Category: Society

New Luxury Watch Company Born in Japan

New Luxury Watch Company Born in Japan

Grand Seiko Finally Makes Its Debut

Grand Seiko has long lived in the shadow of its parent brand, but now it is finally getting its time to shine.

The luxury watch industry is constantly changing and evolving, and there are always new developments to look out for. One such announcement is that Grand Seiko is to operate separately from its parent company, Seiko. Grand Seiko watches have gained something of a cult following thanks to the fact that they used to be quite tricky to get your hands on. Now, with their very own company, they’re set to go global! Here’s everything that you need to know.

The grand unveiling

Seiko is a name that most of us are familiar with. Before 2010 Grand Seiko, the luxury branch of the brand, had only been available in Japan or when they popped up on second-hand sites every now and again. After 2010, they became available worldwide but under the umbrella of the larger Seiko brand. This year, that all changed. The Seiko head office announced that it had created a new company in the USA solely dedicated to the sales, marketing and distribution of Grand Seiko. Called Grand Seiko Corp. of America (GSA), it’s the very first Grand Seiko company in the world. So now getting hold of a watch will be even easier!

Making a global impact

GSA is set to usher in “a new era for Grand Seiko,” bosses at Seiko said at the time of launch. Grand Seiko currently enjoys a great deal of prominence and prestige in Japan, and the plan is that making it a wholly independent brand will see it gain global recognition. With big events such as the 2020 Olympics around the corner, there’s never been a better time to increase the visibility of Japanese brands. Top athletes such as Novak Djokovic already endorse Seiko, and taking Grand Seiko independent could lay the foundations for relationships with global household names.

Beautiful new models

Seiko is a brand that so many people trust, and Grand Seiko takes all of the characteristics of the core brand and elevates them. To celebrate the launch of GSA, a new range of models have been announced. In great news for those who have followed the brand for years, they are re-workings of classic Grand Seiko designs updated to reflect the bold new direction of the company. So if you haven’t invested in a beautiful Grand Seiko watch before, there’s never been a better time to start shopping than now!

Investing in a luxury timepiece

Luxe Watches are the dealers of choice for those who are serious about building up a collection of stunning luxury watches. With a huge range of timepieces to choose from and payment plans that suit all kinds of budgets, there’s no better place to find the watch of your dreams. Whether you have your eye on one of those new Grand Seiko designs or a watch from another luxury brand, Luxe Watches could help you find the perfect timepiece this autumn.

The perfect festive gift?

Second-hand watch sites have long been the place to find elusive luxury watches, and now that Grand Seiko are an independent, international brand you can expect to see the variety online to increase dramatically. With fledgling watch companies like Grand Seiko bringing striking new models to the market, it’s certainly worth keeping your eyes peeled in the run-up to Christmas!

Give the Perfect Piece of Jewellery This Christmas

Give The Perfect Piece Of Jewellery This Christmas

A Personal Gift Goes A Long Way

Whether you’re planning to propose or just surprise a loved one with a particularly thoughtful and unique gift – bespoke jewellery is the way to go.

Christmas is fast approaching and it’s time to think about what to give to your partner or loved ones. Of course, you could leave it until Christmas Eve and join the throng of shoppers that descend on places such as Westfield or the Trafford Centre to pick up a last-minute desperation purchase. But if your loved one is worthy of a little more effort, then it’s time to start planning a beautiful gift – and what could be more thoughtful than to give jewellery to someone you love?

First Steps

Start by working out what piece of jewellery you might like to give. Is there a gap in their collection for a ring or a bracelet perhaps? What does your partner usually wear? And of course, the biggest question – are you planning to propose this Christmas?

Earrings

First of all, has the recipient got their ears pierced already? If not, then you’ll need to look at clip-ons, or consider another item. But for those with a piercing, work out if your partner prefers stud, drop earrings or bangles. It’s also important to note if it’s they have single or multiple piercings in each lobe – it’s important not to choose a pair of earrings that will outbalance the others, leading to an overcrowded look.

