Picnic Without Plastic  

Picnic Without Plastic

Join us this Spring and plan a picnic without plastic waste.  

Refer to  BBC Leeds article: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-56588196 

We’re celebrating the UK lockdown restrictions starting to ease, the rule of six kicking off (also known as group picnics in the park) and the sun returning to the weather report (finally). What better way to celebrate than by getting outdoorssitting in parks and gardens, eating, drinking and indulging in our well-earned Springtime!   

It’s time to trade in your PJs for a picnic in the park. 

And while you’re planning your glorious gathering with family, friends or colleagues, why not make it a Picnic Without Plastic Waste 


When the first Covid-19 lockdown was lifted last year, we saw a plastic pollution epidemic take over outdoor spaces [Why litter is surging as lockdowns ease – BBC Worklife and photos]. 

At Ocean Generation, we believe in people power and community learning. By planning and preparing for an outdoor gathering like a picnic and avoiding using any unnecessary products, while also valuing and reusing the ones we already have, we are choosing to do things differently this year as we enjoy our newfound freedom.  

Thinking about preventing using plastic in the first place is the first most crucial step to tackling ocean plastic pollution – thinking about preventing it in the first place. We still call on governments and businesses to step up efforts to prevent ocean pollution, by reducing plastic use and by eliminating waste. At Ocean Generation, we enable behaviour change across all of society, both at individual and institutional level. We believe in everyone starting right here, right now. Through our practical tools for achieving what we call ‘Plastic Intelligence’, every person and organisation can make a difference by expanding their own circle of influence.” says Dilyana Mihaylova, Head of Strategic Insights and Partnerships at Ocean Generation.  

  picnic without plastic

We believe we all can make a choice to be more Plastic Intelligent and ask ourselves, do I really have no reuse alternative to single-use plastic for this? Can I be more Plastic Smart? 

In Scotland alone, people use an estimated 300 million plastic straws, 276 million pieces of plastic cutlery, 50 million plastic plates and 66 million polystyrene food containers every year. (Tackling Single Use Plastic Scotland.) 

THE CHALLENGE: Give it a go and pitch up a picnic without any plastic waste.  

WHEN: 1 April to National Picnic Day on 23 April 2021 

WHY – It may seem trivial to some, but just a few pieces of plastic cutlery left behind can make a world of difference.  Billions of single-use plastic cutlery, cups, plates are thrown away every year, according to National Geographic. Add the billions of plastic packaging items our pre-made sandwiches, snacks and treats come wrapped in and we’ve got ourselves a plastic waste tsunami. Less than 10% of plastic actually get recycled, most the plastic we use ends up in the natural environment, therefore reach the ocean according to this The Economist article. The Ocean Conservancy lists cutlery  among the ‘most deadly’ items to sea turtles, birds and mammals.  

HOW: Get Creative! Here are a few simple packing hacks to be Plastic Intelligent when planning your Spring Picnic: 

  1. Make your own Meal:Got a little bake-happy during lockdown, did you? Avoid plastic wrapped foods, show off your skills and make your own meal! Check out the Zero-Waste Chef for some recipe ideas, like homemade hummus, sourdough breads, naturally carbonated lemonade or a veggie  
  2. Get loose:Choose loose fruit and veg, and get your meat and cheese from a fresh counter to avoid plastic packaging or wrappers. Did you know the average lifespan of a plastic bag is 12 minutes, is only used once and will never fully degrade.  
  3.  Reusable containers: Forget about using cling filmBring your delicious creations in reusable containers​or use beeswax wraps. 
  4. Good riddance to Plastic Cups:Grab your glasses or reach for your durable mason jars for your wine or coffee, and don’t forget the lid so you can avoid any spillage.  
  5. Buy in bulk: Whether you’re bringing water, beer, juice or wine think about buying in bulk to cover all 6picnicers. Save on packaging, make it easier to clean up after.  
  6. Cut the Plastic Cutlery: Why not pop your metal cutlery in your bag and avoid the flimsy plastic cutlery. If you’re feeling fancy, you could even invest in a bamboo picnic set or custom order yours from be-ecobarn Or  One Green Bottle.
  7. Plate it up:After spending time making your delightful spread, don’t ruin the experience by using hard-to-hold plastic plates. Grab a couple of plates from home and take it with you. 
  8. Cheers:Forget buying bottled water.Stay hydrated by taking advantage of the water-fountains and fill up your reusable water bottles. 
  9. Keep on Carrying on:Carry your feast in a tote, backpack or a cute picnic basket 

If picnicking seems like a reoccurring activity on your calendar, why not create a designated picnic bag or basket and keep a list of all your picnic needs in there? That way you can ‘grab and go’ to ensure you remember to continue your Picnic Without Plastic again and again!   

  1. 10.Make it beautiful:You’d dress up and decorate for a dinner party or festival, so why not make an extra effort to deck out your picnic with an added touch?! Hang up your material bunting, string your fairy lights or roll out your favourite blanket.  
  2. 11.Take your trash: There’s no body waiting to clean up after you. Those overflowing bins, they don’t cater for recycling. If it fit in your bag on the way here, why not take everything back home with you? 


CELEBRATE: No matter whether you manage to go 100% zero plastic, or manage to reduce and reuse significantly, take a moment to celebrate your efforts. Snap a pic of your sustainable picnic and share on social with the hashtag, #PicnicWithoutPlastic. Tag your friends who came along and don’t forget to tag us – @OceanGeneration – we always want to see your picnic spreads! If you want to pass on the good vibes, send our post to 3 other friends and challenge them to plan their own PicnicWithoutPlastic waste. 

Other hashtags: #PicnicWithoutPlastic #PlasticSmartPicnic #PlasticIntelligentPicnic #EcoLiving #SustainablePicnic #ZeroPlasticWaste