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Posts Tagged ‘plastic pollution’

Buying vegan foods and trying to avoid dairy products and palm oil as well as plastic packaging presents something of a challenge, and requires some inventiveness for preparing meals. I’m learning a whole new way of shopping and cooking.

These days shopping takes a bit longer than in the past….I spend a fair amount of time reading food labels. If it contains palm oil I have to look for an alternative…not always available. I recently had to bypass my favourite soups while shopping; Heinz cream of Tomato, cream of Mushroom and peas and lentils (contains dairy). Instead I bought mostly tins of plain ingredients and dried products and will make them myself, sans the ‘cream‘ of course. I made my first dhal for supper with basmati rice recently… Apparently it smelt delicious 😋 😋

Despite it being the first time I had made dhal, it was actually really yummy. I had a look at a few recipes online and in my usual style, tossed in this, that and the next thing… pretty much whatever I could find in the cupboard in terms of spices…I also roasted some sweet potato wedges in olive oil and herbs which made a really interesting contrast to the dhal. My 2nd attempt wasn’t quite as successful and I burned the lentils coz I didn’t have sufficient water in the pot LOL I ate it anyway….waste not, want not and all that!!!

It’s been an interesting exercise to see how much of what I wanted/needed I could buy without buying anything in plastic. I think I was about 70% successful. It’s incredible difficult. Even if you buy something in a cardboard box, when you open it, the contents are usually packaged in plastic. urgh. So annoying.

Buying fresh fruit and vegetables is the aspect that confounds me the most….why on earth do the supermarkets still have to pack bananas, apples, oranges, broccoli, cucumber, cabbages, potatoes, peppers etc etc in plastic bags, trays or wrap. It’s COMPLETELY unnecessary and just adds more and more to the plastic pollution blighting our landfills and oceans. Apparently a number of brands have signed up to a pact to reduce plastic…..by 2025!!!! Why so far in the future? With 8 Million Tonnes Of Plastic Dumped in the Sea every Year, that means an extra 56 million tons in the next 7 years!!!. There are so many alternatives available already that I’m pretty certain they could reduce their unnecessary plastic packaging immediately.

I was delighted to learn about The Clean Kilo, the UK’s largest zero-waste supermarket; A Gap in the Market.

I recently tried a different type of milk; Oatly and it’s delicious, even in my early morning tea. I’m trying to avoid soya products due to the destruction of the Brazilian rainforests, as well as palm oil due to the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests and the orangutans that live there. These forests are being torn down for palm oil, pulp and paper plantations threatening endangered species such as orangutans with extinction. It’s horrendous. “Without proper safeguards, the soybean industry is causing widespread deforestation and displacement of small farmers and indigenous peoples around the globe”. The EU’s hunger for soy is causing destruction in Brazil.

I’m afraid I was largely ignorant of the ecological impact of my lifestyle. It was only after coming to the UK, and particularly more recently, that I’ve become aware. I do agree that the number of people, consumerism and materialism have played a massive role in the destruction of the planet. Sadly, I don’t see that ending any time soon. But, lobbying to make changes, signing petitions and raising awareness by talking about it, as well as taking daily action will make a difference. I’m always reminded of the starfish on the beach. I believe that, although our actions are tiny, they do make a difference and they set an example that other people will follow. There are a number of brilliant initiatives taking place around the world that will collectively have an impact. Even grassroots initiatives like the people in Kenya who are collecting discarded flip-flops and creating beautiful artworks.  I feel for the 3rd world countries who don’t have the same infrastructures we in the western world take for granted. I just fear that the large corporations are not making enough of an effort. I’m going to start writing to every large company in the UK and urge them to take stringent actions now, rather than phase it out by…. Whatever arbitrary date they come up with.

We really do have to take urgent action NOW. On a more personal note…..my first grandchild is on the way and I want to make sure I don’t leave a planet decimated because of my lifestyle. And a major plus is that I’m saving a lot of money, my shopping bill has reduced quite a lot coz I’m not buying as many products as I did before.

In case you missed my previous post on plastic pollution

 

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The big UK supermarkets have allowed a gap in the market for innovative, eco-conscious companies to step up and BE THE CHANGE.

The Clean Kilo has opened it’s doors……

The Clean Kilo strives to be as close to zero waste as possible – and getting closer all the time.

The store is the brainchild of Tom Pell. He and his partner Jeanette long felt that they “needed to do something about the amount of plastic which ends up in the environment.” While thinking about ways to reduce the amount of plastic used in our daily lives, they came to think of the obscene use of unnecessary plastic for food packaging and the idea for The Clean Kilo was born.