Necklaces

Make a decision about whether you’d like to give the gift of a necklace for your partner to wear every day, or if this is meant to be more of a statement piece for special occasions. Take note of what he or she normally wears to decide how bold you want to go. Some ladies for example with a petite frame and neckline would be drowned by a necklace that is too weighty or vibrant. But here, a daintier stone set on a thinner chain would spell elegance.

Bracelets

There are plenty of different styles of bracelet to choose from, which makes this a wonderful gift for a Christmas present. For example, you might select a charm bracelet and then you can continue to add special charms for every birthday, Christmas or anniversary going forward. Another popular option is to invest in a classic bangle which you could have engraved with a loving message.

Rings

Think long and hard about getting a ring for a Christmas present if you’re not intending to propose. But if you’re all set to pop the question, then there’s not a time of year that is more romantic. Ideally you would have a good idea of what type of ring your future spouse likes – do they love solitaire diamonds or prefer a more vintage setting? Don’t worry too much about getting the size right as this is always something you can have altered for a perfect fit.

The Individual Touch

With all jewellery, there’s something particularly special about receiving a one-of-a-kind piece. Creating bespoke jewellery for a loved one means designing the piece from scratch and considering their personal preferences, metal colour, skin tone, birth stone perhaps and most importantly what suits them as an individual. The recipient will be forever grateful for the amount of effort that has gone into receiving such a kind-hearted choice of gift, and it’s something that they can wear for the rest of their lives.

Teaching Kids to Enjoy Football

Teaching Kids to Enjoy Football

Fun Local Lessons to Get Them into The Beautiful Game

Football is one of the most popular sports in the world, and it’s never too early to introduce your little one to it.

You don’t need us to tell you that the Premier League is well and truly back underway. From offices to school playgrounds, everyone is talking about football. If you’ve noticed that your child is interested in the sport and would love to see them enjoy playing it, then how about enrolling them in a football class? Your son or daughter will be able to pick up some new skills, make some friends and grow in confidence. Soccer Days run classes all over Essex and East London, and both children and parents love the fun lessons.

Learning in a safe setting

If your child is going to pursue a new hobby, then you’ll want to make sure that they are learning in a safe environment. At SoccerDays, you can enrol your child with complete peace of mind. The lessons take place in a variety of indoor locations, so they can be held safely no matter the weather. There are never more than 18 children to a class, and parents are asked to stay and watch too.

Skilled teachers

The teachers at SoccerDays bring some impressive skills to the table. Each coach has undergone training and assessment with the Football Association, so there is no better person to teach your little one all about the beautiful game. SoccerDays only employ coaches of the highest calibre, and the glowing reviews left by many parents are testament to those coaches’ dedicated approach.

Learning with kids their own age

Young children of varying ages are welcome to start football lessons at SoccerDays. There are options for different age groups, from football classes for toddlers all the way up to kids aged seven. The reason children are split into age groups is so that the coaches can put together lessons that are age-appropriate, and so that there’s a fair, level playing field for the kids. As your child grows older and progresses through the different classes, they’ll take part in more technical and challenging activities.

Find lessons near you

SoccerDays is the leading provider of children’s football lessons in Essex and East London. Classes are held all over the London Boroughs of Havering, Redbridge and Waltham Forest. So wherever you are based, you’ll find a soccer class close to your home. Just use the website to find your nearest SoccerDays class, and you and your child will be all set! All you need to buy for their lessons are some trainers and comfy sportswear.

Sport is good for kids

It’s been proven time and time again that taking part in sport regularly is good for young children. The benefits of sport for kids obviously include an increase in physical fitness, but there are lots of other positives too. They’ll learn how to work as a team and to consider their actions before making decisions. Taking part in sport builds a child’s self-esteem too, and that confidence could continue to serve them well throughout their life.

Enquire today

If you think that your son or daughter could benefit from football lessons, then why not get in touch with SoccerDays today? Your little one can join at any point during the academic term, although with the school year just starting now couldn’t be a better time! You’ll be able to take advantage of a no-pressure, free trial, so you and your child really do have nothing to lose.

