There can be no doubt that there is a serious problem in the world to do with plastic. We hear horrifying statistics that 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year. Put another way, a truck load of plastic is being dumped into the ocean every minute. It feels like as individuals there is very little we can do but I am still of the view that all of our actions have an impact, both positive and negative:
“It’s only a straw, said 7 billion people”.
But I feel very positive about the fact that there are lots of people out there making a difference and there are more and more good solutions to the problem of plastic. Take ‘Honeywraps', for example. Beautiful food covers made from beeswax and organic cotton. Since I bought my first ‘Honeywrap’ from Greensister a year ago, I haven’t bought anymore cling film as they can be used for all of the same purposes and keep food just as fresh. They also make the fridge look very pretty and when they reach the end of their life (mine are still going after 3 years) you can put them in the compost bin.
It is definitely better to refuse rather than recycle to avoid more plastic being added to the environment and to limit the energy-consumption that is required for the recycling process. But still sometimes there are situations where you find you just cannot avoid plastic so it’s good to know that when you do and you recycle responsibly, the plastic can be put to good use. For example, ‘Weaver Green’ products (blankets, bags, rugs and baskets) are made from recycled P.E.T bottles, which is surprising as they look and feel like wool. ‘Picture’ the sustainability-driven outerwear company make their clothing using recycled plastic bottles.
And for those who are concerned about washing synthetic clothes and fabrics in the washing machine because of the plastic microfibres being released into the water system, there is a solution called ‘Guppyfriend’. These are bags that you can put your synthetics in before going into the machine. The micro-fibres are caught in the bag and you can then put them into your recycling bin rather than into the water system. I also use them if I am washing delicates to give the garment added protection.
So yes, plastic is definitely a problem we have to tackle but there are more and more positive solutions to the problem. Let’s keep looking for and using them!