What is the BYO Lunchbox campaign?

We want to aid the ban on single-use plastics and we need the support of local businesses and residents like you. The BYO Lunchbox scheme encourages customers to bring along their own lunch boxes to local eateries in Brighton & Bristol, cutting down on single-use takeaway packaging. 

We're also releasing an eco-friendly lunchbox that's completely BPA free, reusable and high-quality. Participating eateries in both cities will have a sticker in their window letting passers-by know they can go in and fill up their lunchbox at ease. Wriggle rewards points will given to those that share their lunchbox refills on Twitter & Instagram with the hashtag #byolunchbox

Why do we want to reduce single-use packaging?

Every year around 150 million tonnes of single-use plastic is produced globally, and more than 8 million tonnes of this ends up in the sea. The UK alone produces 170 million tonnes of waste annually, much of which is food packaging. A recent report shows that over from over 2 million tons of plastic that was produced in the UK in a year, just under 45% of this was collected for recycling and the rest was sent to landfill or incinerated. 

The impact of plastic pollution in numbers 

  • The total amount of plastic ever made - 8.3 billion tonnes 
  • Every piece of plastic ever made still exists - and will continue existing for at least 500 years
  • Total amount of plastic waste ever produced that has been recycled - 9%
  • Percentage of the world’s oceans surfaces that are covered in plastic waste - 40%
  • If no action is taken plastic waste will outweigh all marine life by 2050
  • Amount of square milage on the world oceans that is plastic-free - 0
  • Pieces of microplastic in the ocean - 5 trillion (one rubbish truck load is added each minute)
  • Amount of microplastics ingested by humans each year from seafood - 11,000

Photograph by Jordi Chias
What is being done to tackle the plastic pollution crisis?

As you can see plastic pollution is a huge problem, and one of the biggest issues facing our world’s oceans. Reports suggest around 1 million sea birds and 100,000 marine creatures are killed each year from plastic pollution. Blue Planet was a real eye opener for most of us, and those harrowing clips should be enough to encourage us to reconsider our plastic consumption habits, but things just aren’t changing fast enough.

There are however a numerous amount of ways governments and businesses are trying to reduce their impact on the environment and clean up our rivers and oceans. The UK businesses pact has seen 40 major businesses pledge to eradicate single-use plastic from their packaging and an innovative scheme at a Leeds car park gives drivers a 20p voucher for every plastic bottle they hand in. The recent Walkers post protest has forced the company to listen and have since pledged to make their packaging 100 percent recyclable or biodegradable by 2025.

The British government recently launched a 25 year plan to improve the environment, including a forthcoming tax on plastics containing less than 30% recycled plastic. The initiative comes after a record breaking 162,000 pro responses for plastic tax were received by the Treasury. And the European Parliament has just announced a complete ban on single-use plastics across the EU.

With this in mind, Wriggle plans to target two key UK cities, Bristol and Brighton, and encourage both businesses and residents to cut down on single-plastics by taking part in the BYO lunchbox scheme. On average 75% of the British public buy their lunch each day rather than bringing in a packed lunch, switching to a reusable lunchbox could soon save you a LOT of single-use packaging - 270 pieces a year to be exact (if you buy lunch every working day). 

What can I do to be more environmentally friendly?

The first port of call if you're a lunch time purchaser is to get involved with the BYO Lunchbox scheme, second of all you should check out our article on cutting down on single-plastics with top tips like using water refill stations, using reusable coffee cups and shopping locally. You can also get inspiration from Brighton and Bristol based businesses that are doing their bit to save the environment. And of course the obvious - RECYCLE! Seriously though, recycle till the cows come home and you'll really be making a difference.

Let’s stop tons of plastic waste ending up in our oceans, together we can make a change, together we can create a plastic-free revolution.

Published -6th February 2019