More than 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been made since the large-scale production of synthetic materials began in the early 1950s according to Science Daily which quotes the journal Science Advances. To put that into context, that’s 822,000 times the Eiffel Tower which weighs at approximately 10,100 metric tons. Most of the plastic has already been discarded.
Plastic Free July is a worldwide event passionately advocated by Yangoora Close Owner Loren Howell. A Life Without Plastic, a seminar hosted by the Canberra Environment Centre, showed Loren a new way of living. Speakers from the seminar shared stories of plastic-free living and demonstrated items used in day to day that replaced plastic with one of them being beeswax food wrap to replace cling wrap.
Loren then investigated ways of how to produce the beeswax to make them for herself and it became one of the first plastic-free items in her household. She then took to her first markets as Yangoora Close nearly two years ago and was delighted to find that the beeswax food wrap was very popular to customers.
“Everything in our bathroom is designed to be disposable”
The benefit of using beeswax food wrap is that they are quite versatile and reusable lasting from several months to a year. It also has a low melting temperature and it repels water which makes it easy to rinse. In a sense, a flexible, mouldable Tupperware. Yangoora Close was borne out of this first item and it underlined the business ideology of plastic-free living. The next step was then to diversify their product range with a simple swap. The aim was to identify disposable plastic in the household and replace them with items that are biodegradable and reusable.
Yangoora Close then went from the kitchen to the bathroom. Why the bathroom? “Everything in our bathroom is designed to be disposable,” says Loren. “Toothbrushes are one of the most common items that pop out from beach cleans across the world. So replacing toothbrushes with something that’s biodegradable means that you put it in your compost bin rather than adding it to landfill.”
The Yangoora Close Facebook page @YangooraClose also proudly thanks customers for helping keep 150km of plastic from landfill. This takes into account comparisons with how many times beeswax food wrap can be used compared to cling wrap with information spanning from July 2016 to July 2017.
“We’re developing natural dyes with plants and vegetables and using eco-friendly inks to block print and screen print”
With Creative Fibre on 8 July being right around the corner, Yangoora Close certainly has a unique fibre product in store with its beeswax food wrap coupled with an advocacy to live a life without plastic. Reusable bags of cotton canvass also cater to the event’s theme.
Loren also mentions that she has a beautiful organic fabric for the beeswax food wrap lined up for the event. She’s built on the advice given to her from local fashion designers on what sustainable fabric is and how it’s manufactured.
“I’m in the process of designing my own fabric and I’m hoping to have some of my new prints for Creative Fibre,” says Loren. “We’re developing natural dyes with plants and vegetables and using eco-friendly inks to block print and screen print.”
This July will also mark the one year anniversary of Yangoora Close at the Old Bus Depot, not to mention kicking off another year of plastic free living with the annual Plastic-Free July. Loren certainly appreciates being at the markets to speak and meet with customers and talk to them about Yangoora Close’s initiative. “As well as having my products, it’s a great way for me to be out in the community to talk to people and share solutions for a plastic-free lifestyle,” says Loren.
To learn more about Yangoora Close and their plastic-free initiative, follow them on Facebook @YangooraClose.
The Plastic Free July website invites people to take up its challenge for 2018. “Choose to refuse single-use plastic during July,” as stated in the website.
To stay up to date with the latest news about the Sunday Markets in Canberra, like us on Facebook @OldBusDepotMarkets.