Minimal Waste Project

Katie Grogan & team Health
  • Minimal Waste Project

Here at The Hopsack we’ve been striving to minimise our waste output from the get-go and we welcome this ever-growing trend. Finn, Kate and all of the staff have always been mindful of what we are doing as a company, for our customers and the community.  And we now feel it’s time to formalise our approach and bring our initiative to the next level in the form of our own Minimal Waste Project.

We’re responsible for educating ourselves and then sharing the benefits of what we learn with our customers.  We understand the importance of becoming part of a circular, rather than a linear economy. We continue to learn and strive to source from innovative companies who care about the effect of their goods on the environment.

We admit it, reducing waste can seem daunting. But, although it does require some planning and structure, it’s worth the effort. The smallest, simplest changes in our lives can have a worthwhile effect our environment... as well as motivating and influencing others around us.

With every gradual step forward, big differences, real change can come about.  

So here are a few things we're up to, and suggestions you might like to hear - some easy changes that you can consider, to help kick-start a low-fuss, zero waste inspired lifestyle... we've also created a Minimal Waste range, products that, one way or another, help reduce waste.  We've also dicounted all of it (online only) by 10% in May, and we'll send along a free jute bag (with Iswari gift!) with all online orders for a while too!

Consider the ‘5 Rs’ of the circular economy

1. Refuse

2. Reduce

3. Reuse (and refill)

4. Recycle

5. Rot (compost)

 

Plastic - did you know…?  

  • Plastic can only be recycled about half a dozen times.
  • It then takes around FIVE HUNDRED YEARS to decompose.
  • Already, the oceans have islands (literally, they are colossal) made entirely from accumulated plastic.
  • According to the World Economic Forum our plastic production is twenty times higher now than fifty years ago (growing from 16.5 million tonnes in 1964 to 343 million tonnes in 2014). This his figure is projected to double by 2036 - to around 700 million tonnes.

But… tins and glass can be endlessly recycled.

So… we can try to reduce our plastic use.  We’re talking coffee cups, straws, bottles, and plastic bags. These single-use plastics experience such a brief ‘working’ life (a few seconds) before we chuck them away to hang around for centuries. These kinds of plastic aren't essential - there are many sustainable alternatives.

Coffee cups

A daily, 10-minute drink could create 365 cups, spoons and lids each year.

βœ”οΈ We are part of the Conscious Cup Campaign.

βœ”οΈ Our coffee cups, spoons and their lids are compostable.

βœ”οΈ We sell some great keep-cups.

What could you do?

βœ… Get yourself a lovely reusable keep-cup... and enjoy your coffee knowing that you’ve just saved umpteen cups from landfill.

βœ… Make sure you compost our coffee cups, lids and spoons.

βœ… If you’re not getting your coffee from us every day, check out the Conscious Cup Campaign - where you can check who's registered.

Straws

These pesky bits of plastic don't just sit around on the planet for hundreds of years but they also cause serious harm to our marine pals.   Find out more in this eye-opening blog about the effect of rogue straws can have on marine life.

βœ”οΈ We stock reusable straws and cleaning brushes.

βœ”οΈ Our smoothie cups & straws are compostable (PLA - so this may take up to 3-6 months).

What could you do?

βœ… Invest in a (lovely-looking!) reusable straw.

βœ… Think about refusing plastic straws.

βœ… Use a keep-cup for smoothies and juices too and ditch the idea of straws altogether!

Plastic bottles

  • Many plastic bottle contain nasty chemicals, such as BPA and BPS.
  • So, they are not just damaging to the environment, but also to our personal health.
  • Ireland spends €76.5m on bottled water a year, most of which is in plastic bottles.

βœ”οΈ We stock Punc’s reusable stainless steel bottles - a lovely Irish company. Their insulated model will even keep liquids hot for 6 hours ,or cold for 12!

What could you do?

