Environment

Surprising plastic alternatives from Eden eco biz – glitter made from gum leaves!

Elka Wood 26 June 2019
Shannon's focus is to replace plastic items that we use most often and that are most harmful to the environment first. Bamboo toothbrush's, metal drinking straws and glitter made from gum leaves are all available at her online store. Photo: Eden Ecos Facebook.

Shannon’s focus is to replace plastic items that we use most often and that are most harmful to the environment first. Bamboo toothbrushes, metal drinking straws, and glitter made from gum leaves are all available at her online store. Photo: Eden Ecos Facebook.

Another cheap plastic peg splits in half while I’m hanging out the washing. I sigh and let the little blue pieces of plastic lie where they fall, soon to be covered in grass.

Later, I’ll replace the head of my electric toothbrush, floss my teeth and use a cotton bud, tossing another little collection of single or temporary use plastics into my bathroom bin.

As I’m doing these everyday things, I often wonder – do biodegradable replacements for these useful items exist?

Who has the time to research the best and most affordable versions of products? You can buy anything online but I don’t want to pay a lot for an inferior product, shipped from across the world.

That’s where Shannon Woloshyn of Eden Ecos comes in – she researches alternatives to everyday plastic products which she stocks in her online store, local shops and markets around the Bega Valley.

Eden Ecos stainless steel pegs are made from a single coil of wire and last indefinitely. Photo: Eden Ecos Facebook.

Eden Eco’s stainless steel pegs are made from a single coil of wire and last indefinitely. Photo: Eden Ecos Facebook.

“I love the stainless steel pegs that we stock,” Shannon says excitedly “they are made from a single coil of wire so there’s no chance of them popping apart like plastic or wooden pegs often do.”

Shannon is working on the theory that if we all do a little bit – swap those crappy pegs for long-life stainless pegs for instance – we can feel good and collectively make a big impact in reducing the need for plastic products.

“You don’t have to do it all at once – choose the area that suits your life at the moment,” she says thoughtfully, adding that people who buy her stock often expect that she is living a zero-waste life.

“That is not true at all,” she laughs “I’m not perfect. Products made from natural fibers are often hard to come by or expensive so I’m choosing the ones which are both biodegradable or recyclable and also affordable to stock at the online store and to use myself.”

Shannon Woloshyn of Eden Ecos pinning a reusable nappy on the line with stainless steel pegs.  Photo: Supplied

“I used to live in the city and it seemed like it was so much more normal to take your shopping bags everywhere, take your produce bags, even take a container to the butcher or deli to buy meat. Plus, you have so many more options for sourcing products.”

According to Shannon, Europe is leading the way in innovative alternatives to single-use plastic products, with one of Eden Ecos most popular items, biodegradable craft glitter, designed in the UK.

“I’m seeing some amazing products,” she says “the glitter is made from eucalyptus leaves and it’s incredibly shiny and soft. It’s also biodegradable, unlike traditional glitter, which is a microplastic which is polluting oceans and having a negative impact on marine life.”

How biodegradable a product is will always be determined by the environment, Shannon explains.

“Obviously, a biodegradable product will break down faster in a hot compost heap than in the desert.”

Shannon believes that as industry changes in response to consumers being educated about the negative impacts of plastic, we’ll see a return to plant-based products like cellophane, made from cellulose.

“We’re not always long-term thinkers,” she says carefully “but our everyday choices do make a difference. Make changes where you can.”

Eden Eco’s local stockists include; Tribal Suzani in Eden, Eden Visitor Information Centre, Sprout Eden, Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre, Saltwater Organics Merimbula, Nook Café Bega, Bega Valley Market Place, Markets on Lamont in Bermagui and Bodalla Dairy Shed.

Find Eden Ecos on Facebook and Instagram.

 

What's Your Opinion?

17 Responses to Surprising plastic alternatives from Eden eco biz – glitter made from gum leaves!

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April Creed April Creed 6:30 pm 29 Jun 19

Fantastic.

Mara Roberts Mara Roberts 7:26 pm 26 Jun 19

Great to hear there is a local producer of plastic free products.

Alan D Morton Alan D Morton 9:40 am 26 Jun 19

ban single use water bottles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sharon Wellard Sharon Wellard 9:13 am 26 Jun 19

Go Shannon!

    Shannon Woloshyn Shannon Woloshyn 6:23 pm 26 Jun 19

    Sharon Wellard gracias! See you soonish!

Bronwyn Wright Bronwyn Wright 8:23 am 26 Jun 19

Excellent !!!

Lisa Herbert Lisa Herbert 8:00 am 26 Jun 19

Wow, and yes it's time for plastic free Plastic Free July

Kristie Tsakiris Kristie Tsakiris 7:31 am 26 Jun 19

Great work Shannon

Meredith Blakeway Meredith Blakeway 7:30 am 26 Jun 19

fabulous..are they going to be sold in batemansb bay?

    Eden Ecos Eden Ecos 7:45 am 26 Jun 19

    Hi Meredith Blakeway. I currently don't stock in Batemans Bay but would be keen to get into any like minded businesses. Perhaps in the spring I will go for a road trip, let me know if you have any businesses in mind or tag them :) Currently Bodalla Dairy Shed would be the closest shop to the Bay.

    Greg Noel Greg Noel 7:52 am 26 Jun 19

    Eden Ecos do you have a Web presence?

    Eden Ecos Eden Ecos 8:02 am 26 Jun 19

    Greg Noel sure do! Check out https://edenecos.com.au/

David Rogers David Rogers 7:25 am 26 Jun 19

Great story...and handy ideas for Plastic Free July.

    Shannon Woloshyn Shannon Woloshyn 6:24 pm 26 Jun 19

    David Rogers Plastic Free July, good times 😁

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