Let’s Get Friendly. Eco-Friendly! It’s Plastic-Free July!

Let’s Get Friendly. Eco-Friendly! It’s Plastic-Free July! featured image

We’ve made it to the second half of 2021. Let’s give ourselves a collective pat on our backs! This also means that the month of July is upon us. For millions around the globe, July is a month of gratitude to Mother Nature. For all that she’s given us, there’s a little something we can do to give back— we can reduce our use of single-use plastics! 

Single-use plastics will continue to plague our earth for the centuries to come. It is easy to underestimate the actual amount of plastic waste we produce on a daily basis. From the straws at our favourite fast food joints, to the plastic bags at the grocery store; the average Singaporean produces a whopping 0.2kg of plastic waste per day.

Plastic Usage In Home Baking

Unfortunately, it is an indomitable task to eliminate the use of single-use plastics in home baking. However, we can do our best to reduce it. 

Plastics can often be found in the windows of cake boxes and tape used to package cakes and pastries. These are then placed in plastic bags before being handed over to the customer or deliveryman. 
Fortunately, home bakers now have the option of using boxes made of recycled paper. These boxes can then be secured with string that’s made of biodegradable materials such as linen or hemp. 
Paper bags made of recycled paper are also more in vogue than their plastic counterparts. We can’t complain if modern trends also happen to be more eco-friendly at the same time! 
As customers, we receive many forms of packaging like cookie jars and plastic boxes with our daily purchases. Think of creative ways to use these packages instead of throwing them out! Use the boxes to pack your daily lunches. Re-use the cookie jars as flower vases. Fold up that paper or plastic bag so that you can use them another day! The possibilities are endless. As we’ve all heard ad-nauseum: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle! 

Single use utensils such as knives and forks are often made of plastic. Fortunately, utensils made of wood or bamboo are getting more common. Home bakers can reduce waste created by utensils by only providing them upon request. As customers, try your best to use your knives and forks at home instead of contributing to the landfill.

Home bakers that produce products in volume are able to take advantage of the economies of scale. They do so by purchasing massive bags of ingredients like flour and cocoa. This reduces the plastic waste of small individual packaging that plagues bakers who produce in smaller volumes. 
Smaller bakers also have to deal with the worry of ingredient shelf life. This can be improved with proper refrigeration and ample use of desiccants (think Thirsty Hippo!) to keep ingredients fresh for as long as possible. Dairy products are notorious for having a short shelf life. Consider non-dairy alternatives such as nut milk! The dairy industry is known to be one of the major contributors of greenhouse gases that’s creating a hole in our precious ozone layer. So, choose greener alternatives whenever you can! 

Delivery and self-collection
Plastic waste is inevitable when delivery services are employed. Products are required to be placed in bags, which are most commonly plastic (though paper bags are also available, albeit much costlier). Aside from plastic, the gasoline required by the delivery service also contributes to environmental pollution.
Whenever possible, consider self-collection! If the bakery is located near you, take a leisurely stroll down and collect the item by hand. Meet the baker in person to appreciate the friendly face behind your bakes. B.Y.O.B whenever possible! 

Home baker initiatives

We are proud to support home bakers who take eco-friendly initiatives.
@chewingbakes, for one, offers their crunchy, bite-sized Chocolate Chip Cornflake Cookies made with 73% Dark Chocolate at $4.00/gram instead of $4.50/gram if you turn up with your own packaging! 
@Gratus.sg champions the cause of sustainable, green baking by advocating eco-friendly initiatives. For example, they encourage us to avoid single-use plastics and unnecessary packaging. Their customers are always encouraged to bring their own containers and bags! They even offer a $1 refund for the return of their cookie jars during CNY. They are also part of the barePack community that provides cost savings if you B.Y.O containers! 

So let’s play our part to reduce plastic waste in our Little Red Dot. Make yourselves heard by supporting the efforts of eco-friendly bakers who go the extra mile for a greener future! 

Remember: as much as you can, decline disposable utensils. Provide your own packaging. Self-collect. Like, share, comment and follow eco-friendly bakers and other advocates (hint hint!). Every little step counts! 

Find out more about the Plastic Free July Challenge in the link here.

In 2019, one girl championed the Bread without Bags movement in Singapore, with the vision of a Single-Use Plastic Free World. Read more here.

Like what you read? Find out more on how we can support local home bakers in Singapore.