The recent royal nuptials saw a plastic-free wedding – here’s how you can plan one too.

The typical UK wedding creates approximately 18 kg of plastic waste. Shockingly, this means that if plastic waste from every wedding each year was added up, this could equate to over 4,910 tonnes of single-use plastic pouring into our oceans every year. That’s the equivalent weight of 47 blue whales. So how do we plan a plastic-free wedding?

Following this jaw-dropping prediction, Sky Ocean Rescue is sharing some simple tips to help you celebrate your nuptials by saying ‘I do’ but without single-use plastic.

The biggest offenders

Plastic cups, water bottles and decorations are some of the biggest offenders (weighing in at approximately 6.15 kg per wedding), with gift bags, fake confetti and wrapping for table favours also contributing.

After the wedding itself, plastic bin bags used in the post-party clear-up are expected to  remain in the ground for longer than the time taken to reach a ‘Stone’ wedding anniversary – that’s a phenomenal 90 years!

An advocate for the ocean, HRH Princess Eugenie of York revealed that her wedding was plastic-free. An ambassador for ocean charity Project 0, Princess Eugenie helped launch Sky Ocean Rescue and Project 0’s Pass On Plastic Experience in Carnaby, which aimed to educate and inspire people to make everyday changes to help stop our oceans from drowning in plastic.

So, how can we all do the same? A plastic-free wedding is a good start.

More eco-friendly alternatives

Fiona Ball, Group Head of Inspirational Business and Sky Ocean Rescue, said: “It’s easy to lose sight of the impact your wedding day has on the environment. Going plastic-free for your wedding day is more simple than a lot of people might think. Why not consider hiring glasswear and cutlery instead of disposable alternatives, replacing plastic cake decorations with edible alternatives and clearing up afterwards using compostable bin bags?

“It might be your big day, but these small changes can all make a vital difference to ocean health. Don’t let plastics waste in the oceans be the legacy from your big day.”

wedding cutlery

Photo: Julian Wylegly via Flickr

Plastic-free replacements

Below is a list of the amounts of single-use plastic wedding items used at a typical celebration with 100 guests together with tips for plastic-free replacements:

  • 150 plastic plates

Replace with: take advantage of crockery hire or source items from friends and family

  • 50 plastic bin bags

Replace with: compostable bin bags

  • 200 plastic cups

Replace with: glass hire, or speak to your local village hall to borrow an eclectic range or go hunting for pretty old cups from your local charity shop

  • 100 party poppers / cannons/ fire works

Replace with: biodegradable party cannons or homemade streamers

  • 150 water bottles

Replace with: recyclable glass water bottles or pretty wine bottles, emptied and cleaned

  • 300 items of Plastic cutlery

Replace with: metal cutlery hire is an easy option

  • 50 decorations including Plastic streamers/ decorations/ balloons

Replace with: recyclable paper streamers, giant paper ball decorations or craft some bunting out of old scraps of material

  • 100 presents’ worth of wrapping paper and gift bags

Replace with: asking guests if they could use recyclable wrapping on your invitation, request an experience or even a contribution to the honeymoon

  • 100 table favours (and wrapping)

Replace with: edible gift or recyclable personal note. Why not give a KeepCup to each of your guests, inspiring them to go plastic-free

  • 5 boxes of Plastic petal confetti

Replace with: natural flower petals

  • 50 items of food wrapping

Replace with: local food supplier or farm produce that comes without plastic packaging

  • 1  plastic figurine cake topper

Replace with: natural florals (compostable) or edible cake decorations

  • 100 plastic straws

Replace with: paper straws (or even better, go strawless!)

We hope you’ll say ‘I do’ with a plastic-free wedding!

Also Read: 

Royal Wedding: How to vacation like royalty on your England Trip

Ditch these plastic items NOW for a greener kitchen

Do you microwave food in plastic containers? Read this first