Custom Made Jewellery Is the Most Personal Gift

Custom Made Jewellery Is the Most Personal Gift

Bespoke jewellery is the ultimate in a personalised possession

Jewellery is one of the most personalised items people ever buy or have bought for them; rings, bracelets necklaces or pendants and specific stones are but a few ways of expressing individuality and of course marking special events in life such as engagement or marriage.

A way of personalising these possessions even more is custom made jewellery where an item is a one-off piece made especially for the wearer.

What does custom made jewellery offer?

In short, it’s the ultimate in personalisation. A ring, locket, bracelet, necklace, pair of cufflinks or other items can be designed to suit the wearer down to the last detail – and they’ll wear it in the knowledge that their piece of jewellery is a one-off; no-one else has one quite like it.

It’s possible in bespoke jewellery design to create something completely new and original using a winning combination of traditional craftsmanship along with modern techniques such as 3D modelling.

How wonderful for a newly married couple to know that their rings are specially designed to suit and fit them. It’s something that they’ll wear for a lifetime and maybe pass on to their children and grandchildren, so it’s a powerful gesture for a couple to present each other with their own, crafted bespoke piece of jewellery.

Copying an heirloom

Another way custom jewellery can benefit is in creating an item of jewellery in the image of a family heirloom or style of a ring, bracelet or similar that can’t be bought ‘off the shelf’ anywhere.

For example, a family heirloom may be too valuable or even fragile to be worn so why not have an exact copy of it made? Custom jewellery experts can create an exact replica from the original or, if this isn’t possible, from photos to enable an old family ring or necklace design to ‘appear in public’ rather than be permanently consigned to a safe or vault somewhere.

Another idea is in the case of old jewellery that is otherwise unwearable or doesn’t look right but has a particular stone the wearer would like to have incorporated into a new ring, necklace or similar. This could be possible in the hands of an experienced custom jewellery expert.

It’s almost like having vintage jewellery – often considered a sound investment – but with the added advantage that it’s wearable and can be enjoyed year round.

How custom made jewellery is created

It starts usually with a consultation with the customer and jeweller where designs are discussed. Modern 3D technology can show designs on a screen and if it’s a piece of jewellery based on an existing item – such as a family heirloom – the jeweller can take these and ‘copy’ the design or base an item of jewellery on design cues from the original if this is preferred.

Budgets and timescales are agreed on; sometimes items are needed at relatively short notice, so this is taken into account along with advice given on what is possible given a certain timescale and budget.

What jewellery items can be custom made?

Most ‘personal’ jewellery can be made to order including:

  • Earrings
  • Wedding, engagement and eternity rings
  • Other ‘special’ rings such as coming of age
  • Pendants
  • Necklaces
  • Lockets
  • Cufflinks

Limited by imagination

Creating your own bespoke jewellery with the help of experienced professionals opens up a super opportunity to present a loved one with something personal to them. The chance to wear a ring that fits them perfectly with the design of their choice, or wear a necklace based on a much-loved family heirloom affords a unique experience and one that will last a lifetime.

What to See and Do in Hertfordshire

What to See and Do in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire is a county in southern England, bordered by Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Buckinghamshire. Read all about what to see and do in the stunning county!

 

Things to see and do in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire is brimming with exciting things to see and do, so you’re guaranteed to discover something wonderful on your visit to the beautiful hidden gem of a county that is Hertfordshire.

Hertfordshire – or ‘Herts’ as the locals like to call it – is just north of London and has an array of attractions and destinations that can be reached in as little as 20 minutes by train from the capital. Immerse yourself in the stunning countryside and incredible cultural sites in no time at all!

Hatfield House, just 21 miles of north London, is a stunning Jacobean House with gardens set in a spectacular countryside setting. Here you can explore the 400-year-old home and stroll through the impeccably tidy and brightly coloured gardens.

Paradise Wildlife Park is a family-run animal park located in Broxbourne in Hertfordshire. Meet exotic animals including lions, tigers and meerkats at the most visited tourist attraction in Hertfordshire for a fantastic family day out.

