Over the last few months single use plastics have received a lot of media attention with David Attenborough’s Blue Planet making the extent of the problem hit home to many of us.
Now that China has decided that it won’t allow us to dump all our excess plastic waste on them, it really is time that we took charge of our own usage and made drastic changes.
The problem may seem to be huge and overwhelming, but there are changes we can all make at home to do our bit to help.
Within the last few weeks there have been local primary schools leading the way with reducing single use plastics, cutting out the straws they use for their morning milk drinks. Eliminating excess packaging and showing young children how they can make a difference at home.
It's true that little people can make BIG changes and making children aware of plastics and the problems can only be a good thing for their future.
Say No to Plastic Straws – Say no to a straw with your drink when you’re at a café or restaurant. If you totally can’t live without one then there are paper and even metal straws available to buy for home.
Have shopping bags in the boot of your car – Reuse and Recycle bags when you’re shopping.
Cling film – This can be replaced with bees wax paper that can be used again and again.
Fruit and veg wrapped in plastic – we have all see the images of oranges pealed and then wrapped in plastic… Let's vote with our money and refuse to buy wrapped fruit and veg. If we don’t buy it they wont sell it!
Buy in Bulk – Washing Detergent doesn’t need to come in a plastic container, large cardboard boxes are available.
Say No to plastic takeaway cups – take your own reusable cup for takeaway drinks. This may sound like a bit of a nuisance, but really once you start doing this, just like having your own bags for shopping, it’s not really a big issue.
Kids birthday presents – we all consume so much plastic rubbish and kids birthday presents are prime example of this. What about buying craft or books? There are many non-plastic ideas. Think about a child playing with a plastic gift for perhaps a day or two and then it ending its life… Or NOT as it takes hundreds of years to end the life of plastic ?
Plastic cutlery – If you’re holding a party or event then there are recycled paper and wood or compostable options available.
Pick up litter - have a reusable bag in your pocket or bag and whilst you’re out and about, pick up litter! If it’s in our hedgerows or on our beaches then it will end up, one way or another in us.
At pretty Local, packaging has been and will always be at the forefront of our minds. We use paper bags for fruit and veg.
We only use plastic where totally necessary, i.e. packaging for meat and fish… But don’t worry we are working with our local producers to see what we can do to change this. Some meat will now come wrapped in butcher’s wax paper, which is compostable.
If anyone knows anything about Vacpac machines being able to use compostable bags then please do get in touch I would love to find some.
We reuse our cardboard boxes where we can. We also encourage our customers to leave out a cool box for us to fill.
If you are a local business and you want to get involved in reducing your single use plastic then there is a great initiative called Let's be Plastic Clever the more local business that are involved the easier it will become for everyone to reduce single use plastic.
There is also a great group called Less Plastic they have great advice on their facebook page about reducing plastic and they also organise regular beach cleans in the South Hams. The next clean is on Saturday the 20th Jan 2018 starting at 10:00 at South Milton Sands. Take the kids along it's such a lovely way to get together and clean our beaches. There are quite often hot drinks available at the end of a clean!
Here's to all working together to reduce plastic!