I do try hard. I try to use as few plastic bags as possible – I have many cloth bags that I use when shopping and those bags I do gather, I reuse when I can. Recycling plastic bottles, boxes and other items is a lot harder, at least in Edinburgh. We have well-used kerb side collections of all the usual suspects from glass to paper and garden refuse. Why no collection of plastic? Yes, you can take the items to a local recycling point (if you remember) and have to use the car to do so.
World oceans day/No plastics day recently highlighted the plastic vortex. I was on the west coast of America at the time, and this vortex (or there might be 3) is right on their doorstep. It is a sort of soup of mashed up plastic that’s been thrown into the ocean and covers at least the size of Texas. Do check out some of the videos on YouTube. It will never completely break down and will be very, very difficult to clean up.
As food lovers, I think we have a responsibility. We are getting better at taking bags with us and may think twice about accepting one at the till. But why after all the hype do Sainsburys’ still give out bags without question. Their information asserting their commitment to fewer bags has not been updated since 2008.
This is just a drop in the ocean (pun intended). The real challenge is plastic packaging – especially at this time of year when all the soft fruit comes in such containers – even at the farmers’ market! There are cardboard punnets available – shouldn’t we ask our favourite suppliers use them?
My dream would be a plastic packaging free Edinburgh, we could start somewhere couldn’t we? I’ve checked into a few plastic bag free towns, but after the initial enthusiasm, has much happened?
So, suggested actions:
- Lobby your local council
- Question whether your supplier needs to use a plastic container
- Remember your shopping bags
- Spread the word
And ? I am sure it is challenging for producers to source suitable material, I’d like to hear more!