Ealing Transition recently showed the award winning film ‘Plastic Paradise’ which showed the extraordinary levels of plastic pollution in our world, from the deepest & furthest-flung oceans to our own blood streams.
It seems as if there is a huge experiment going on with us humans (and other than human species) as the ‘guinea pigs’. It is reminiscent of smoking in the last century which was blindly promoted as the natural & essential thing to do, except that with plastics we don’t have any choice, it is everywhere in our environment from our food containers to till receipts.
Ealing Transition isn’t just about raising the alarm, we are also about empowering ourselves as individuals and a community to address problems. To this end, following the film showing, the audience met to explore ideas to reduce our exposure to plastics and address the pollution particularly of single use, so called ‘disposable’ plastics.
Here are our 10 of our suggestions for personal and community action.
1. Use a re-usable take-away coffee cup. Ecoffee cups available from Oxfam shops are made with bamboo fibre, are dishwasher safe, don’t leak & enables you to get a 25p discount from chain suppliers.
2. Use an aluminium water bottle & reduce the billions used & discarded daily. Oxfam again have these.
3. Always carry a folded cotton shopping bag to avoid all use of plastic carrier bags. (There has been an 85% decrease in their use since the 5 p charge was introduced)
4. Sign the petitions to introduce a returnable charge on plastic drinks bottles to encourage bottle return.
5. Wrap presents in cloth, making it part of the gift, which can be used & re-used as in Japan and avoid glitter, fun but appalling to the environment.
6. Avoid plastic based dental floss & use a silk based alternative.
7. Return your plastic film packaging to those supermarkets which have bag return boxes. Plastic wrapping comprises up to 80% of household waste & is rarely recycled. Collect yours and see how much you use.
8. Avoid ‘man-made’ fibre clothing. Much of the plastic pollution in our drinking water results from laundering artificial fibre (i.e. plastic) based clothing.
9. Challenge the use of plastic wrapping by businesses you use, your friends & family too.
10. Ask your MP to find out the extent and levels of risks arising from plastic pollution, and what government plans are to address & reduce them.
Good luck with helping reduce this pernicious problem.