For those who love Harry Potter, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is the perfect place for touring the real film sets, props and costumes and learning all about the special effects and tricks used in the popular films. You can drink Butterbeer and buy wands – so it’s the perfect place for Harry Potter fanatics!

Where to stay in Hertfordshire

When planning your trip to Hertfordshire, you can be rest assured that you will be sleeping soundly and enjoying spectacular food and drink at West Lodge Park, Hertfordshire’s finest country house hotel.

West Lodge Park is a five-star country retreat hotel in Hertfordshire, catering for weddings, celebrations, special events and much more. The country hotel is situated in 35-acres of stunning grounds, so you can breathe and soak up the tranquillity whilst strolling round the grounds, or when enjoying afternoon tea in the terrace bar. There are 59 luxury en-suite bedrooms, all of which have been individually named and decorated.

Enjoy luxurious fine dining in the Mary Beale restaurant, where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served, made from locally sourced and fresh ingredients from the area. West Lodge Park serve mouth watering dishes served in a relaxing atmosphere, perfect for a meal out or special occasion. A range of afternoon teas are also served here for everyone to enjoy.

Where to eat in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire have a number of fantastic restaurants, from Italian bistros and Turkish eateries, to family-run cafes and classic British spots – so you’ll be spoilt for choice on where to eat out!

The Greyhound in Hertfordshire is a pretty country pub, serving elevated pub classics and daily specials to reflect the seasonally-available ingredients. St James Restaurant is a modern, British restaurant with some European inspired dishes, including mushroom soup with truffle oil and roasted lamb rump with rosemary scented shepherd’s pie.

 

There’s so much to see and do in Hertfordshire, so when will you be visiting?

The Differences Between Architects and Draftsmen

drawing board

drawing boardDiscussing the differences between architects and draftsmen to help choose the right one for help in a construction project. Architects design while draftsmen draw.

Knowing how the two professions differ to help choose the right one

The casual observer may think architects and draftsmen amount to the same thing – they both design buildings and produce drawings – but it’s not as clear cut as this. There are, however, differences between the two professions although the boundaries can be blurred depending on the services draftsmen in particular may offer.

Designing a building

Before it can be built a building first has to be designed.

A given building, whether an extension, a total new-build house or commercial property, has to be taken from a general vision and converted into a full design complete with detailed drawings. These are then used to gain the necessary planning approval and act as the blueprint for the constructors in actually building it.

In broad terms an architect will handle the process of creating a detailed design from consultations with the customer, and the draftsman will provide the detailed and scaled drawings.

In some cases, architects work in conjunction with draftsmen and each does their ‘design or draw’ role to produce the final design on paper, and some may enlist companies offering architectural drafting services.

That said, the demarcation between these two roles can be blurred:

  • Some draftsmen will also provide design services – indeed the term ‘building designer’ is used by some draftsmen to describe their services and is generally becoming more common
  • Some architects produce their own drawings and plans

Architects design while draftsmen draw

In many cases the architect will not only work with the client to produce a design, they may well take over much of the design concept itself; many customers who have a notion of the type of building they want will defer to an architect to bring their ‘wish list’ to fruition. Certain buildings may be referred by the architect who designed them; for example there’s the ‘Norman Foster designed London Gherkin’ along with other famous buildings and areas in London and other parts of the UK and around the world defined by the architect.

For clients with more fixed design ideas the architect may sometimes challenge them as in saying ‘have you thought of this idea?’ or illustrating how some preferred design elements may need changing or dropping altogether depending on specific circumstances.

Following completion of the design the draftsman will produce drawings based on the architect’s blueprint. As said above, architects can produce their own drawings but it’s often felt architects are specialists in design while draftsmen are specialists in producing the final drawings.

Training

This fundamental difference is reflected in the training for both professions. Architect training takes around seven years with usually a five year university course followed by a further two years’ on the job training in an architect’s premises.

The university part of the training will concentrate on many design principles and include subjects such as design history and contract law.

Draftsmen’s training is considerably shorter – around two years to study a drafting diploma at a technical college or similar – with some on the job experience to follow. That said, draftsmen can come into the profession in different ways including those from construction related backgrounds or maybe an architectural environment without having officially qualified as one.