I hope that more of these independent stores open up around the country.

https://www.goodnet.org/articles/uks-largest-zero-waste-supermarket-has-opened-its-doors

I say bravo to these people, and wish the very best of success. Yes, some of the named brands have signed up to the UK Plastic Pact….but their target date is 2025!!! By that’s 7 years away and by that stage 89 tons more of destructive plastic will end up in the oceans. They need to stop wrapping fruit and vegetables in plastic NOW!!!

Companies like Tesco, Sainsburys, Iceland, CoOp, Aldi, Lidls, Morrisons, Waitrose are all going to lose customers because of their stubborn refusal to stop wrapping fruit and vegetables in unnecessary plastic. They’ll post a year-end loss and sob into their plastic bags. #bansingleuseplastic

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Hoorah. Good for Greenpeace!!!! Now you can email the CEO of your local supermarket directly via Greenpeace.

The letter starts as “I am a regular customer and I’m writing to express my concern that ???? is not doing enough to help curb ocean plastic pollution by reducing the amount of plastic packaging in your stores“.

Click on this following link for the full letter and the process for emailing. I’ve sent an email to CoOp, Tesco, Sainsburys, Waitrose as those are the stores I buy from most regularly. I was disappointed to not see Iceland on the list, but I’ll send a letter directly…along with all the useless unnecessary plastic packaging I’ve collected.

https://act.greenpeace.org/page/29634/action/1?locale=en-GB

It’s time we got tough with the supermarkets. Phasing plastic packaging out by whatever date they suck out of the air, is bullshit. They have to stop using it NOW. There is no time to lose. Our oceans are in a mess and animals are dying by the million. Whales, dolphins, turtles, sharks, fish, birds…all are suffering horrendous deaths because of the plastic pollution that is blighting the oceans.plastic pollution, ban single use plastic, email the ceo, greenpeace

I’m thrilled that Greenpeace have started this initiative and I sincerely hope millions of people email the CEO’s of these companies.

BAN SINGLE USE PLASTIC. SAVE OUR OCEANS. SAVE OUT PLANET. SAVE OUR ANIMALS

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

reasons to ban plastic via @Balloonsblow on instagram

Plastic pollution in one beach area of the UK; Stanbury Mouth

plastic pollution, ban single use plastic, email the ceo, greenpeace

shared with permission

further information we need to know, and reasons to send that letter to the CEO of our supermarkets, urging them to stop using unnecessary single-use plastic wrapping

 

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We are surrounded by plastic and it gets overwhelming when we look at the huge issues facing us for the future. Were do we start and how do we avoid plastic?

Just about everything we buy today, is either made with plastic, contains plastic that we can’t even see and is wrapped in plastic. Hell even our money is made of plastic.

There are hundreds of small initiatives springing up around the world, some reuse our plastic trash to make other items; road surfacing, benches, houses, clothes…..this is phenomenal and really commendable…however they are still plastic.

Around the world people are coming together to clean up their rivers and beaches.

#2minutebeachclean – https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/2minutebeachclean/

#pickup1million – https://www.heart.co.uk/eastanglia/news/local/ipswich-man-picking-up-1-million-cigarette-butts/

#binitforbeaches https://marinedevelopments.blog.gov.uk/2018/08/23/binit4beaches-marine-litter-beach-clean/

#goplasticfree – Why not try the 1 month Plastic challenge https://www.mcsuk.org/plastic-challenge/

Other than that here are 5 things you can stop using with absolutely no ill-effects to you or your life https://www.dw.com/en/5-single-use-plastics-the-eu-should-ban/a-45957403

  1. #banballoons – stop buying balloons. Balloon releases kill thousands of birds and sea creatures every year. Follow @balloonsblow on instagram for more information – https://www.instagram.com/balloonsblow/
  2. #nomorestraws – stop using plastic straws; there are alternatives. Ask your favourite milkshake venue to make the change (there are nearly 7.5 million plastic straws lying on America’s shores alone). https://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/no-straw-please/
  3. #plasticpackaging – unnecessary plastic packaging is the blight of our lives. I’ve started naming and shaming the supermarkets now for using tons of unnecessary plastic packaging – there are alternatives : Bagasse: compostable, eco-friendly bagasse is great for replacing plastic when you need disposable plates, cups, or take-out boxes. http://www.greenhome.com/blog/alternatives-to-plastic
  4. Cotton swabs – https://www.seriouslybamboo.com/blogs/news/the-problem-with-plastic-cotton-swabs – Who can forget that shocking image of a seahorse with it’s tail wrapped around a cotton swab