βœ… Consider a water filtration system for your home. The  filters that we stock remove very close  to 100% of germs, bacteria, sediments and other harmful substances.  They can also help you reduce the number of disposable plastic water bottles you might buy.

βœ… If you use a reusable bottle, you can save money and help save our planet!

Plastic bags

We Irish folk have been pretty good at coming around to the idea of bringing along our own shopping bags since the government started making us pay tax on ‘em back in 2002.  But we can still fall a bit short with the small plastic bags we use for our fruit & veg.

βœ”οΈ We offer our organic veg loose, which is a relief when doing your weekly grocery shop as it cuts down on packaging!

βœ”οΈ Almost all of our fruit & vegetables (as well as being entirely organic) come package-free.

βœ”οΈ This also means that you can buy only exactly what you need; minimising food waste.

βœ”οΈ We stock reusable, organic cotton produce bags that allow you to pick your veg from the shelf, keeping it separate from detergents and household items, and even store it in your fridge to preserve your produce for an extra day or two.

What could you do?

βœ… Refuse plastic bags.

βœ… Reuse your own carrier bag, avoiding plastic ones.

βœ… Pop fruit & veg into a recyclable paper bag, ask for a cardboard box

Packaging

βœ”οΈ Our cutlery and lunch boxes are all compostable; our soup cups are recyclable.

βœ”οΈ We will soon be selling steel lunch boxes - you can reuse them at The Hopsack Deli and help reduce waste!

βœ”οΈ Some of your favourite chocolate brands come with the added bonus of being wrapped in fully compostable, biodegradable packaging.

The lovely Irish folk at NOBO and Clonakilty Chocolate and further afield our pals at Loving Earth and Original Beans all provide delicious chocolate - with a clearer conscience.  Hats off to them, even their foils (which feel just like metal) are compostable. See folks, with a bit of commitment this CAN be done!

What could you do?

βœ… When buying body and face care products, choose sustainable containers.

βœ… Warrior Botanicals, Modern Botany, Antipodes - a few good options, they use glass or tins.

βœ… Buy soaps with no packaging at all!

βœ… Make your own toothpaste and mouthwash. Take a look at this recipe...

βœ… β€‹Toothbrushes - switch to a compostable or biodegradable brush.

β€‹πŸŒ± Try growing herbs, salads and sprouts at home - use old containers and tubs to grow your own salads indoors! It’s such a treat seeing old containers being reused, while you're collecting freshly grown greens from your windowsill.  

Refill

βœ”οΈ Here in the Hopsack we’re constantly adding to our range of refillable goods to help reduce single-use packaging.

βœ”οΈ We have an established Refill Station - offering customers the choice to reuse packaging for a variety of products - from our famous freshly-ground peanut and almond butters and apple concentrate - to our wide range of household cleaning and body care brands such as Ecover, Sonnet, Faith in Nature and Lilly’s (another great Irish brand!).

What could you do?

βœ… β€‹Simply bring back your empty jars and bottles (or bring your own) and we’ll be happy to refill them for you!

When you can’t refill or reuse - reduce and recycle!

βœ”οΈ The Hopsack uses recycled stationery, including pens that are refillable and plastic-free.

βœ”οΈ We offer 32c discount on your next purchase when you bring your Viridian empty glass bottle back to  the store to be recycled.

βœ”οΈ We ask if customers need a receipt before printing,  as they're not recyclable.

βœ”οΈ We are working together with equally socially conscious businesses in the Swan Centre to reduce our waste.

We will be organising events about zero waste soon, to help share what we’re learning with you guys in our community and to improve our own understanding of what we need to do to make this work.  This will help Rathmines to lead the way as a socially conscious neighbourhood that’s great to live in and be a part of.  We have more to learn and consider, but right now we are proud that each individual in our team wants the same thing - a healthy planet.

Thank you for all your support and advice during this project. We are lucky to have such environmentally aware customers and for those of you who are zero waste veterans at this point - shout out to you!

 




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