There’s no silver bullet to solve the ocean plastic problem but there are hundreds of ways to tackle it.

However, a big challenge for many people is knowing where to start. That’s why, in 2020, eXXpedition partnered with global technology firm SAP to launch the online SHiFT platform. 

The SHiFT Platform allows you to sift through hundreds of impactful solutions, and find the ones that best fit you.  

There’s no silver bullet to solve the ocean plastic problem but there are hundreds of ways to tackle it. A big challenge for many people is knowing where to start.

Each solution card includes facts to help users better understand the problem itself, as well as the benefits and challenges of implementing those solutions and the impact they can make in doing so. 

SHiFT lets you select how, in what aspect of life and where you want to create a shift, from sea to source. You can generate solutions in under a minute, but those looking to explore can have fun experimenting with different filter combinations. 

Using the SHiFT platform, we have compiled a series of solutions for families with small kids looking to take action and create change. Making use of SHiFT’s filter function, we have chosen to share just 5 of the 13 solutions SHiFT felt were the best fit. 

Using the How, What, Where filters – we input Swap, Kids, and Avoid – to generate 13 solutions, 5 of which we will explain below.

1. Shine Without Glitter

Glitter as we know it is essentially ready-made microplastic, which we then shed everywhere and end up in our environment, waterways and the ocean. To combat this, companies have developed biodegradable and eco-friendly alternatives.

Instead, you could SHiFT to a biodegradable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic glitter.

Benefits of this SHiFT: 

  • Guilt-free fun!
  • Available for multiple uses from children’s projects to festivals
  • Made of a range of different materials to suit the scenario

Challenges of this SHiFT:

  • Beware biodegradable products that are actually plastic with additives or those that require commercial composting!
  • Some products are packaged in plastic

To read more about plastic-free glitter alternatives click here.

2. Choose Bubbles

8.5 million new, perfectly good toys are thrown away every year in the UK.

In order to create durable toys, we have moved to a society where many of the toys available on the market are made from plastic. This is great until it is necessary to dispose of them. 

Choosing more traditional toys, such as bubbles, can be just as entertaining without the throwaway impact.

Dr. Zigs is one retailer using bubbles to offer a sustainable substitute for toys. The retailer also runs campaigns around Bubble Not Balloons, to tackle balloon litter. 

Benefits of this SHiFT: 

  • Fun for all ages!
  • The bubble mix is biodegradable and palm oil free
  • The ‘wands’ are plastic free
  • The kit is easy to travel with

Challenges of this SHiFT:

  • The bubble mix comes in a plastic bottle, although they can be returned for a discount.

 3. Water Soluble Wet Wipes

Wet wipes made up more than 90% of the material causing sewer blockages that Water UK investigated in 2017. 

Twipes are flushable and biodegradable wet wipes, made from wood pulp. They can break down in water in just 3 hours, are dermatologically tested and safe for babies.

With 11 billion used each year and people unwilling to compromise on hygiene and baby care, Twipes looks to get people to change their product instead of habits.

Benefits of this SHiFT: 

  • Convenient
  • Reduces plastic waste in sewage systems, rivers and the ocean
  • Can be flushed through toilet systems after use without causing blockages

Challenges of this SHiFT:

  • Does not tackle level of use of disposable products

Order Twipes today.

 4. Nature Plasters

Plasters, even the fabric ones, contain plastic, and are usually wrapped in plastic, or come in a plastic container.  

They also commonly contain irritants that can cause skin reactions on sensitive skin. 

PATCH is the world’s first organic adhesive strip which is a natural approach to wound care and also 100% biodegradable. Benefits of this SHiFT:

  • Hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin
  • Suitable for vegans
  • Packaging is recyclable or biodegradable

Challenges of this SHiFT:

  • More expensive than traditional plasters

Order your natural plasters today!

5. Clothes That Grow With Your Child

It’s estimated that 183 million items of outgrown baby clothing are kept in storage. 

To tackle the speed at which children outgrow their clothes, the wearable technology company Petit Pli developed a garment designed to grow through 7 sizes.

Made with recycled fabrics with mono-fibre construction, each garment can not only be used in replacement of 7 sizes, it can also be easily recycled at the end of its life-cycle.

Since 2017, Petit Pli has up-cycled approximately 12,841 PET bottles through manufacturing our innovative garments. 

Benefits of this SHiFT

  • One garment can be used in replacement of 7 sizes, so reduces both consumption, CO2 emissions throughout the lifecycle and waste.
  • Made from recycled fabrics and have a mono-fibre construction, which allows them to be easily recycled at the end of their use!

Challenges of this SHiFT

  • They are investment pieces for your child’s wardrobe so they are not cheap
  • All items have a similar style at the moment, so you might not be swapping all their clothes for these

With SHiFT, there are now hundreds of solutions available at just the click of your mouse. 

The Platform helps you to understand the crux of a problem and weigh up where your biggest opportunity to make an impact may be. 

We do not need everyone to do everything, but we do need everyone to do something. 

What will your next SHiFT be?

We encourage you to share your actions across social media to inspire others to join you in making a difference in their own lives, communities, businesses and wider world.