It’s no secret that plastic has a terrible impact on the environment and on our health. In fact, according to this report, “the rapid increase in plastic pollution in the past few decades is due in part to an increase in single-use plastic consumption and a growing throwaway culture.”
We’re thrilled to see so many couples looking for sustainability-conscious ways to host their Big Day! If you’re planning an eco-friendly wedding, there are a few oh-so-simple ways you can remove common single-use plastic items from your wedding. Take a peek at the helpful alternatives you can use instead.
Take a listen: Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas [Podcast]
Say goodbye to single-use plastic wedding decor and instead, opt for items made from recycled paper. If you’re after a pop of colour, consider paper lanterns, tissue paper orbs and environmentally friendly decor pieces.
Supplier spotlight: Love Letters Event Decor
Hand crafted, sustainable and repurposed wood and materials to create unique and bespoke wedding decor.
Love Letters Event Decor is based in the craft yard at Castlecomer Discovery Park. It’s all made locally with love and care with all our couples in mind. We aim to support a circular economy with nothing going back into landfill and all locally sourced. Unlike other types of metal, stone or plastic wood is an organic material, and it is a strong symbol of life, growth and strength. Any wood used in the construction of our pieces went through a life cycle and the strength it needs to survive is a very strong metaphor to describe relationships.
Disposable cutlery and crockery
When it comes to your Big Day and other wedding events like engagement parties, hen parties and celebrations, it may be tempting to buy a bunch of disposable products. Just remember that the waste will add up quickly!
What to do instead: Rent glass or high-end plastic products. It may cost a little more than the disposable items, and there will be clean up involved, but you will rest assured that it’s so much better for the planet.
If your reception venue serves bar drinks in plastic cups, you might feel like you have to use them!
What to do instead: Find out if you can provide the glassware for them. This is a fantastic opportunity to either hire glasses or buy antiques and allow your guests to take them home as wedding favours.
Plastic wedding favours
Eventually, all plastic wedding favours will end up in the bin. You’d be surprised at how often that happens!
What to do instead: Why not donate to a charity in their name? Other great eco-friendly wedding favours include wildflower seeds, succulents, lovely edible treats or reusable items like coasters or tea towels.
Your wedding ceremony exit is a great photo opportunity and you may be tempted to use confetti, rice or bubbles.
What to do instead: Swap plastics for these eco-friendly confetti ideas: dried flowers, seed paper, bird seed, lavender, leaves, leaf cutouts, fragrant herbs, or fresh petals!
Related: Sustainable Confetti Alternatives
Serving drinks that usually require straws? One easy way to get rid of single-use plastics is by saying no to plastic straws.
What to do instead: Replace plastic straws with paper, stainless steel or silicone, or ditch them altogether!
Foam-filled flower arrangements
There’s also been a big movement in the wedding and floral industry on foam-free installations and arrangements. While floral foam is extremely convenient to work with, more and more florists are trying to educate on its potential harm to the environment and creating designs that are more sustainable for our planet.
What to do instead: Ask your florist if they can create foam-free flower arrangements.
For summer weddings, keeping guests hydrated is important and it can be tempting to buy lots of plastic water bottles.
What to do instead: Why not fill pitchers of water and provide cups and glasses for your guests to serve themselves as needed.