Beyond Meat in 2009, Mr Brown worked in alternative energy sector as a hydrogen fuel cell developer. While he liked that work because of its potential for lowering vehicle emissions he decided to make bigger contribution to society focusing on trying to reduce the environmental impact livestock has on the planet. He also wants people to eat less meat for animal welfare and the health issues. Mr Brown set up Beyond Meat, and began researching how you can use plant materials to replicate the composition of the proteins and fats in meat. Getting in touch with scientists at the University of Missouri who were doing research on plant-based meat substitutes, he began working with them on creating a viable product.A Beyond Meat patty in a burgerBeyond Burger uses beetroot extract to give it a blood-like colour. Put together by the best scientists on this [challenge], Mr Brown says. He understands meat more than anyone else in the world, so and build it bit by bit using plants.” Mr Brown spent all his savings on venture, raised money from family and friends. “I truly begged family members,” he says. “It’s amazing what do to make it work.” The first product Mr Brown and the team of scientists came up with was Beyond Chicken Strips. After repeatedly phoning grocery Whole Foods, “almost to the point of indecent behaviour”, he says he managed to get a meeting that resulted in the store stocking product from 2013. However, Mr Brown wasn’t happy with the early recipes. “We got the vegetarians by the droves, but we didn’t get the mainstream consumer,” he says. “We had to go back to the drawing board.” Team of biochemists, biophysicists and biomedical scientists got to work on making products even closer to real meat. With improving the formulations Mr Brown says the biggest challenge is people to stop thinking of it “fake meat.” I would never call it that,” he says. A mobile phone is not a fake phone it’s better phone than landline so people need to think about it this way. The best-selling Beyond Burger patties “bleed” like beef burgers, thanks to the addition of beetroot juice. They include pea protein, coconut oil, potato starch, and the company asks supermarkets to stock them beside the raw beef products by chilled counters. The product is now stocked by 8,000 supermarkets across US, and in thousands of the country’s restaurants. In the UK it is served at burger chain Honest Burger. It was also due to be on sale at supermarket chain Tesco from last month, but that has now been delayed until later in the year. Beyond Meat says it’s because it was struggling to keep up with existing demand, both in the US and overseas.UK chain Honest Burger's Beyond BurgerUK chain Honest Burger sells the burger made Beyond Meat’s patty. Consumers are coming round to the notion of plant-based meat substitutes that aim to look and taste like the real thing. More than a quarter of Britons (26%) say they find idea of products appealing, according to research group Mintel.“So this company Beyond Meat is in a strong position to capitalise on current interest in limiting meat intake,” says Mintel’s UK food and drink research director Kiti Soininen. So just how good does company’s products taste? A trawl of online food blogs show reviews are mostly positive. While some reviewers say burgers taste unnervingly like real beef, others say they definitely don’t. While Beyond Meat has many rivals, including US start-up Impossible Meat and the UK’s Moving Mountains, Mr Brown says that Beyond Meat is struggling to keep up with demand. “We are trying as hard as we can to catch up,” he says. The company, started with 10 people operating from a kitchen in a former hospital, now employs 200.An Impossible BurgerA number of other companies make vegan burger patties that replicate beef as closely as possible, as this offering is from Impossible Burger. And it has just opened its second production facility in Columbia, Missouri, which it says will create a further 250 jobs. In addition, it has launched a new research lab in Los Angeles. This expansion is been funded by external investment in the business that now totals $72m (£56m). Mr Brown won’t reveal the stake he retains in the company, but calls it “decent share.” Mr Brown, who spent his childhood outside Washington DC, says he approaches his every working day like an athletic event eating well, exercising and meditating. At work, he admits, his focus is intense, and there’s “not much chitchat time.” “I tell my son this all the time,” You ‘re not going to get extraordinary outcome if you don’t put an extraordinary amount of work in.”