Which to use?

This depends on your circumstances and how far down the road you are in the process.

For some basic house extensions following very closely the existing design of a property, then drawings from a draftsmen may be perfectly sufficient to present to your local authority’s planning department and your construction people.

On the other hand, if you require full design serves then an architect will be the more appropriate choice. They can also, in many cases, see the whole project through from initial concept to completion by performing a project management role if this is required.

Plan the Best Outdoor Summer Fete This Year

Plan the Best Outdoor Summer Fete This Year

The traditional summer fete has become an important date in the school calendar – not only as a social event for a local community and school, but as a major fundraising opportunity. You don’t need to be super adventurous, but there’s no escaping the need for careful planning and a team of parents, teachers and volunteers to help out.

Selecting a date and venue

Choosing the right date and planning an exciting programme of events is key. Consider the timing of other school activities, such as exams or sports days, and events in the wider community, such as football matches or festivals.

Once you’ve chosen a date, break down the tasks based on what you want to achieve and who is responsible. You will then be able to set milestones indicating when planning needs to be finished. While the venue for a school fete is the school grounds, it’s important that it has a wet-weather capability. This usually means a large indoor space such as a stadium or hall.

Fun and games

Hiring a childrens entertainer essex to entertain children throughout the day is a great attraction to have at a summer fair! Professional children’s entertainers will have a range of services to offer, including discos, face painting and party games.

Fun games and plenty of activities to suit all ages make for a memorable and profitable event. Perhaps a local celebrity or town official can make an appearance at the summer fete? Which is one way to help attract a crowd!

Food and drink

If you’re attracting a lunchtime crowd, why not have a BBQ serving hot dogs, burgers and jacket potatoes with a variety of fillings? Outside caterers may be interested in providing refreshments at your event for a share of the profits – and great advertisement for local companies, too!

If your school obtains a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) from the council to serve alcohol, you could have a beer or Pimms tent for the adults, and a mocktail stand and pick n’ mix sweet stall for the kids.

Stalls

It’s important to make sure there’s something for everyone. Colourful games and stalls will attract the most attention, and hopefully make a lot of profit too. Include stalls such as a lucky dip, tombola, coconut shy and hook a duck – all games that adults and children can have fun with! Include plenty of refreshment stands too, alongside face paint and glitter tattoo stations.

Promoting the event

After all the planning you have put into the event, ensure you advertise and promote the summer fete well so that people will attend. Use banners, flyers, social media or local newspapers, as all are excellent ways of advertising your event.

Hold a prize draw or raffle to encourage people to sell tickets to parents, family members or work colleagues. It’s a great way to promote your event and draw in the crowds.

Gather enough volunteers to help out at the summer fete too, to help the day run smoothly!

Our 10 Favourite Wedding Locations in Herts

Our 10 Favourite Wedding Locations in Herts

Our 10 Favourite Wedding Locations in Herts

As a wedding photographer Hertfordshire, we know that our clients are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the perfect wedding location to have photographs taken in. Here is a list of our 10 favourite wedding locations in Herts!

 

The Grange and Cavendish Country Houses

These beautiful boutique country houses are available to hire for exclusive use.

The Grange is a stunning 14th Century house, set in mature gardens and woodlands. It is also renowned for being one of the oldest houses of its kind in Northwood. The Cavendish is a beautiful Tudor house, set in the heart of Eastcote, surrounded by rose gardens and parkland.

Both houses have a warm and friendly atmosphere, and the rooms are dripping in crystal chandeliers and fine drapes, creating the perfect atmosphere to shoot weddings in.

Hanbury Manor

Set in stunning grounds, Hanbury Manor has spectacular period features and architecture, creating the perfect enchanting wedding location to shoot in.

Poles Hall provides a beautiful backdrop for a memorable wedding, with stunning vaulted ceilings and a gallery to provide historic charm and elegance. The self-contained Garden Court is a beautiful walled garden, ideal for capturing wedding photographs.

