May: Why use plastic when wood would do?

It suddenly struck me that May is almost finished and, as yet, I haven’t had a chance for my regularly monthly plastic rant.  So here goes, this months rant is about plastic household items, we’re talking bins, brooms, etc.

Our old broom finally reached the end of its life and, last week, was consigned to the recycling bin.  So the search was on for a new one – this time plastic free.  Blimey!  I didn’t realise it was going to be so hard – in just about every broom I looked there was a plastic something involved.  This was echoed when I went to Weird and Wonderful Wood at Haughley Park this weekend and managed to buy a completely wooden broom from a lovely lady who hand painted them, “That’s the last one; I’ve searched high and low but I just can’t find anyone producing completely wooden brooms at the moment.”  Neither of us could find a completely wood broom with natural bristles for indoor use anywhere – well at least not the £4.99 kind we used to be able to buy from the local hardware store.

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As it turns out, there are companies out there that do produce totally natural products, but these are products that are more about the craft and creating something that will last a lifetime – and so with it does come a bit of a price tag.  One such company is The Oxford Brush Company who stock some beautiful, handcrafted, household products.  Yes, they may well be more expensive, and in some cases a lot more expensive, than your average household plastic items, but putting your money where your mouth is is sometimes the price you have to pay to do your bit.  I have to confess that I did place an order with them for a couple of things that I thought hadn’t gone through, but on Wednesday they arrived, and I’m so glad they did – the household brush and the cobweb brush are both things of great beauty, functionality, and I suspect will still be doing their thing long after I have gone.

Having just moved house we’re also in need of some new bins for recycling and household rubbish – again, why do these need to be plastic?  You can buy galvanised steel bins from most hardware / country stores in a variety of sizes from 10″ upwards.  We also need some new loo brushes – and guess what, you can buy them made from wood and with natural fibres too; you just need to look a bit harder and spend a bit more.

I know it’s hard to begin to replace plastic items (once they have worn out) with non-plastic items, and I know that sometimes it can mean spending (a lot) more money.  But, to misquote a famous ‘beauty’ company, ‘You’re earth it.”

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