    sea horse - Justin Hoffman -ref BBC Earth Our Blue Planet

    sea horse and cotton swab – © Justin Hoffman – ref BBC Earth Our Blue Planet

  5. #boycottplastic – Plastic Bags; there are hundreds of shocking and heart-breaking images of seabirds, turtles, whales, dolphins and many other animals and birds killed by plastic bags. “Plastic bags harm the environment in several ways. For instance, marine animals may mistake them for jellyfish when they are in the water and eat them, clogging up their intestines in the process“.  http://www.bigfatbags.co.uk/plastic-bags-environment/

The amount of plastic bags made each year has now passed 1 trillion & they take up to 1,000 years to fully decompose.

We have to change our habits and make the necessary changes.

And one more thing we absolutely have to do…stop buying plastic water; one million plastic bottles are purchased around the world every single minute. That’s 525,600,000 million bottles per year…. 525 million 600 thousand bottles per year. 525, 600, 000 million plastic bottles entering the system and polluting out planet……

 

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Seriously? Look at how they’re making the plastic problem the consumers responsibility again!! 😤😤😤

Making the consumer re-think how we use plastic?? Ffs. Think about how to not keep PRODUCING plastic!! “Many companies, including Procter and Gamble, Coca-Cola and Asda, trade associations and campaigners have joined forces with the government to form the UK Plastics Pact. It’s aimed at making people re-think the way they use plastic and its dangerous impact on the environment if it’s not disposed of properly and recycled”.

There is no away!!! There is no way of disposing of plastic. It takes centuries to break down…and even then it doesn’t just ‘disappear’, it just morphs into microplastics, of which we are now eating a portion in our food and water.

This article is an advertising plug for solent plastics, however the information it contains (up until the advertising bit) is useful, albeit mostly old news.

https://www.solentplastics.co.uk/news/plastic-ocean:-the-clean-up/

“Statistics show each person in the UK creates an average of around 76kg, or 167lbs, of plastic waste per year. This compares with US citizens who produce around 120kg of plastic waste per person per year.”

UK annual plastic waste is now close to 5m tonnes, including enough single-use plastic to fill 1,000 Royal Albert Hallshttps://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/17/i-kept-all-my-plastic-year-4490-items-forced-rethink

Here are my thoughts on the plastic issue:

Why is the UK Government making it about the CONSUMER once again. We are always being blamed for the mess. But we are FORCED to buy our products in plastic and in 95% of cases have NO OPTION but to buy something we need DESPITE it being encased in plastic.

We’re told to recycle! Okay fine, except that every bloody council in the country has their own rules, and many are breaking the law!!  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45911794 >

Besides that no-one has YET EDUCATED the citizens of the UK how to recycle properly. I travel a lot in the UK due to the nature of my job. Every single place I go to has a different set of rules for recycling, and for what the council will or will not accept. Most of the people I work for are elderly and have NO IDEA how to recycle properly, what impact their incorrect recycling has on every load, and what can or cannot be recycled. I’ve worked for people who recycle their tissues, or soiled serviettes…because it’s paper!!! And paper is recyclable right?

Little did we know that not all of it would be recycled, instead getting dumped in landfills overseas.

Yes there are numbskulls who refuse to recycle, who chuck their trash any which where they please because they are as thick as the proverbial brick, people who dump stuff in the streets, parks, rivers, mountainsides etc etc but those are the minimum. The vast quantity of plastic, especially single-use plastic, is used in the home….

It doesn’t surprise me in the LEAST that companies like Coca-Cola and Proctor & Gamble are involved….what they want to do is make it OUR FAULT with the Government’s full support and make it about us being FECKLESS citizens and not recycling properly. The REAL ISSUE IS THEM!! They are the ones producing the plastic, they are the ones who are packaging their products in this pernicious shit in the first place, after that the SUPERMARKETS are not taking any responsibility because they then sell these products to us the consumer who then gets BLAMED for the plastic pollution, while they shrug their shoulders and continue to make obscene profits.

THE ONLY BLAME LIES FAIR AND SQUARE AT THE FEET OF THE PRODUCERS OF PLASTIC, THE CORPORATIONS AND COMPANIES THAT MAKE THE PLASTIC PRODUCTS AND THE COMPANIES THAT SELL IT ON TO THE CONSUMER WHO HAS NO OPTION BUT TO BUY THEIR FOOD AND NECESSITIES IN PLASTIC.

