World Environment Day – reducing plastic pollution

Reducing single use plastic as a textiles business

This World Environment Day is all about #BeatPlasticPollution. There is a lot more that can and needs to be done. But we also need to be honest about the use of plastic within our industry.

Plastic is currently part of our business as a linen supplier. We source materials like poly-cotton which are made from polyester. As an importer, plastic is used during transportation of textiles to keep them safe from water damage. As a manufacturer and retailer, we use plastic in our packaging. As a wholesaler plastic is used when we package and dispatch orders across the UK.

A nuanced discussion needs to be had around how plastic is used within the commercial textiles sector. There are also key durability considerations especially within hospitality and healthcare settings. As high-volume usage warrants poly-cotton blends.

There needs to be a pragmatic framing to help us consider plastic reduction as an industry. How far can we minimise single use plastic within products without comprising on the quality and performance of the product.

So, to mark World Environment Day we wanted to be transparent and say we know there is plenty of plastic within the end-end supply of textiles. However, as we go on the journey to reduce our carbon footprint here are some examples of what we are doing to reduce single use plastic.

As a business

  • We have sourced new bedding packaging which is made of 70% recycled plastic
  • We have recently added mixed recycling bins on-site reducing plastic going into landfill
  • We will measure and understand our plastic consumption as a business to help us set targets for reduction

Within the textiles services industry

  • Infinite textiles – we’re supporting a Textile Services Association (TSA) scheme to help laundries aggregate end of life linens to be re-purposed into new fabric materials. Read more about this below.
  • Our laundry customers are working with the hospitality industry to remove single use plastic wrapping when transporting clean bedroom linen back to hotels. You can find out more about this towards the end of the blog post.

What can we do as individuals

  • World refill day 16 June – Sign-up to refill where you can find local water filling stations.
  • Switch to Re-fillable toiletry bottles
    • If you’re a hospitality venue check out
    • Or if you’re a consumer switching to refillable bottles or shampoo bars is an easy change

Want to know more?

Find out more at

See the impact of plastic on the planet via this interactive website;

Read the UN report Turning off the Tap: How the world can end plastic pollution and create a circular economy.

The role of plastics within the textiles and tourism industry

Textiles and fashion

The world is producing and consuming more textiles than ever before. About 60 per cent of material made into clothing is plastic. When clothing is washed, the pieces shed tiny microfibres – a form of microplastics. Laundry alone causes around 500,000 tonnes to be released into the ocean every year, the equivalent of almost 3 billion polyester shirts. (Source UN Beat Plastic Pollution Guide).

Re-cycle and re-use textiles

One of the UN recommendations is to ensure plastic-based textiles such as polyester that are used to make clothes are recycled and not thrown away.

A Textiles Service Association (TSA) Infinite textiles scheme presents an opportunity to re-cycle and re-purpose end of life linen. Currently over 6,000 tonnes of hospitality textiles are sent to waste annually.

Once aggregated the linen is inspected, treated and sorted into bales. From there the bales go to approved recyclers for turning back into yarn and going on to manufacturers.


Join the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative.

Its aim is to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic and transition to reusable products.

About the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative: The Initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution. It enables businesses, governments, and other tourism stakeholders to take concerted action, leading by example in the shift towards circularity in the use of plastics. It acts as a tourism sector interface of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. It was developed within the framework of the Sustainable Tourism Programme of the One Planet network, and is led by UNEP and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

You can find out more here:

Reduction of single use plastic between laundries and hotels

The TSA formalised an agreement with the hospitality industry to reduce single use plastic. This has the potential to save at least 100 tonnes of plastic a week which could be saved from landfill via sourcing sustainable alternatives

Currently, single use plastic wrapping is used by laundries when transporting clean bedroom linen back to hotels. This generates about 100 tonnes of plastic a week, which is equivalent to 300 tonnes of carbon throughout its lifecycle. As only 9% of plastic waste is currently recycled, removing this from the bedroom linen laundry chain would be a significant contribution towards increasing the sustainability of both laundry and hospitality industries.

This is a great example of how suppliers and hotels are working together to reduce single use plastic within the supply chain.

We’ll continue to write and share about our journey to reduce our impact on the planet. As well as sharing information on other global awareness days.

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