West Lodge Park

West Lodge Park is a stunning wedding venue in Hertfordshire with a fairy-tale setting to admire. It is set within 34 acres of stunning picturesque grounds, providing the space to capture treasured wedding photographs. The venue is steeped in history, with a number of impressive function spaces to create the perfect atmosphere for your celebrations.

Knebworth House

The restored 16th Century Knebworth House offers a truly unique setting, ideal for holding ceremonies, weddings and receptions. Knebworth House is also home to beautiful formal gardens, providing a stunning backdrop to wedding photographers. The outdoor garden gazebo offers a romantic venue for weddings too, and it’s also recognised as one of England’s most beloved stately homes.

Boreham House

Set in between an avenue of trees and a stunning lake, Boreham House is a stately Grade 1 listed mansion surrounded by history. This beautiful home is set in 35 acres of picturesque grounds, perfect for civil weddings and wedding receptions.

The bridal suite and luxury suites available for accommodation provide beautiful backdrops for wedding photography, especially when capturing the bride and bridesmaids getting ready for the big day.

Ashridge House

Nestled in 190 acres of National Trust historical ground, Ashridge House is a spectacular Grade I listed country house with over 730 years of history. The stately home provides photogenic spots throughout the venue, and the Italian Gardens are especially beautiful to shoot in.

Moor Park Golf Club

Near the borders of Middlesex and Buckinghamshire, Moor Park Golf Club provides the perfect setting for the perfect wedding day. The mansion stands proudly in 250 acres of stunning landscaped gardens, providing a beautiful backdrop for wedding photos. The mansion is full of colourful history with an extensive collection of art dating back to 1680 available to view.

Fanhams Hall

Fanhams Hall is a stunning country house venue in Ware, holding civil and religious wedding celebrations with a variety of indoor and outdoor locations to explore. In the winter, you can enjoy warm open fires and in the summer, you can observe tumbling waterfalls. The private rooms have stunning original Grade II listed features too, and there are formal gardens and rambling grounds to explore and shoot in.

Colville Hall

Based in Essex, Colville Hall is home to a unique group of thatched barns set on picturesque courtyard settings. One bard is set out for the wedding breakfast, and the other for the civil ceremony. There is plenty of space indoors and outdoors to take beautiful wedding photographs; the atmosphere is peaceful and tranquil thanks to the elegant gardens and duck ponds.

Needham House

Nestled in a quaint village in Hertfordshire, Needham House is four-star boutique hotel surrounded by beautiful countryside. The modern venue has beautiful gardens and fields to explore, especially the stunning Heather Gardens with blossom trees – providing a stunning backdrop for wedding photographs.

Protect Your Playing Field with a Grass Protection System

kids playing football in the park

kids playing football in the parkIs Your Playing Field Ready to Face the Challenges Ahead?

Playing fields get plenty of punishment – grass protection system keeps them looking good and ready for anything.

While winter might still have a couple of tricks left up its sleeve before it goes for good, there is no denying that spring is definitely in the air. It won’t be long before the playing fields are once again alive with the sounds of children playing, sports matches taking place and all the other sounds of spring and summer.

Of course, all this activity takes is toll on the surface, particularly given the unpredictable nature of the British climate. It is not uncommon to see a green and verdant playing field turned into something more akin to a swamp after a couple of weekends of heavy use in the rain. This is where a Suregreen grass protection system can make all the difference.

We love our playing fields

Whether it’s a tiny hamlet or one of the country’s major cities, we all tend to congregate to playing fields for one reason or another at the weekend, and there is always something happening. Given the sheer range of activities that playing fields have to endure, it is little surprise that they can end up looking somewhat ravaged.

One week there might be a football match, with 22 players punishing the ground with their studs. The next week, a classic car show, with heavy footfall and a wide variety of vehicle traffic. Then after that, the ever-popular car boot sale. At the best of times, it will be a challenge for the grass to survive, but add some heavy spring showers, and it is hardly surprising that everything can turn to sludge.