The UK Government are complicit in the waste issue and of course we know just why they are teamed up with these plastic waste criminals, it’s because they’re getting MONEY from them. It enables the corporations to continue producing plastic without recourse. It’s called CORRUPTION. End of. Stop producing the stuff. There are OTHER OPTIONS. Support the companies that are making packaging using other methods rather than PETROLEUM PLASTIC. Only when our governments, corporations, big businesses, manufacturers and suppliers/sellers stop being bribed by money and start employing some ethics in business will this plastic issue start being resolved. Now, if the government fined these corporations for the plastic they continue to produce, then they’ll start making the necessary changes.

AS I said in a previous article: Rwanda, Mauritania and Morocco all have bans in place and it’s worth noting that there is no such ban enforced in the UK, US or China, all of which have highly developed plastics industries; producing and exporting plastic bags across the globe – ergo we in the developed countries ARE TO BLAME!! It’s all about making money, the bottom line and obscene profits, and the manufacturers have no interest in the fact that it’s killing the planet.

But, hey….easy way out….keep producing plastic and blame the resulting pollution on the consumers/population.

This is what we need as a mater of urgency:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45965605

Further information for education on plastic pollution:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45911794

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-45787712

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45770358

An estimated 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic had been produced since the early 1950s, with 60% of it ending up in landfills or the natural environment.

 

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Recycling has been the go to opt out for us to assuage our guilt over our wasteful throw-away lifestyle. For years now, we have been fed, and accepted the lie that recycling is the socially acceptable way to dispose of our trash.

In reality our trash has been shipped to other countries like China (until they put a stop to buying it in January 2018) and now apparently its being shipped to Indonesia. This has allowed us in the West to gaily make it ‘someone else’s problem’.

But in reality, unless we are living on a different planet to the Chinese or any other country you care to mention, our oceans are interconnected – Trump hasn’t yet managed to build a wall between the oceans. This means that our trash travels. It may start off in your household recycling box, but from there it travels…across the world (why?) = huge carbon footprint – one negates the other. It gets stripped down and besides polluting the soils and water systems in those countries, it gets dumped into rivers and makes it’s way to the sea….and thus into the world’s oceans.

As we now know, fish are eating this plastic…we’re eating the fish and voila…..now it’s catching up with us. Scientists have discovered plastic in our poop. Nice one.

We in the west have been exceptionally lazy about sorting out our own trash. We are wasteful and have trashed this world even more than the developing countries we love to blame. African countries were only introduced to our plastic production in the last couple of decades. Unlike us, some many African countries (you know, those 3rd world ‘less than’ countries that white people in the West are so disdainful of!?) are way ahead of us in taking action against plastic.

Botswana – https://www.victoriafalls-guide.net/botswana-is-banning-plastic-bags.html

Kenya placed a total ban on the manufacture, sale or use of plastic bags on 28 August 2017.  This became law and has been enforced with remarkable effectiveness.

“Plastics are being replaced with natural materials and there has been growth in small-scale bag making, creating jobs”

“More than 40 countries have now joined UNEA’s #CleanSeas campaign, which covers more than half the world’s coastlines. The threat is very real. If nothing is done the oceans will have more plastic than fish by 2050, according to leading environmentalists”.

Rwanda, Mauritania and Morocco all have bans in place and it’s worth noting that there is no such ban enforced in the UK, US or China, all of which have highly developed plastics industries; producing and exporting plastic bags across the globe – ergo we in the developed countries ARE TO BLAME!! It’s all about making money, the bottom line and obscene profits, and the manufacturers have no interest in the fact that it’s killing the planet.

If you’d like to read more, here is the link

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/22/recycling-fuels-consumption-plastic?fbclid=IwAR1R3efRw2UZ6D_I27lyUZjbT8XkmwFH6SZ7bEcfVVOKJ_fUJOigFv66tQc

After watching the Fashions Dirty Secrets documentary last week, my attitude to our wasteful lifestyle has intensified exponentially. I don’t want my grandchild growing up in a world that is polluted by plastic and toxic lakes, rivers, seas and oceans. I’m hoping there will still be fresh water available to this child in the future.

