A BIT ABOUT THE BOTTLE SWAP
Hi, I'm Helen and I set up The Bottle Swap as a small step to address the problem of plastic.
We all know that plastic is an issue for the whole world.
Like a lot of people, I thought separating my plastic into the recycling bin was a reasonable solution since that meant it would be recycled...
But while I was diving around Asia in 2019, already frustrated at the amount of plastic I'd pick out of the ocean on each dive and collect off the beach when back on land, I watched the breaking news in Malaysia of shipping containers packed with plastic waste from the UK and other western countries being turned back at the ports, with their Environment Minister declaring the country was "not a dumping ground for rich nations’ waste".
I realised that if this is what was happening to our "recycling", then it isn’t all it's cracked up to be.
In fact, it turns out most of the plastic in our recycling bins doesn't get recycled after all! (find out more here)
To really make a difference we need to reduce the plastic we use in the first place.
While I admire the people around the region who use the handful of great refill shops we have here, I wanted to make reducing household plastics as easy as possible for as many people as possible, including those who, like me, weren't so sure how to start changing their shopping habits.
And so The Bottle Swap was born.
The Bottle Swap focuses on some of the most common household plastics (and those which end up in landfill at the greatest rate); the plastics from our bathrooms and cleaning cupboards.
We source all our stock from UK manufacturers who make eco-friendly, vegan, cruelty free products.
We buy them in large containers so there's less plastic involved, and where possible we buy these containers in a "closed loop supply" (meaning the manufacturers take our empty ones back to use again) meaning even less waste.
We then offer a closed loop supply to our customers, delivering the products directly to your doorstep in glass bottles which we later collect to wash and reuse.
This means making a swap here and there to a less harmful consumer lifestyle can be accessible and convenient for everyone in our region.
I certainly don't claim to be living a perfect, plastic-free life, but I hope that The Bottle Swap might help and encourage others to join me in making some household swaps, and taking little steps in the right direction.
Because lots of people making small changes can make a huge difference.
The images below of plastics and tiny plastic nurdles washed up onto the shoreline are some I took walking along a beach in Sri Lanka in January 2020.