Are you feeling outraged or depressed after watching #WarOnPlastic? There are active steps you can take:
Catherine Ross from Sustainable St Albans is fired up – follow her tips to reduce the single use plastic in your life.
* Open your fridge door and have a hard stare. What is unnecessary? Do you buy lots of small individually-wrapped things that you could swap for a larger one?
* Take your own string bags or small plastic bags to the supermarket to put loose fruit & veg in.
*if you drink dairy milk get it delivered in glass bottles see Find Me A Milkman – ditch the plastic
* Take your own containers (plastic, glass, or bamboo) to the supermarket, and ask for cheese, fish and meat to be put in your containers.
* You can get all sorts of dried food and household products from The Refill Pantry off the London Road in central St Albans and Eat Wholefoods on Hatfield Rd (and regularly at the market). If you haven’t tried either yet, get over there, with your empty jars and cleaned out ice cream tubs in hand.
* You can get toilet paper without plastic packaging from Who Gives A Crap – but it does have a long journey to get here…
* There is a wide choice of reusable period wear -period pants or reusable pads, e.g. from St Albans based award-winning business WUKA
* Make your clothes washing plastic-free with powder in a cardboard box (from your local supermarket or for example from Ecover UK) and refill your fabric conditioner at The Refill Pantry, Eat Whole Foods or Ecover again.
OUT AND ABOUT
* You know this! Drink tap water not bottled. Carry your own water bottle and ask for refills. You can use the Refill app to see which businesses locally will let you fill up with tap water – Refill HQ , or just ask.
* Carry your own reusable coffee cup (don’t just buy it, actually carry it!) or sit down in a cafe and use crockery. (Sign up to Refill app on June 19th and get 5% off a Chilly water bottle)
* Make lunch at home and take it in a lunch box. You’ll save money, save plastic and probably eat better food.
* Did you know that Parker and Vine food and deli shop in Harpenden have made the brave decision to ban single use coffee cups – they even have a reusable bottle loan scheme for customers – but just take your own reusable cup!
We’re not going to shop ourselves out of the climate emergency, so far more important than any of the above, are the following three actions;
* Simply don’t buy stuff you don’t need.
* Write to/tell your councillor / MP that you care. Ask them to act. For example, ask for more water fountains in St Albans (there are two new ones now, in town and Clarence Park). Ask exactly where your recycling goes. Ask your MP to support deposit return schemes and vote for legislation requiring the manufacturer to be responsible for their waste. Find your local councillor here
* Tell companies it’s NOT OK. If something arrives over-packaged, tweet about it. If you see something ludicrous at the supermarket, ask for the manager and let them know; especially if you see loose produce that costs more than the wrapped equivalent. If you go to a meeting with plastic-wrapped sandwiches, say you’d prefer something different next time. Generally, comment … do it nicely, but comment. Be a conscious consumer and use your voice.
See more ideas with Plastic Free St Albans here
Did you know?
- Plastic pollution can now be found on every beach in the world, from busy tourist beaches to uninhabited, tropical islands nowhere is safe.
- Scientists have recently discovered microplastics embedded deep in the Arctic ice.
- In 1950, the world’s population of 2.5 billion produced 1.5 million tons of plastic; in 2016, a global population of more than 7 billion people produced over 320 million tons of plastic. This is set to double by 2034.
- Every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans.
- There may now be around 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in the open ocean. Weighing up to 269,000 tonnes.
- Plastics consistently make up 60 to 90% of all marine debris studied.
- Approx 5,000 items of marine plastic pollution have been found per mile of beach in the UK.
- Over 150 plastic bottles litter each mile of UK beaches.
- Recent studies have revealed marine plastic pollution in 100% of marine turtles, 59% of whales, 36% of seals and 40% of seabird species examined.
- 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution annually