A lot of people think that the state of our planet is down to youth – those people who buy McDonalds or other fast food and dump it out of the car window. Yes I agree, those people do make up part of the problem; however, having just been to Lidl in Sidmouth, I can clearly see that they aren’t the only ones who need to rethink what they are doing if we are to have any hope of turning this problem around.
Can everyone write to the local paper (in our case the Sidmouth Herald) about the problem? The reason I ask this is because not everyone is on social media and I think a large section of our community get their news (and FREE BOTTLE OF WATER today) from the Daily Mail etc, and just are not used to having the finger pointed at them, and asking them to review their behaviour. Don’t worry, I’m not solely blaming them, we have all done wrong and none of us are perfect, but it has to start with every day behaviour that can be changed easily. This is the letter I am sending off today – feel free to use bits of it!
We all watched Blue Planet II and saw the images, and felt revulsion about the state of the world’s oceans. It is easy to blame other people – youth, foreign countries, industry. Today I am writing to ask everyone to have a think about their own shopping behaviour and see if they can make these simple changes that will have a massive impact, if we all do it:
- REFUSE over-packaged products. If we leave it on the shelf it sends a clear message that it is not acceptable. For example: do grapes need to be in plastic boxes wrapped in non-recyclable film? #leaveitontheshelf
- Buy loose produce: Most fruit and vegetables don’t need to be put in a plastic bag! If given the choice between, for example, a plastic net bag of oranges vs buying them loose, why not buy them loose? They have their own wrapping! Lidl are doing loads of produce loose now – it’s easy. (Then don’t spoil it by taking a plastic bag for them – they really don’t need them just to get to your house!)
- Take lots of cotton bags with you – and make a promise NEVER to take a plastic bag again!
- Use refill services when available. Ganesha do refills of spices, washing up liquid, washing liquid etc – every bottle reused is a bottle saved.
- There is no need in this country for bottled water – it’s a marketing trick. Treat yourself to a lovely reusable bottle and take it out, and use the Refill system in cafés (and soon water fountains in town) to refill.
- Fancy a coffee? Take 5 minutes to sit down and use a china cup, or get a beautiful reusable bamboo coffee cup and remember to take it with you – even to Waitrose for their freebies. A lot of people think coffee cups are recyclable – THEY’RE NOT unless they say so on the outside.
- See plastic on the ground? Don’t step over it – bin it!
If you are on Facebook or Twitter, please join our fight by finding Sidmouth Plastic Warriors or @SidPlasticWar. We are running monthly beach cleans but that isn’t enough – we are fighting to get everyone to reduce their plastic use massively.
Thank you for reading this and good luck becoming a Plastic Warrior – together we can win the fight.
Sidmouth Plastic Warriors