Aug 31 , 2020
With the COVID crisis being top priority, the plastic pandemic has gone out of the window. I recently went into a care home, I was only in the home for 5 minutes and within that time was given a disposable face covering, gloves, plastic gown. As soon as I was dressed in plastic this was then all thrown in the bin. Apart from being extremely expensive, it's not needed and I feel people have forgotten about other problems in the world, which aren’t going anywhere and are getting worse. With Tesco delivery having the provide plastic bags with every shop collection. What happened to paying for plastic bags and maximising each bag. They are sometimes putting 2 items in one plastic bag. I asked the delivery driver to take the bags back and they are not allowed due to COVID. We are trying to help one problem by creating another.
A recent article from Wired.co.uk shared https://www.wired.co.uk/article/coronavirus-plastic-pollution-environment
Senior plastics campaigner at Greenpeace UK. “Experts are telling us that when it comes to buying food and drinks, plastic packaging doesn’t offer any special protection – and reusable cups, bottles and containers are perfectly safe to use, as long as they are washed properly and social distancing is observed.”
I can only share my experience and advice for salons and therapists. What can therapists do to minimise plastic waste;
- Limit couch roll use: Couch roll is often double layered. Its costly enough as it is, split the couch roll into two if it must be used.
- Make sure you are using reusable masks. Disposable mask are wasteful and unnecessary. Fabric washable masks are easy to buy and nicer for the environment.
- Buy reusable PVC plastic couch covers to again minimise couch roll use.
- Use microfiber towels. This would eliminate single use towels. There are 14,000 uk salons operating every day. With using single use towels this is an additional land waste of over half a million a week of single use towels. It costs on average £25 for a 100 disposable towels, this is a lot of additional expenses. https://paragonmicrofibre.com/product/microfibre-sports-camping-towels/?attribute_pa_size=xl&attribute_pa_color=8224e3&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=Shopping&gclid=CjwKCAjwj975BRBUEiwA4whRB9hQWFQZYKXJ1GcYhhXubkCRWDnZjwKZR96X-0PcEaG-ylJbZfjewRoC5E0QAvD_BwE or using microfibre bedsheets.
- Use wipeable usable aprons These can be brought for as little as £6 https://www.directworkwearonline.com/premier-waterproof-bib-apron-pr115/?dfw_tracker=17241-853-0000&gclid=CjwKCAjwj975BRBUEiwA4whRB-ATBlcuO4GUkXXjUC6OH8G8dk8tdkjnfIFJDcj6w-umPUq2wCwAYRoC78kQAvD_BwE
- Reusable gloves. Plastic gloves salons and therapists are throwing thousands of pairs away every hour collectively. Why not by washable reusable clothes. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Reusable-Gloves-Hair-Gloves-Medium/dp/B072MZCBNJ
- Use flannels where possible. For clients drying their hands, for removing makeup. They are washable, reusable and environmental friendly.
- Reusable bamboo paper towels for cleaning and wiping down instead of couch roll.
- Buy wipeable pillows. Rather than having to cover then with a towel or wasteful couch roll. Simple wipe down after each client. https://www.amazon.co.uk/COMFORTNIGHTS%C2%AE-Waterproof-Pillow-Protector-closure/dp/B07D7X4QDC/ref=sr_1_7?dchild=1&keywords=wipeable+waterproof+pillows&qid=1597530389&sr=8-7
- Make your own. I know we have all been busy with recent events, but make your own face coverings or couch covers using bed sheets. They dry a lot quicker than towels and are eco friendly.
I hope this does help in some way. I appreciate every therapist who is struggling with these economical difficulties and I hope this saves some money and makes you and your clients feel better that we are doing our bit to all help mother earth.