All of us are becoming much more plastic-aware these days, particularly since the David Attenborough documentary ‘Blue Planet’ which highlighted the ever-growing amount of plastic polluting our oceans.
According to Sky Ocean Rescue, over 240,000 weddings were held in Britain last year at which there were 100 guests. But the horrifying statistic is that each used nearly 20kg of single-use plastic.
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We can all do our bit to reduce the amount of plastic our own weddings produce and take a leaf out of Princess Eugenie’s book. At her recent wedding to Jack Brooksbank the couple announced that they were having a plastic-free wedding day.
So how can you do this?
One key way of reducing the amount of waste your wedding produces is by hiring rather than buying much of the items you’ll use. Items like crockery, glasses, tablecloths and napkins are all items that the venue will have or can source for you.
Ditch items like plastic cups, plastic water bottles and plastic cocktail stirrers and use glass water jugs on the tables instead of plastic bottles of mineral water. Avoid plastic straws.
Try and ditch everything that is one-use only plastic and you’ll be doing your bit to save the planet.
You could even put a note in with your wedding invitations and on your wedding tables saying that you are having a plastic-free wedding – which your guests are certainly likely to applaud.
Your wedding gown is obviously going to be something you’re giving a lot of thought to. If you’re truly committed to reducing your use of plastic then avoid synthetic fabrics and materials like polyester or viscose. Natural fibres are much more comfortable to wear, they look wonderful and have a richness that man-made fibres just don’t have. Think of silk, organic cotton and wool mixes.
Better still, wear a vintage wedding dress and have it altered to fit you perfectly.
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Have little cones of dried flower petals ready for your guests to throw upon you when you and your other half leave your wedding ceremony.
There are plenty of places to buy natural confetti these days and it comes in a rainbow of different colours. Much more eco than choosing paper or foil and your venue probably won’t mind petals either. Many places actually ban paper confetti in any case as it litters grounds and pathways.
Talk to your suppliers
When choosing your suppliers, ask them about the amount of plastic packaging they will be using whether it is recyclable or whether it is single use. Do they use plastic straws for drinks? Plastic water bottles on the tables?
Yes, it is making a statement but if more of us start asking these sometimes awkward questions, we’ll be doing our bit to stem the growing tide of plastic.
What about food?
We’ve always recommended that you try and use local, seasonal food at your wedding. Seasonal food will not only taste better, it’s also better value for money. Shop local and you’ll be keeping the food miles down and the food is less likely to be overwrapped in unnecessary plastic packaging.
Look out for good local delis, greengrocers and butchers who can supply the food on your wedding day and ask them if they can reduce the amount of plastic packaging they use or better still, do without it all together.
On your tables ask the caterers to avoid using plastic wrapped pats of butter. Instead have little pats of butter put out on small china dishes.
Caterers are getting more and more used to this sort of request particularly after Princess Eugenie’s wedding where plastic-free is becoming a real trend or rather a lifestyle change.
Our stylists are being asked to create plastic-free weddings more and more now. Their styling kit items like oversized letters, crockery, decorative tablecloths, chair decor, beautiful vases, lighting and draping are used in different ways at many weddings so you can be confident it doesn’t end up in landfill after just one use.
Avoid decorations like plastic balloons and bunting. Instead explore the decorative possibilities of fairy lights, swatches of lace and room draping and lanterns.