Eden Ecos, a company based in Eden, NSW are working to rid the world of plastic by promoting well-thought-of and high-quality products from the most environmentally sensible small companies.
Like their stainless steel straws, bamboo toothbrush, food-grade beeswax paper wraps, produce bags, stainless steel pegs, and biodegradable glitter?
Yes, you've read that right. They have biodegradable craft and body glitter available on their website.
So who's the person responsible for this, and apparently someone we should all be thankful for? That would be Shannon Woloshyn. She researches alternatives to everyday plastic products which she stocks in her online store, local shops and markets around the Bega Valley.
“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 also shared that something as simple as swapping old pegs for long-life stainless pegs can 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-plastic 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.”
“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.”
Probably the most interesting and innovative alternatives to single-use plastic products is their biodegradable craft glitter, designed in the UK, and is one of Eden Ecos most popular items.
“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 consumers become more mindful of their impact to the environment and actively choose to be eco-friendly, the industry will make the necessary changes in response. One thing we can do is to 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.