ButterflyCup Founder and CEO Tommy McLoughlin on the importance of tackling plastic pollution, how to reduce plastic consumption, and his favourite plastic free thing in the world
Why is plastic pollution an important issue to tackle?
Global warming and pollution are existential, but solvable, issues for humankind. The carbon impact of producing plastic from oil, its disposal in our oceans and the long term effects of microplastic pollution and ingestion into the food-chain are significant issues that urgently need to be tackled.
What is the one thing you do to reduce your plastic footprint?
When shopping I avoid excess and unnecessary packaging and multi-pack wrappers. Where possible I opt for paper or glass rather than plastic or composite packaging which cannot be recycled.
Do you have any product that you like that helps to reduce plastic?
It has to be ButterflyCup. No plastic lid or straw required, no plastic-coating in the cup, can be recycled in the regular paper bin, biodegrades naturally and is made from renewable, managed forests. It ticks all the circular economy boxes while providing a solution that recognises and facilitates the realities of modern living.
What is your favourite plastic-free thing in the world?
Trees – I love visiting venues like Kew Gardens and Emo Court (near where I live) specifically to enjoy their magnificent trees. Over the years I’ve planted hundreds of trees, such as oak, beech, chestnut, walnut, lime, larch, holly, evergreen oak. My favourite tree is the Cedar of Lebanon, it’s so majestic. Most trees take up to 100 years to mature and some, like oak, can live for up to 1,000 years. Let’s hope humankind takes the actions necessary to ensure they reach maturity.