This is the most frequently asked question we get about our party kits - why on Earth are you promoting plastic products?
It's fantastic that the green message is getting to people and switches from plastic carrier bags, straws etc are becoming the obvious option, but it's not as simple as "plastic is bad".
Plastic is actually an amazing material (yes you read that correctly). It is strong, light, relatively cheap, it can be made into many different forms, shapes etc and it's really really long lasting. It really is incredible. The problem is that we as a species were so pleased with plastic that we began making things from it that we didn't need to be all those things, particularly the long lasting bit. And it becomes a huge problem when we make things that are only used for a very very brief time from a material that just hangs around forever and a day. We end up, as we have, with huge mountains of plastic rubbish that we just don't know what to do with. Food and drink packaging, parcel wrap, household goods containers don't need to last for a hundred years, in fact it would be much better for everyone if they were made of a material that lasted as long as it needed to be used and then quietly composted or biodegraded into safe, earth friendly materials.
Our party packs are pretty much all plastic, because we want to use something that will last and last and last, being used hundreds of times and saving huge huge numbers of disposable items from ending up in landfill. We could use bamboo, wood metal or china but we have chosen not to for a few reasons:
A 30 person plastic party kit costs us around £30-40. With a hire charge and a deposit, we could go some way towards replacing the kit if it disappeared. If we used something more expensive, we would need a much higher deposit, which would exclude a lot of families from being in a position to hire. It would also push up the hire cost to account for replacing worn or broken items.
We pick items that will last and last. Bamboo is great, but it just cannot withstand the use that plastic can, and would mean far more frequent replacement... and a lot of bamboo items in landfill!
- Child friendly and colourful
Metal or china just would not work for childrens parties!
So in the end, as with most things, it's not a black and white issue and most solutions fall into the "shades of grey" category. Is it ideal to be using plastic in a supposedly eco friendly party kit? No. Is it better than each of these parties send 30 paper plates, 30 bowls, 30 cups etc into the rubbish? Yes, far better! Are we keeping an open mind to better solutions? Certainly!
Until we find one though, yes it's plastic and yes that's ok.