Protecting the grass

Grass reinforcement in the form of plastic mesh helps keep the grass intact and the field remaining usable throughout the summer, whatever the weather. The mesh is fixed securely to the ground, and when people first see it in place, they are sometimes shocked at the appearance. But the beauty of mesh reinforcement is that in next to no time, it beds in as the grass grows around it to form a strong, stable surface that has no detrimental effect on the overall appearance.

Not only does the grass grip the mesh, but the effect works both ways and the mesh serves to strengthen the grass surface and protect it from the damage and soil erosion that heavy traffic from feet and wheels inevitably causes.

Types of mesh

The most popular types of grass reinforcement mesh are GR11 and GR14. The naming is simple enough – GR stands for grass reinforcement, and the number simply refers to the thickness of the mesh in millimetres.

GR11 is considered light grade, and is used in areas that are subject to significant footfall and occasional vehicular traffic – for example, a playing field that is used for occasional car shows, or perhaps as an overflow car park for special events.

GR14 is suitable for heavy duty traffic. Use this if the field is likely to have goods vehicles driving across it, or when it is regularly used for car parking.

Is A War On Plastic Coming?

plastic pollution

plastic pollutionHow And Why You Need To Eradicate Single-Use Plastics From Your Life

The 5p charge has decreased plastic bag use by 84% since its adoption. Find out why single-use plastics are so detrimental to our health and the environment.

Although the first type of plastic can be traced back to the 13th century, plastic has been used in the mainstream since the 1930s when scotch tape was first invented in the US. Since then, this incredibly versatile material has been adapted for use in all manner of ways, whether to package food, manufacture toys or to create artificial organs. Unfortunately though, plastic comes with two major downsides – its detrimental effect on the environment and its negative impact on human health.

A Million Bottles A Minute

There are constant reports in the press regarding the effects of single-use plastic on the environment, but a particularly sobering fact reported by the Guardian earlier this year, found that 1 million plastic bottles are purchased every minute around the world and this number is likely to jump 20% by 2021. Yet, under half of the bottles bought in 2016 were recycled and only 7% of them were turned into new bottles. Instead, between 5-13 tonnes of plastic are leaked into the world’s oceans each year, causing damage to fish, birds and other organisms that live there. By 2050, it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the sea, than fish.

Cancer And Infertility Risk

However, it is not just sealife that is affected. Every time that humans drink water from a plastic bottle, or eat food that has been packaged using plastic wraps, particularly in the case of microwave meals, they are exposing their body to toxins and chemicals such as Bisphenol-A (BPA), among others. These chemicals act similarly to oestrogen and can create problems with hormone balance, causing infertility. The chance of developing breast or prostate cancer are also increased when you ingest these toxins.

Awareness

While there’s still major work to be done in decreasing society’s reliance on plastic, and removing it from our bodies and the environment, there is at least a glimmer of hope in the form of various awareness campaigns. Most consumers will be aware that retailers now charge 5p for plastic carrier bags or offer bag-for-life alternatives made from recycled plastic to encourage shoppers to reduce wastage.

But former Asda CEO, Andy Clarke believes that supermarkets need to go one step further and commit to eliminating plastic packaging altogether. He explains “Go into any supermarket in the country and you will be met by a wall of technicolour plastic. Be it fruit and veg or meat and dairy, plastic encases virtually everything we buy. Regardless of how much is invested in Britain’s recycling infrastructure, virtually all plastic packaging will reach landfill or the bottom of the ocean sooner or later. Once there, it will remain on the earth for centuries.”

But what can be done in the meantime? While we wait for largescale retailers to make major changes to their product packaging, there are many ways that individuals can act responsibly to reduce their plastic footprint.

Tips such as always carrying a reusable water bottle, never using plastic straws or disposable cutlery and switching plastic for paper cups will all help to make a difference. Beyond that, remember to spread the word – if you feel that your workplace could make some positive changes, such as ditching plastic cups, then don’t be afraid to mention them to your boss – there’s a good chance that your suggestions could save the company money in the process.

The revolution against plastic has begun, but it’s in its infancy at the moment. Make a difference and get rid of single-use plastics from your life, starting today!