Plastic Free at Bronte’s Favourite Bakery

FB talked to Ludmilla Ivanovic from Iggy’s Bread of the World about their rigorous plastic and recycling policies:

PFB: Ludmilla, we’re from Plastic Free Bronte and we admire Iggy’s as a role model. I’m not sure if you realise that you personally inspire many of us in the local area! When did you start eliminating plastics from your business?

Ludmilla: Plastic has always been a material that I wanted to avoid. I think about waste a lot. I think about recycling and I think about our responsibility as a company – not just with our waste but also with the messages we give with our service and our packaging. We dedicate time and patience to set up systems that are clear and simple and to train our staff. We look at every aspect of the bakery and we ask: how can we take responsibility for our waste?

PFB: You are uncompromising with recycling. I’ve seen you painstakingly collect rubber bands so they can be reused on egg cartons. Many products sold at Iggy’s come with no packaging. I keep going back to plastics but they have such a long life and many can’t be recycled. Was plastic the chicken or the egg for you?

Ludmilla: When I think of plastic I think of the beach. I’ve seen beaches – in Europe, in Asia, in Australia – with washed-up plastic on the shore. I’ve seen films of birds dying from eating plastic. I’ve seen autopsies of fish whose stomachs are filled with plastic. I’ve seen scientific research that links breast tumours and other tumours to plastic residue in body tissues. I’ve seen restaurants cooking with plastic bags… you know when they simmer fish or strawberries or other food in plastic bags for hours at a time? I’m concerned about this because I know from science that ingested plastic is toxic to humans.

PFB: Do you have any other advice for our campaign to limit the use of plastic in Bronte?

Ludmilla: One of the themes in my life is vote with your money. The more we make requests, the more we keep planting seeds with companies and even with politicians who want to please us, the more we realise that we’re not so helpless. There is a lot of power to vote with our money. Just to say, ‘I’m not buying this product until it’s not in plastic anymore. I’m sorry but I don’t want to consume plastic-packaged products.’

(Interview by Josephine Grieve)