We are drowning in plastic and so is our planet.
There will soon be more plastic in the sea than fish so we need to seriously address our relationship with the stuff.
Plastic is everywhere.
It’s in our clothes, it covers our food (it’s even found it’s way into our food!) and it makes nearly all the products we use.
It would, in all honesty, be impossible to cut out. But we can reduce it. Especially the single use stuff.Thanks to David Attenborough’s Blue Planet the world has finally woken up to the problem. Single use plastic has seen it’s day if we keep the pressure up. If we refuse it when offered shops and restaurants will get the message. How many more whales and dolphins have to wash up on our beaches with their stomachs full of plastic?
Lets start with Degradable v’s Bio Degradable v’s Bio Plastics.
- Degradable doesn’t mean the plastic disappears. It just breaks down in smaller and smaller bits. The stuff is still there.
- Bio Degradable / Bio Plastics – unfortunately aren’t the perfect answer we hope it would be. It needs anaerobic heat digestion to break it down which only comes from specialist bio-mass composting machines. Without this they will take many many years to degrade. They can also mess up regular plastic recycling. But they are non toxic, made from renewal plants and have a lower carbon footprint than normal plastic. In the sea it acts just like regular plastic and is just as dangerous to wildlife. Bagasse is made from sugar cane and IS actually home compostable!
What can YOU do?
- Avoid buying water in plastic bottles when you are out. Take a reusable bottle (preferably metal not plastic) with you that you have filled at home.
- Don’t replace plastic with more plastic – choose bamboo, FSC wood, metal or Bagasse options whenever possible.
- Choose wooden cutlery rather than plastic and if offered plastic ask if they have any alternatives as they often do.
- Choose paper plates and cups if you really have to have something disposable.
- Instead of cling film use BeesWax sheets to wrap food in the fridge and reusable sandwich bags for lunches.
Refusing plastic straws in a pub isn’t going to save the world but it’s going to help.
If you run a pub, cafe, restaurant try the following:
- Offer water from jugs or big jars instead of selling water bottles. reusable.
- Use reusable plastic cups or Metal cups – sometimes a deposit scheme works best for this.
- Paper straws / metal straws / wheat Straws instead of plastic – try and avoid biodegradable plastic because they don’t work as well as you think!
- Wooden forks instead or plastic ones
- Loose the individual sauce sachets and replace with big bottles
- Paper plates / containers
- Look at www.InTheDrink.org.uk for more detailed info on how to turn your business plastc free.
Get active, Get involved.
Join local groups or set one up to help make your local village/school/community single use plastic free.
Join beach and river cleanups.
Pick up rubbish on walks
Check out these groups – join up, make you own community groups, do something..
https://inthedrink.org.uk/ – Aiming to rid The Thames of single use plastic as well as great info on plastics and alternatives.
https://www.sas.org.uk/plastic-free-communities/ – A great way to get your local village or town to become ‘plastic free’. They offer support, guidance and help in setting up and running a campaign. I am part of one local group and about to start up another.