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The Leaf: Issue 1 May 2021 - How We Cut Our Single Use Plastic Use By Nearly 40%

Welcome to The Leaf, Drayton's NEW monthly sustainability blog!

Each month we'll focus on a different theme as we highlight how we're forging our path to becoming net zero by 2025, and the dedicated work by the Drayton employees who are making it happen.

Read more topics at Wiser about Sustainability


In this first edition, we selected a topic that we can all identify with, at work and at home...

Single Use Plastics

Single use plastics (or SuP for short) are difficult to avoid in our daily lives and business, but there are steps we can all take to minimise their use. Reducing, reusing and recycling single use plastics wherever possible can contribute to:

  • Less plastic ending up in landfill
  • Less plastic dumped in our seas and less damage to marine life
  • Less litter in our streets and beauty spots
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions from SuP manufacture

Read on to find out how we've reduced our annual SuP use by nearly 40% so far, and we're still going.


We're working to minimise not just the SuP we use and discard on-site, but also what leaves us in our consumer packaging. We have a dedicated team of employees working hard to identify where we can reduce our reliance on SuP and find more sustainable alternatives.

Headed up by Debie Robinson the SuP elimination team, founded in 2018, has already made significant improvements and eliminated almost 4 tonnes of SuP from our supply chain, and we're working closely with both our suppliers and retailers to improve sustainability of packaging materials. Find out more below.



Debie Robinson

"We should consider sustainability and the role we all play in making this happen, as a way of life not a fad. I regret that it has taken me 55+ years to understand and realise how much damage we have done to our world. I am passionate about this subject not only at work, but in my home life as well."

- Debie Robinson, Senior Buyer and SuP team leader


What SuPs have we eliminated from our supply chain?

  • Thanks to the cooperation of our retailers, we've significantly reduced the use of plastic blister packs used in our consumer packaging, and they'll soon be eliminated entirely.
  • We've worked closely with suppliers to eliminate many plastics from the packaging of parts delivered to our factory, like polystyene foam, polythene bags, and plastic carton dividers now replaced with recyclable cardboard.
  • Plastic-free packing tape has replaced plastic-based tapes for sealing outer cartons.
  • Plastic pallet protectors and stretch wrap have been eliminated.
  • We've ended the use of plastic cups in our on-site kitchens and vending machines, and encourage our employees to use reusable cups and bottles.


What about the SuP we still use?

Since 2018 Drayton has operated as a Zero Waste to Landfill site, meaning that 100% of our waste is reused or recycled, so the SuP still being discarded on our premises do not go to landfill. Even still, there's more work to do and the SuP elimination team continue to identify areas where we can further reduce our reliance on SuPs and find eco-friendly alternatives.


How can we reduce SuP at home?

There are many, many ways to reduce single use plastics at home, read our 10 simple tips below to get you started:

  1. Keep a reusable steel, glass or BPA-free water bottle with you to reduce reliance on disposable plastic bottles
  2. Swap from plastic straws to straws made from recyclable paper or reusable stainless steel
  3. Switch out the cling film for reusable beeswax food wraps
  4. Visit your nearest low waste shop with your own containers - a chance to reuse those handy takeaway boxes instead of throwing them out
  5. Use a reusable coffee cup in participating cafés and coffee shops
  6. Shop at your local market where food often has minimal packaging compared to supermarkets, or try vegetable delivery services
  7. Swap the wet wipes for washable cleaning cloths, plastic-free where you can
  8. Ditch the balloons - we know they're fun, but stray ballons once popped can seriously harm wildlife if eaten. Try eco friendly alternatives like paper pom poms.
  9. Prep your own snacks and reduce the need to pick up extra packaged foods while out and about
  10. Be more mindful in your purchases - where you have the choice, choose the product with more sustainable packaging 



Want to see what sustainability-related awareness days are coming up? Browse our list below and our tips on how to get involved. And when you do, why not tag us in your social posts and you could be featured in a future edition of The Leaf! @DraytonHome on Facebook and Instagram

Did you know May is National Walking Month? There's still time to get in those extra steps in. Try leaving the car at home and walking short journeys to reduce carbon emissions; good for the planet, and good for you.

Water Saving Week 17th - 21st May - By reducing water use you can help reduce energy used by water treatment facilities, and therefore reduce carbon emissions. It'll even save you some money on the utility bills! Read our March World Water Day article for tips to save water at home.

World Turtle Day 23rd May - Turtles are often hit hard by plastic pollution in our oceans, becoming entangled, drowned and poisoned by the plastics we use every day. Show them some love by committing to swapping a single use plastic with an eco-friendly alternative in your daily life.

The Great British Spring Clean 28th May to 13th June - We've seen a few tips to reduce SuPs, but what can we do about the pollution already out there? Here's your chance to muck in and help remove pollutants and prevent them from causing more damage. So whether you're joining a community litter pick, going solo, or even combining jogging and litterpicking ('Plogging' I believe is the technical term!), every little helps. Find out more on the Keep Britain Tidy website.

World Environment Day 5th June - This year's theme is Beat Plastic Pollution, so here's another chance for you to help spread awareness of plastic pollution and make some changes - big or small - to help safeguard our environments, whether it's reducing your SuP use or clearing up plastic litter from your local area.

World Refill Day 16th June - Ditch the SuPs on 16th June and remember to refill where you can. And that's not just water bottles, if you haven't yet then try reusable tea and coffee cups, or visit your nearest refill shop with your containers for a low-waste shopping trip. Challenge yourself, what else could you refill?


Read more topics at Wiser about Sustainability