Morning all! Today is World Environment Day, for those of you that don’t know WED has been run by the United Nations Environment Programme since 1974 in order to raise awareness of, and to encourage action on, global environmental issues.
Every year the day has a theme and a host nation – this year the theme is “beat plastic pollution” and India is the host. I’ve written about plastic pollution before and it’s certainly a hot topic at the moment. Plastic pollution accounts for a staggering amount of wildlife deaths and injuries per year, with marine species being particularly at risk.
But it is something you can take action on, the UK government and lots of retailers seem to be getting the message with plenty of pledges to reduce plastic packaging. This so called “plastics pact” is not without criticism but hopefully is a step in the right direction.
In our house we are trying our best to avoid single use plastics (SUPs), we are guilty of the occasional takeaway (most of which are terrible for plastic waste) and I sometimes forget to take my reusable cup to work, but I’m pleased to say the college I work in now use biodegradables for all of their catering (I may of nagged… just a little).
What we still find the hardest is the supermarket. There’s just sooo much plastic! We don’t always have time to go to the greengrocers and I eat a lot of soft fruit which (even in the green grocers) come in a plastic tub compete with bubble wrap and often cling film. It’s so frustrating – although hopefully the new “plastics pact” for retailers will hopefully start taking effect sooner rather than later.
What I have done is continue to cultivate my garden. The garden came stocked with an apple, pear and cherry tree and I’m attempting to properly manage them, as well as training some blackberry bushes and recently planting some raspberries. Hopefully this will alleviate my plastic consumption for part of the year at least!
I’ve also invested in a litter picker and regularly get out and about with it while walking my dogs, I’m sure the neighbours think I’m a total loony but I don’t care, and I’ll stop and encourage anyone that listens to do the same. Just five minutes makes all the difference!
With single use plastic being the flavour of the month (or last six) here’s plenty of advice online how to reduce your use of SUPs and if you’re up for it, you can also challenge yourself to go plastic free with the Marine Conservation Society this July.
Plastic pollution is certainly a visible, tangible and (hopefully) reversible issue. It would be great to see those issues that are less obvious or more complex (like extinction and climate change, to name but a few) capture the public imagination in the same way going forward.
I hope you have a very happy World Environment Day everyone – tell me what are you all doing?