Every fortnight my blue bin is overflowing with plastic. I try to cut back and then I spy the Dine In offer in M&S and cave in; and let’s face it, unless you are super committed, avoiding plastics altogether is damn near impossible. At least I recycle most of it, but over Lent especially, I’m going to be creative and make a conscious effort to ditch the packaging and reduce my footprint.
One thing we have managed to cut back on is clingfilm. I used to use rolls of the stuff in a bid to prevent food waste, but I’ve finally caught on to using plates as lids and I’ve invested in tupperware.
But what irks me no end, is when I’m fastidiously washing out my containers and scraping every last scrap of food into my compost bin, is seeing single use plastics being used needlessly.
Schools which proudly display their eco-badges routinely use polystyrene cups. I’m not trying to create work for people: I appreciate there isn’t much time and schools are short on funding. It’s easier to bin cups than wash crockery, but I’m sure there’s some green-minded parents who wouldn’t mind staying an extra fifteen minutes after the nativity play to help wash up. If it stops bag after bag being chucked into landfill then surely it’s worth it.
I took action last week, and off to Ikea I headed to purchase 120 reusable cups for parkrun. As you know, LSB and myself practically live in Ormeau Park at the weekend, between the adult and junior parkrun. On Saturday morning, up to a hundred people sojourn to the Ozone centre to have a hot drink and a chat after their five km. This is entirely separate from parkrun, as at many events the participants complete their run and go about their day, so it’s a testimony to the sense of community at Ormeau that we meet to drink coffee afterwards and have the craic. But on Saturday I was a bit nervous about producing the cups. Would the folks say ‘Here comes Kill-the-Craic on her Save the Earth Soapbox again?’ but they didn’t. It was a talking point and the consensus was that it was a great idea.
Usually two or three black bin bags are filled and binned, but not last week: there was only one. The milk containers were taken away and recycled and everyone helped tidy up. It was a resounding success and it could happen everywhere, with a bit of organising.
And, it seems I’m not the only one concerned – the BBC thinks its a good idea and wants to ban single use plastics by 2020.
The EU (Brexit or not) has planned it for 2030
So – perhaps this is a case of acting locally, and thinking globally in action?
So my question to you people is, do you do a parkrun, or congregate somewhere that uses non-recyclables, and if so, could you change it? (Sorry to evangelise, but you know I used to be a right happy-clapper). Small steps to a cleaner earth, and let’s face it, Stormont isn’t likely to have that on their agenda anytime soon. Power to the people!!