When JB went #SingleUse Plastic Free

In the lead up to the launch of our new Plastics briefing ‘Culture Beyond Plastic: Understanding and Eliminating Problem Plastics’ – to test out just how large the challenge of moving beyond single-use and problem plastics is, the JB team took an oath to have a single-use free January. Here’s what we found out…

The Positives…

Laura Pando Martinez, Managing Director

“It has encouraged me to make more meals at home which is definitely healthier, tastier and cheaper – and I have discovered a couple of smaller cafés in the area where they serve lovely vegetarian sandwiches in paper bags. And I have enjoyed seeing the creativity the JB team puts into their homemade meals!”

“Because it’s January and everyone is asking/talking about new year resolutions, it’s given me an excuse to talk about single-use plastics with friends”

Becky Hazlewood, Environmental Sustainability Project Manager

“I managed plastic free in the office for the whole month (although as a team, we didn’t manage plastic free tea bags or coffee and still bought cow milk in plastic bottles) by bringing my own salad in every day (feeling healthier and have probably saved some pennies!) and snacking on fruit instead of chocolate and biscuits – who knew plastic free would be good as a post xmas detox and money saver?! All in all with a little thought and time planned in to be organised for making lunches (and extra food shopping time to search for plastic free options) it really wasn’t that hard and I’ll definitely be doing my best to continue for the rest of the year!”

Ruby Kvalheim, Marketing & Events Manager

“I have been eating healthier and saving money by bringing lunches in every day, and freezing bulk meals to bring in when I’ve got less time to prep. Great to hear inspiration from other team members – Graciela brought a plate from the office to a local market stall, and has been pushing for cardboard box containers without a lid.”

Brianna Francis, Environmental Sustainability Coordinator

“I learnt to make soup which has meant that learning to cook is a key tool in reducing single use plastic! That way, I’ve had healthier, cheaper and single-use plastic free lunches for a month”

The not so positives..

Chiara Badiali, Knowledge and Sector Intelligence Lead

“This only really makes a difference if we’re bulk-cooking at home to take in; or using containers to get take-away (for which there aren’t that many affordable places around here). I couldn’t get into the groove of that so my life has become a wasteful accumulation of other kinds of take-away food packaging (mainly the unlined cardboard of Pret’s Falafel and Halloumi wrap). Seems to defeat the purpose. A better aim would have been ‘bring your own lunch in’ month”

“The only vegetables my nearest corner-store sells that aren’t wrapped in plastic is peppers, avocados, onions, lemons, and limes. Even the sweet potatoes are plastic wrapped…Maybe we should all just live off bulk tubs of Huel.”

Laura Pando Martinez, Managing Director

“I have felt frustrated on a couple of occasions with wanting to bring cookies for the team and being stopped by a tiny stupid plastic “window” in the paper cookie bags at Tesco and Sainsbury’s. Someone lovely also sent delicious chocolates as a present to say thank you. They were in a cardboard box with no plastic wrapping outside (yes!) but inside all chocolates were presented in individual useless plastic sleeves. So that was an involuntary fail – the learning is that it’s sometimes impossible to know from the outside!”

Becky Hazlewood, Environmental Sustainability Project Manager

“If you don’t have time to shop outside of a supermarket this is next to impossible – whilst my lunches were plastic free in the office, the lettuce, cucumbers tomatoes etc inevitably came wrapped in plastic. Another day it took me a good 10 minutes to find a soap that wasn’t wrapped in plastic, only to open the cardboard box at home to find the plastic on the inside, argh!”

“One lunchtime I tried taking my tupperware to a Thai takeaway and they refused to fill it due to ‘cross contamination’ purposes and because of people with severe allergies…”

Ruby Kvalheim, Marketing & Events Manager

“We suffered a pretty early plastic fail with coffee (foil and plastic often combined even if the packaging can in some places be recycled), milk and tea, which certainly required more research into local alternatives. There are good options close to home in the form of local unpackaged produce shops and milk delivery in reusable bottles, but in our serviced office in central London we haven’t cracked this one yet. I’m afraid to say I also got swayed by promotional freebies given away on the way to work, and accepted these though they included a plastic wrap.”