WHY (OH WHY) IS THERE SO MUCH PLASTIC?
Plastic is being produced and discarded at a terrifying rate. One refuse truck’s worth of plastic is dumped in the sea every minute. Uk government scientists warn that the amount in the oceans could triple in the next decade. By 2050 ellen macarthur warned that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
Why so much plastic? A lot is a bi-product of the supermarket system. Plastic packaging is not just packaging. It carries products on their long journey between factories and warehouses and shops. It also stores and dispenses in the home. But most of all every pack is a mini billboard designed to shout from the shelf. Even the plastic bags (that we used to get for free) were designed to tell everyone else where we’d been shopping.
Shopping elsewhere - local shops, farmers markets, online direct brands, wholefood stores with refill stations - is one of the easiest ways to drastically reduce your plastic footprint. If that’s not an option you can always choose to support the better supermarkets. Budgens now has plastic free aisles. And amongst ‘the big 10’ Greenpeace ranked Iceland as the best for “commitment to reducing single-use plastic, commitment to eliminating non-recyclable plastics, willingness to influence suppliers to reduce their plastic consumption, and transparency.”
Ultimately there is so much plastic because we continue to buy it and take it home. It’s almost impossible to live without it altogether. But every time you refuse a plastic bag, choose unpacked veg, use a keep cup… you are sending a clear message to the businesses like supermarkets and soap giants that you want single use plastic out.