PLASTIC WASTE POLLUTION

Chinese worker sorts through plastic bottles
Marine life faces “irreparable damage” from billions of tonnes of plastic waste in oceans each year, the United Nations warned. “This planetary crisis ruins the ecosystem of oceans,” UN oceans chief Lisa Svensson said. Why is this allowed to continue despite global damage risks this plastic actually do? Why is plastic problematic since existence in last 60-70 years of transforming everything from clothing, cooking, catering, to product design, engineering or retailing. Many types of the plastics are designed to last for a long time. Nearly all plastic created still exists in some form today.how much plastic is there ? infographic

A paper published in Science Advances Journal by industrial ecologist Dr Roland Geyer, from the University of California in Santa Barbara, and colleagues, calculated the total volume of all plastic ever produced at 8.3bn tonnes. Some 6.3bn tonnes is now waste and 79% is in landfill or the natural environment. This vast amount of waste has been driven by modern life, where plastic is used for many throwaway or “single use” items, from drinks bottles and nappies to cutlery and cotton buds.

500 billion plastic bottles

Drinks bottles are most common types of plastic waste. Some 500bn plastic bottles were sold globally in 2017 that is more than a million bottles per minute. 130bn were made by drinks giant Coca Cola.drinks bottles infographic

Some countries are considering moves to reduce consumption. These includes deposit-return schemes, improvement of free-drinking water supplies in major cities, forcing the producers to cut down overproduction. So much plastic waste ends up in the sea about 15m tonnes of plastic currently ends up in oceans each year. Scientists from National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and University of Georgia, Athens estimated the figure as 11m tonnes, and forecast that to rise to 20m tonnes by 2019. The study, published in the journal Science surveyed 192 coastal countries affected by ocean plastic waste, and found Asian nations suffered most.ocean plastic waste infographic

China and US, UK, among top of the list of countries mismanaging plastic waste, and contribute higher rate of waste per person. Plastic waste accumulates in areas of the ocean where winds create swirling circular currents gyres, which suck in floating debris. There are five gyres around the globe, but best known is probably the North Pacific gyre. It is estimated debris takes about six years to reach the centre of the North Pacific gyre from the coast of the US, and about a year from Japan. All five gyres have higher concentrations of plastic rubbish than other parts of the oceans. They are made up of tiny fragments of the plastic, suspended below surface phenomenon described as plastic soup. Hard-wearing qualities of plastics means some items take hundreds of years to biodegrade. There are moves to clean up the North Pacific gyre. An operation led by a non-profit organisation Ocean Cleanup has begun in 2018.biodegrading times for plastic products chart

How are things in UK?

Marine Conservation Society finds 718 pieces of litter for every 100m stretch of beach surveyed during recent Great British Beach Clean Up. That was a 15% increase on last year.beach waste infographic

Rubbish from food or drink constituted at least 25% of litter collected, the MCS reported. The origin of a lot of the litter by public contributes is 35%. “Sewage-related debris” or items flushed down toilets instead of in bin, amount to 9%.beach waste sources infographic

Plastic harms marine life

Sea birds and larger marine creatures, whales, turtles, dolphins, seal’s danger comes from being entangled in plastic bags, other debris, mistaken for plastic food. Turtles don’t distinguish between plastic bags and jellyfish as part of their diet. The plastic bags consumed cause internal blockages and result in death. Large pieces of plastic damage digestive systems of sea birds, whales, potentially fatal. Over time, plastic waste degrades so breaks down to tiny micro-fragments also causing scientists concern.cotton buds diagram

