Regulated by RICS

To mark Plastic Free July, Partner Ashley Winter talks about his pledge to ditch single-use plastic and how small changes can make a big difference.

When and why did you go plastic free?

I travel regularly by plane (well, used to!) am a self-confessed petrol head (although I now own a fully electric car amongst the gas guzzling fleet) and eat meat and fish almost daily.  So to offset my carbon footprint, I made it my 2019 New Year’s resolution to give up single-use plastic drinks bottles. Eighteen months later and I am proud to say I haven’t purchased a single-use plastic bottle since!

How have you found it?

 I enjoy the challenge and have become quite evangelical about it. It has been tough from a practical standpoint as I need to be a lot more organised. I don’t drink tea or coffee and most high street chains simply don’t have cold drink options that use sustainable packaging, so a typical ‘coffee meeting’ with clients becomes a bit more complicated (although these haven’t exactly been a regular occurrence in recent months!). I have had to go thirsty a few times, or resort to the odd black tea…

What did you learn from the process?

Despite the negative press, most people still purchase single-use plastic daily. It’s really important we all make a concerted effort to stop buying products that aren’t good for the environment, but we also need change at the top. Popular high street food chain favourites need to up the ante on the war against plastic and commit to going plastic-free. I’ve realised that while I wouldn’t classify myself as overly ‘green’ (and could certainly do more), the small things do matter. Every little change we make adds up to a big difference.

Any tips for those thinking of giving up plastic?

Always have your trusty metal Hollis water bottle with you. And you can download apps that map out your local water refill points.

More information on Plastic Free July can be found here.