In this child’s name I am now naming and shaming:

tesco foods, plastic pollution, polluting the oceans, ban plastic bottles, named and shamed for plastic pollution, ban plastic

TESCO

plastic pollution in the supermarkets

Iceland

img_20181022_142724_0755405836.jpg

Iceland

img_20181022_142724_072936471424.jpg

Iceland

plastic pollution in the supermarkets

Sainsburys

plastic pollution in the supermarkets

Sainsburys

plastic pollution in the supermarkets

Sainsburys

plastic pollution in the supermarkets

Sainsburys

All of these products are wrapped in totally unnecessary and pointless plastic. These companies are also forcing their customers to buy in bulk; much of which ends up in the trash…”In the UK alone, 8.4m people in the UK struggle to afford a meal, according to the UN’s FAO – despite the UK wasting billions through food waste every year, according to food waste charity WRAP.”

“Unsurprisingly, the proportion of food waste is highest in western countries, while developing countries are more likely to suffer from food loss.”

We have to face up to our waste and make some drastic changes if we are to preserve the sanctity of life on this planet.

 

 

 

 

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This is a very timely and useful article. It definitely pertains to me in that climate change and the effect that plastic is having on the oceans has  been causing extreme anxiety, especially since I learned that my daughter is expecting a baby…her first child; my first grandchild. Since her and her husband announced the baby’s pending arrival, my stress levels have gone up quite a lot #understatement

I’m doing as much as I can to negate my impact on the climate, but as they say in the article, individually we can only do so much. But if our governments are not taking responsibility or massive action then that in itself will cause more stress, and I can well imagine the scientists must be under extreme stress. Just the very fact that the UK government has allowed fracking to go ahead tells us the story of their interest in their citizens and community. Of course we know that they’re going to make money off it, and not necessarily for the public purse… #justsaying

There are people who will continue to deny it…. “It’s the people who don’t seem bothered by environmental crisis who need therapy the most, to figure out why they are so numb and in denial,’ he tells us.”

The article suggests joining local community based groups who are also environmental activists in order to keep sane. I have already joined a number of community groups on instagram and Facebook and its encouraging to see how much they are doing, it keeps me focused, as well as which I do what I can. But quite honestly, it does keep me awake at night 🌃

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/10/18/climate-change-is-causing-ecoanxiety-and-damaging-our-mental-health-what-can-we-do-8047167/?ito=cbshare

Actions I already take

Converting to veganism – an ongoing process and I do fall down occasionally when it comes to dairy products, although I have now finally converted to soya milk in my tea. 🙂

Saying no to plastic straws – I took a pledge nearly 2 years ago to never again use a plastic straw and I haven’t. Someone at a local coffee shop put a plastic straw in an avocado drink I was having and as my daughter said to the waitron “take it away before she goes into meltdown”. LOL

Saying no to plastic water bottles – I stopped this a long time ago. It’s bloody ridiculous to sell us water in plastic bottles that take thousands of litres to produce. We have tap water. We live in a 1st word country. We don’t draw water from an infected well. fck!! This is the one thing above all else that irks me the most.

Saying no to plastic bags – yup. makes sense. It’s seriously ironic that 3rd world countries like Rwanda, Kenya and Botswana as well as others have banned them. As usual the UK and USA and EU are WAY BEHIND.

Buying products in glass where available, even if its more expensive.

Buying products in cardboard where possible.

Not buying for fashion, but rather as I need it. Have you seen Stacey Dooley’s documentaries about the fashion industry?

Conserving water 💦 and being mindful of my usage.

Changes made by others due to my persistent requests:

Our local milkshake bar changed from plastic straws to biodegradable.

Our local chip shop changed from polystyrene boxes to compostable.

As individuals there is so much we can do, without experiencing overwhelm. I love the #2minutecleanup campaign on instagram

I share the devastating images of dead seabirds and other sea creatures from @balloonsblow in facebook

I am constantly alert as to what more I can do to make a difference and reduce my carbon footprint, and mindful of what I buy and why I buy it.

I try and set an example by modifying my behaviour

I try to share information for others to be aware of the catastrophic effects our throw-away plastic lifestyle is having on the planet.

I realise that we can’t live a life completely without plastic in the immediate future, but we can drastically reduce our consumption of the product by avoiding it wherever possible. – I used the word consumption, because as you know, microscopic plastic fibres are now in our water supply and our food chain….even in salt.

Regards going vegan, I get mocked by family members who feel comfortable with sending me what they see as humorous images of what is tantamount to cruelty to animals. Friends come up with the old bullshit of vegetables having feelings too and how they feel pain. That is throwback to when people who were going vegan were regarded as nutters or veganism was considered a fad. Its not. Try watching ‘What The Health’ on Netflix then come talk to me again.

The biggest impact you can have on saving this planet for future generations is to cut back on plastic, stop buying bottled water and if you can’t become vegan, at least try being vegetarian or flexitarian.

 

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