A recent survey by Plymouth University found plastic was found in a third of UK caught fish, cod, haddock, mackerel and shellfish. This can result in malnutrition or starvation for fish, and lead to plastic ingestion in humans too. The effect on humans of eating fish containing plastic is still largely unknown. But in 2017 the European Food Safety Authority warns of increased risk to human health, food safety given potential for micro-plastic pollution in edible tissue of commercial fish.” A whales died after swallowing 80 plastic bags off southern Thailand.The whale swallowed 80 plastic bagsRescuers used buoys to keep the whale afloat during rescue attempt. The whale died in southern Thailand after it has swallowed more than 80 plastic bags. The small male pilot whale was found barely alive in a canal near border with Malaysia, Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources said. The whale  vomited five bags while rescuers used buoys to keep it afloat in a rescue attempt, an umbrella held to protect it from the blazing sun.The whale swallowed 80 plastic bagsPlastic bags taken from whale’s stomach piled together. A veterinary team tried “to help stabilise its illness” but the whale later died on Friday afternoon, officials said. An autopsy revealed 80 plastic bags weighing eight kilograms (18 pounds) in whale’s stomach. Thon Thamrongnawasawat, marine biologist and lecturer at Kasetsart University, said bags made it impossible for whales to eat nutritional food. Shopping bags can be recycled for road materials, etc.The whale swallowed more than 80 plastic bagsMarine biologist, Thamrongnawasawat said plastic pollution was huge problem. 80 plastic bags in stomach caused death, he said. Mr Thamrongnawasawat said, about 300 marine animals, including pilot whales, sea turtles and dolphins died each year in Thai waters ingesting plastic. He said: “It’s a huge problem as the world uses lots of plastic washed in the sea and ashore.”The whale swallowed 80 plastic bagsThe plastic bags weighed up to eight kilograms (18 pounds). The pilot whale’s plight generated sympathy and anger among global citizens. One Twitter user wrote: “I feel sorry for animal that did not do anything wrong but has to bear the brunt of human careless actions. A new way of solving pollution of rivers with plastic waste and debris is the use of  Trash Traps collecting litter before it flows further or piles up clogging rivers and sewages tunnels 

Lafayette Stormwater Trap copyBandalong Litter Trap™ is designed to float in waterways in order to capture litter before it flows downstream by using the current to guide debris into the trap. This performance floatable control technology continuously operating 365 days a year without any mechanical assistance to capture floating litter. The Bandalong is a proven, cost-effective solution for floatables control is the answer to the growing problem of litter in waterways. Bandalong Litter Trap is ideal in-stream solution for floating combined sewer overflows. The Bandalong Litter Trap is cleaning waterways in Australia and Asia for more than 15 years.

StormX Gross Pollutant Netting Trash Trap is Perfect for Urban Hot Spots

StormX™ is engineered to capture gross pollutants, handle powerful stormwater runoff at urban hot spots. Commercial grade, reusable nets to full capture of gross pollutants as small as 5 mm, including organic materials (such as leaves) that could reduce the levels of phosphorous and nitrogen in our water. This economical solution to litter and debris in stormwater runoff is highly effective for “first flush.” To prevent flooding, built-in overflows allow heavy runoff to flow unimpeded.

Bandalong Boom Systems are installed across waterways, acting as a final barrier to collect or deflect debris.

Bandalong Boom Systems™ are installed across waterways, acting as a final barrier to collect or deflect debris. The floating boom sections are coupled together and spanned across a weir, waterway or dam to capture litter and prevent it from floating further downstream. The other wastes includes fishnets trapping whales in the seas.

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We can help clean waterways around your town or business or fishnet. And people must be educated to grow and preserve more trees and forests cut down cannot grow back the same way again, it takes hundreds of years. When this sort of damage occurs, a fragile ecosystem is disrupted. Animals will no longer have food when trees are cut. So plants, insects and animals that relied on a delicate balance disappear. People in are worried about deforestation that destroys natural carbon cycle. Acres of the national park’s fragile ecosystem is being badly damaged to cater for global demands of soya, palm trees or vanilla. It is short-sightednes as trees start to disappear, the unique conditions that make soil perfect place to grow crops will start to disappear as well. Forests provide the right amount of rainfall, humidity and soil to grow brands of foods. Cutting down forest to grow more soya or palm makes it harder to grow quality foods on lands. Stop clogging the land and deforestation damaging earth.

More from Sky Ocean Rescue

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  • Only a third of plastic food pots can be recycled, local authorities say

  • Degrading plastics ‘release greenhouse gases’, study shows

  • Princess Eugenie: ‘We want a plastic-free wedding’

  • Music festivals in concert to get drastic on plastic

:: Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign tells people to reduce single-use plastics. Find out more about campaign, get involved at www.skyoceanrescue.com

Alison Trowsdale, Tom Housden and Becca Meier. Design by Sue Bridge and Joy Roxas.